Zack: Eurovision fans live all around the world.  I myself grew up on Maui, but now reside on the opposite side of the US in North Carolina.  Roy is from South Africa.  Matt is originally from Germany but now lives in California.  From time to time, we will introduce everyone to some of these international fans.

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KAHORI – JAPAN

My name is Kahori and I am a 50-year-old female living in Tokyo, Japan.

First of all, it is very difficult to be a Eurovision fan.  Almost nobody here in Japan knows about this annual competition in Europe. 90% of my Eurovision contact is with people in especially the United Kingdom.

In the 70’s I was a very big fan of the British group THE BAY CITY ROLLERS and followed their career very carefully. They were quite big in Japan. When one of the members left the group and was replaced by DUNCAN FAURE from South Africa, I tried to find a penfriend in South Africa and that is how I came in contact with Roy van der Merwe (OGAE Rest of the World President) in Johannesburg.

Roy helped me a lot to get information on Duncan as well as the group RABBITT, in which he played before joining the Bay City Rollers.

I even visited Roy in the 80’s. By then, he was a big fan of the Eurovision Song Contest and told me a lot about it. He actually told me that several of my favourite Bay City Roller songs like…

SHANG-A-LANG
SUMMERLOVE SENSATION
REMEMBER…

…had been composed by Bill Martin and Phil Coulter who were the composers behind a previous Eurovision winner such as the 1967 song PUPPET ON A STRING by SANDY SHAW and the huge Cliff Richard song CONGRATULATIONS from 1968.

I know some Eurovision songs, especially WATERLOO by ABBA. With the help of Roy and other penfriends in the UK, I gained more information on this fascinating contest and although I do not follow it as closely as those in Europe, a lot of music I listen to, come from the Eurovision Song Contest.

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GABE – SOUTH KOREA

My name is Gabe and I live in Seoul, South Korea. I am a 53-year-old male. During my studies, I was based in Florida, USA where I attended a concert of Olivia Newton John and became a fan of her and her music.

During the late 70’s, once I was back in South Korea, I started corresponding with Roy van der Merwe in Johannesburg.

Through Roy, I learned about Eurovision and that people such as Olivia Newton John sang one year for the United Kingdom with LONG LIVE LOVE. Although this was not my top favourite song of Olivia, the fact that it came 4th at Eurovision in 1974 when ABBA had won, interested me enough to find out more of Eurovision.

Through Roy, I got a lot of knowledge about Eurovision and I shared his love for EIN BISSCHIEN FRIEDEN. The song even got recorded in Korean by a local singer.

It is hard to get anybody in South Korea who is an expert on Eurovision but I get most of my information via friends in Europe.

It is a dream of me to attend the show once and not just see it on TV or video, and maybe for my 55th birthday in 2015 I will treat myself to Eurovision (hopefully it will be in a special country).

Of course many of the UK entries such as Cliff Richard, The Shadows, Brotherhood of man were my early favourites but lately I also like some of the artists from other countries. Last year with the Asian Song Contest in Seoul, I was hoping that finally Eurovision fever has come to South Korea.

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One Comment

  1. Roy van der Merwe

    February 25, 2013 at 06:23

    I love it to hear stories of Eurovision fans in truly exotic countries. Many of the people living in Europe think Eurov ision is normal and they grew up with it. For us ourside of Europe, there re normally an incident that got us to the point where our interest started.

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