Friday, May 27, 2022
HomeInterviewsPeter Traynor - The Man Behind the Madison Music

Peter Traynor – The Man Behind the Madison Music


If you ever decide to promote a Six Day race there’s a checklist you’ll have to go through.

Start with a short steep indoor track; the best riders you can afford; food and drink concessions; a cool light show; a good ‘speaker’; maybe some live acts — but one of your key ingredients will be music.

A Six Day final chase with no music would be unthinkable — be it live jazz in Grenoble, 70’s disco in Gent or funky trombones in Rotterdam, you need “sounds”, “madison music”.

Enter Peter Traynor, originally from the Wirral Peninsula across the Mersey River from Liverpool – the city that gave us the Beatles and the ‘Mersey Sound’ – he’s the man behind what’s blasting from the speakers at the German Six Days; he recently took time to talk to VeloVeritas about his passion.

Peter Traynor
Peter with Manfred Schwarz and Joe Cocker.

How did you get into it, Pete?

“I worked as a DJ in The Wirral for about 15 years and moved to Germany to work in radio in 1995.

“I met Christian Stoll – who’s currently announcer at the Berlin and Bremen Six days — at the radio station where I worked; he got me into it.

“This year [2011] was my 12th year at Berlin; I also do Bremen and Zurich and used to do Stuttgart before it disappeared from the calendar — I’m not into statistics but I think I must have done around 50 Sixes.”

Music is your passion, isn’t it?

“The Sixes are a hobby; it was my ambition to work at all of the German Six days but now there’s no Dortmund, Munich or Stuttgart.

“Away from the Sixes I’m the music director for seven radio stations and involved in promoting gigs for artists like Roger Whitaker and Chris de Burg — I was also Sydney Youngblood’s manager for two or three years.”

Which is your favourite Six?

“Bremen — it’s the ‘party Six,’ I play stuff there that I don’t at Berlin; it’s different in the capital, the people are into the sport, it’s very loud and people like to use their whistles.”

Peter Traynor
Luckily Peter’s bodyguards are camera-friendly.

How do you decide what to play?

“Experience — different music for different Sixes.

“You have to watch the fans’ and riders’ reaction to what you’re playing.

“I also get requests from riders — but you can’t always play them, again, it’s down to experience.”

Do you still spin vinyl?

“No, it’s all on computer; you need to be able to just press a button so that a certain song or tune plays for 30 seconds when a team goes on the attack.

“Bruno and Franco for example had their Alpine horn tune and it’s easier to do that using the computer.

“I do my own mixes; I often cut off quiet intros so the song works better in a Six.

“At Berlin they have live bands too, we’ve had Right Said Fred performing — their song ‘Stand Up For The Champions’ is a perfect fit for Six day racing.

“It’s easier for me if it’s ‘national’ teams — if it’s an Aussie team going for it then I’ll play ‘Waltzing Matilda.’

“That tune got me into trouble when I was working at the Worlds in Stuttgart, I was told it was the Australian national anthem, but when we played it the Aussies were saying; ‘no, no!’”

Peter Traynor
Cameron Meyer doesn’t mind the music really.

What’s your favourite music?

“I haven’t got one, I’ve been in the business since the 80’s; my stations play rock, mostly.

“I’m a television man when I get home, music is my job.”

Are you always on the lookout for ‘Six Day songs?’

“Oh yeah, if I hear something that I think will work, I write down the title, buy it and mix it.

Do you follow the results of the Sixes, even if you’re not working them?

“I know all the riders, so yes, I do.

“I keep an eye on the new guys that are up and coming and I’ll visit them when I’m at the races I’m working.

“Bruno Risi is a friend; the Sixes are like a circus and I feel that it’s my job to help make them better.”

Who’s your current favourite rider?

“Robert Bartko, I think he’s getting better as he gets older.

“Franco Marvulli is good; he’s always friendly, always helpful.”

Peter Traynor
Peter tells Kylie all about his favourite cycling website… we wish.

What about that picture of Robert with the Pete Traynor pants on?

“I have a friend, Nick, him and his wife always used to come to Bremen — I actually used to work from the stage there, but I don’t like that, I don’t want to in the public eye, I’m a sport DJ with a job to do.

“But anyway, Di, Nick’s wife had ‘official fan club knickers’ made for me and Robert decided to try them on — that was actually at Berlin and we’d all maybe had a ‘one or two drinks!’”

Peter Traynor
Peter with Robert Bartko, after ‘one or two drinks’.

How do you account for the decline in the German Six Days?

“The people who run the races can’t work together — they have to be promoted as a team effort.

“All sports have associations which promote team work — but in the Six Days, the organisers only think about number one.

“And there’s so much choice for younger people now, the folks who used to support the Sixes are getting older, you have to get the kids involved — at Bremen on Sunday you can bring the whole family for 50 Euros, that’s the type of thing you have to do to get the youngsters involved.

“But look at Berlin — it sells out right away for Friday and Saturday.”

And what about the new Six Days we’ve been hearing about?

“Hanover is a definite and I’ll be there, and also Cologne — they just need to ask me!”

