In the midst of the Cold War, US Air Force sergeant Rik de Lisle is transferred to the armed forces radio station, AFN, in West Berlin.
25 years after the infamous fall of the Berlin Wall, the American troops have long left, but „The Old Ami“, at 70 years old, is still on air and one of the best known radio personalities in Germany.
De Lisle’s show is at first aimed at US soldiers, stationed in the American sector of the divided city of Berlin. The listeners, though, are mainly the german citizens of Berlin, east and west of the wall. Even though it is illegal to listen to AFN in the eastern part of Berlin, his show is very popular there. People record Rik’s show on tape recorders and surround the radio station, where the show is produced, during the night the wall falls.
Despite its tense political situation, Berlin attracts many artist during the 1980s. Rik de Lisle loves music and next to presenting his radio show he is involved in the production of several albums. He tours with bands and is riding a wave of success. But there is a dark side – unbeknownst to the public, Rik is struggling with addiction.
The father of two children is able to get his life back on track though, and he focuses on the thing the Germans love him for: radio.
After the U.S. Troops leave Berlin, Rik’s service there ends. But he stays. Until today.
While he is unheard of in the United States, he is a radio legend in Germany.
The listeners of „The Old Ami“, who is presenting his shows in German by now, love his trademark accent and the fact, that even after 40 years in Germany he is not taking the german grammar too seriously.
After 20 years in the US Air Force, Rik now successfully works as a consultant, DJ and program director for several radio stations across Europe.
His radio shows influenced and shaped the music taste of several generations – his professional career and personal history are a unique testimony of love for the city of Berlin and its history which „The Old Ami“ is most certainly a part of after four decades there.
The documentary „The Old Ami – The unknown American Radio Legend“, portraits one of Germany’s most famous radio DJs and looks back on the development of the German – American relations.
„I’m Air Force Sergeant Rik de Lisle – reminding you, that Rock’n Roll is just a state of mind“.