Two pages of Oct/Nov/Dec is here
The archived Happenings index is here...

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Site Updates

On the Street Where They Lived in Liverpool – DJs' childhood homes

(Updated 04/02) Jan-fre Vos in the Netherlands fills gaps in the first Caroline chart, 04/07/64.
All recent updates to Jempi Laevaert's Radio Caroline Charts are on the Stonewashed Index.
And now, The News...

Greetings, Pop-pickers!
Several offshore birthdays were celebrated in March. Keith Skues's was on March 4th and he received the excellent birthday present of news that his BBC contract was to be renewed. Tom Edwards celebrated on March 20th, Twiggy Day on the 29th and Johnnie Walker on the 30th.

Many happy returns to everyone.

That's a Lovely One There, Squire!
The stix man who appeared on the German pop show 'Beat Beat Beat' with the band that 'got through more drummers than Spinal Tap' – the Untamed – was Brian Frederick. These days Brian is Northgate Hospital Radio Yare's Press Officer and in the Great Yarmouth Mercury, he fondly remembers the Untamed's popularity on the Dave Dennis Show.

On the YouTube clip, the band perform Marvin Gaye's 'One More Heartache' and James Brown's 'I'll Go Crazy'. 'I'll Go Crazy' was played on Radio London, especially by the Double D, who became the band's Fan Club President. Unfortunately, it was released in June 1965, a period where a great deal of climber information is still missing. This means there is currently no evidence to support the track having featured on the official Big L Climber List.

More 'Untamed' info here. Band website here.

Mike in the MIddle
Our friend and Down Under Correspondent John Preston writes: "I took these photos in the foyer of 4BH/4BC here in Brisbane.
As you can see from the long picture, they have put together a photo montage of station personnel for their 80thAnniversary. Who should I spot right in the middle of the '80' but Mike Ahern!"

Mike's many friends and fans will be delighted to see him remembered in such a fitting way.

Click on the montage above and the '80' photo, to see enlargements

No custard, but plenty of collectables
Record collectors will be interested in visiting the Custard Box, run by the author of 'The London Sound', Brian Long. Brian says:
"I have had the website for a couple of years and have been doing record fairs for longer than I care to remember. It is mainly new items that I put on the website, but I have more second hand stock than I can store.

I'm always glad for people to look at the record fairs page and come along to meet me personally."

How Radio Changed my World
In 'The Natter', James Stannage, the late night DJ on ManchesterRadioOnline, tells of his love of Radio 270 and 'How Radio Changed my World'.


Martin van der Ven has just added a great collection of communications between the Radlon offices at 17 Curzon Street and the staff on the Galaxy to The Offshore Radio Guide. Kenny Everett's name comes up regularly. It seems he was always in trouble!

There is also paperwork concerning the intended use of the Galaxy for Radio Nordsee, a project that never came to fruition.

Midnight-to-Six Man
"Break a leg" to our friend Kenny Tosh, who is presenting the new All-Nighter show on U105.8 FM, Sunday – Friday, midnight to 0600.

Winched aboard the Mi Amigo
In a fascinating interview with Tom Theofanous of the Spectrum Radio Network, Errol Bruce tells of the dramatic start to his Caroline career – being lowered onto the Mi Amigo from a helicopter! He landed the job of technical operator in the station's early days, when most of the DJs did not self-op (play the records!) in the studio and there was a separate control room, occupied by a technical operator. Bryan Vaughan, apparently the only person on the ship who know how to operate the sound desk at the time, was taken off the ship by lifeboat suffering from an emergency case of appendicitis. No wonder Caroline management went to the expense of sending Errol out on a helicopter as Bryan's replacement - there was nobody else to keep Caroline on the air!

Errol stayed on Caroline South for two years before moving to the North ship and Radio England, home of the Boss Jocks, where he became Errol 'Bosscat' Bruce.

The interview is posted in four parts on YouTube.