Peter Traynor
The good news about the Hanover Six.
Ed Hood
Ed Hood
Ed's been involved in cycling for over 47 years. In that time he's been a successful time triallist, a team manager, and a sponsor of several teams and clubs. He's also a respected and successful coach and during the winter months can often be found working in the cabins at the Six Days for some of the world's top riders. Ed remains a massive fan of the sport and couples his extensive contacts with an inexhaustable enthusiasm for the minutiae and the history of our sport.

Related Articles

Berlin Six Day 2019 – Wrap Up

It was lucky 13 for Roger Kluge & Theo Reinhardt; that was the number of laps remaining in the final chase in the Berlin Six Day 2019 on Tuesday night when big Lotto Home Boy, Kluge launched the attack which produced the winning lap gain to take the Deutsche Duo clear of Double Danskas Jesper Mørkøv & Marc Hester with their superior scandic points tally.

Gent Six Day 2010 – Third Night, Iljo Keeps the Lead but Frays a Little

I just received an email from Rapha; "The New Tweed Softshell and City Riding Collection" - that's exactly what I need, tweed. Set a new trend at the Kuipke. We're here for the Gent Six Day 2010.

Gent Six Days 2011 – Night Four

Whether it's a great edition of the Gent Six Days or not, it's still quite an experience to walk up through the tunnel for the first time. Especially if the Dernys are up on the track droning out their monotonous tune, there's the buzz of a thousand conversations, the lights, the throng, the smell of beer, the renners flashing around the bankings, the people piled high up to the roof in the corners - We love it !

Zürich Six Day 2012 – Part II

It's 05:30 CET Monday in the North Sea, somewhere. Our epic through the night time snow of Central Europe after the Zürich Six Day was rewarded by a nice autumn morning in The Netherlands, even if the coffee was extortionate at the services. We were in plenty of time for the 17:00 ferry to Newcastle. I couldn't keep my eyes open after 20:00, so that's why I'm up and about at 05:00 am - and that North Sea air is fresh. But let's talk winter track racing - I can't say 'Six Days' in this case.

Justice for Gary Wiggins

It’ll be nine years, this January since we ran our Gary Wiggins obituary. Wiggins, father of Knight of the Realm, current World Hour Record holder, reigning Olympic Team Pursuit Champion and former Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins, died in hospital in Newcastle, New South Wales the day after an ‘incident’ in Muswellbrook the previous day.

Pip Taylor – Part Two; Six Days are not a Milieu for the Faint of Heart

In Part One of his account of ‘running’ at the SKOL Six Days in the early 70’s Pip Taylor told us about the 1971 race. For the 1972 race he’d moved up the strata and was ‘running’ for a bona fide ‘Blue Train’ pairing.

At Random

Giro d’Italia 2015 – Stage 16, Pinzolo – Aprica; the Mortirolo!

You forget how gruesome the climbs are here in Italy; I'd never been over the Mortirolo before but it was an eye opener - 11.9 kilometres (that's more than seven miles) with an AVERAGE gradient of just under 12% and a maximum of 18%. Lance reckoned it was the toughest climb he ever raced and 'Bert' was on 34 x 30; 'nuff said !' On most of the big climbs there are sections where it eases a little; not on this swine, it's unrelenting and unforgiving - ask Fabio Aru ...

Grenoble Six Day 2006 – Fifth Night

It's 9.30 and I'm just up, Kris sleeps in the camper van. He says it's more comfortable, but I think it's because I snore so badly. It was interesting at breakfast today; the guys were talking about what they did before they were full-time pro cyclists.

Le Tour de France 2016 – Stage 3; Granville – Angers. Cavendish by an inch!

After a gruesomely boring stage where one man – albeit latterly assisted by Tommy V – held off the pack for 200 K it was another day of joy for Dimension Data’s Mark Cavendish; just too quick for Greipel, Coquard and Sagan on a slightly uphill finish into Angers. Kittel looked to be well placed at the red kite but got it wrong on the final right hander to finish well out of it. Greipel reckoned maybe he was one cog too high in the finish on 54 x 11 – Cav’s choice of gear was just fine though.

Kristian House – A Little Ahead of the Rest

Kristian House (Rapha Condor & GB) is one of those riders who 'looks the part,' dark skinned and stylish, he just looks like he can win races. When we heard about him riding very strongly in the pre season Bay Criterium Series in Australia, we thought we'd better 'have a word.'

The VV View: Chris Froome, Vik’s Pressies and the Giro in Israel?

We hope you enjoyed our series of interviews with Scotland’s medal prospects for The Gold Coast – we certainly enjoyed speaking to such talented and highly motivated young men and women. But let’s not got too cocky...

Loch Ken Time Trial – Kyle Gordon Keeps his Form

On a day which was a total contrast to last Sunday’s Monifieth polar conditions; with warm sunshine and a gentle breeze, Kyle Gordon (RT23) showed us that perishing or pleasant, he’s the man to beat on the Scottish time trial scene. Averaging 28.796 mph around the rolling, scenic 26.3 mile Loch Ken Time Trial course in the fourth round of six in the CTT Sigma Sports Classic Series.