Plaid Cymru Pirates?
This week, we discovered in a blog, a photo with the following caption. "Plaid Cymru London Branch's pirate radio in October 1962 broadcasting from Earls Court as part of the fight over Tryweryn."

Does anyone know more about the photo and the story? You can email us here:

Sealand features amongst a fascinating collection of micro-nations, including the Grand Duchy of Westartica (national anthem, 'God save Westartica' - what else?) and The Kingdom of Vikesland, which has its own space programme.

Radio Art
We think this design depicts the theme of pirate radio perfectly!

Programmes on Oldies Project...

Kees Brinkerink has produced '45s from 45 Years Ago' a show to follow the Fab Forties, containing a selection of the new UK single releases from exactly the same week 45 years ago, plus some chart entries and risers. Kees says:
"Like '40 Years Ago', this will be a musical journey through time with many (half) forgotten songs and you’ll possibly even hear some for the first time!
Besides songs from the national charts and the Radio London Fab Forty, you’ll also hear some that didn’t make it to the Fabs, but entered the Radio Caroline, Radio City or other charts, and even a few that didn’t make any chart at all!"

So from January 23rd, your Sunday Oldies Project listening consists of the Fab Forty at 1100 UK time, (a complete rerun from their beginning in 1965), Kees's new show, '45s from 45 Years Ago' following at 1300 and 'A Month in the Life' at 1500. The whole sequence repeats from 1800 on Wednesdays.

Radio London Brides 1
Many congratulations to Dave Cash and Emily Knee-mail, who got engaged on Christmas Day. Dave had managed to hide the ruby-and-diamond engagement ring till he presented it to Mrs Knee-mail as a very big surprise Christmas present when he proposed over the airwaves during his December 25th programme on BBC Kent. "It took me long enough," he admitted. "I've only known her twenty years."

At first many of their regular listeners thought the whole thing was a wind-up, but once they had been convinced otherwise, messages of congratulations came pouring in, plus a few tearful phonecalls from the couple's relatives.Mrs Knee-mail was almost rendered speechless by Dave's romantic proposal, but recovered sufficiently to play with her other prezzie – a remote-controlled tarantula!With April 29th and Westminster Abbey already taken, the happy couple have yet to set a date, but they are considering getting wed in Mexico.Dave played a recording of his romantic proposal later in the show for those who missed it. You can hear it here.
(Many thanks to John Sales for his assistance.)
(Right) the happy couple in Harwich in 2009. Photo: Jacqui Lazellé.Radio London Brides 2
Just after Christmas, Chris received a knee-mail from a lady in Australia called Jan who wanted to get in touch with Mark Roman, so he dutifully passed it on.

On 29 December Mark Roman wrote from his Empire:

Thank you so much for your help in this one. You will be as surprised as I was that I was actually married to this lady, albeit briefly. I had sort of recognised the name, but I considered it most unlikely it could be her – but it was! I have responded and she to me and she sends her many thanks for your assistance.
All this goes to demonstrate just what a tremendous value your dedication to BIG LIL is! Through your site I have previously discovered a long-lost daughter, with whom I now have a rewarding relationship and now an ex-wife! If you wish you may mention this on the site maybe it would create a sort of Lil Friends Reunited. Thanks to both you and Mary.
Have a successful 2011, Mark

Jen wrote:

Happy New Year to you Chris.
Just a note to really thank you for passing my emails on to Mark. He has replied, and I'm happy to say that we are now conversing via emails. No words can express how happy I am at the outcome.
Hope that you have a great 2011.
Regards, Jen

"Those crazy young jocks who brought American-style radio to Europe in the 1960s"
Dan O'Day, has repeated his Brief, Incomplete History of Radio
."...Kenny Everett (ask someone from the UK about Kenny) and those crazy young jocks who brought American-style radio to Europe in the 1960s by taking to the seas in honest-to-God pirate radio ships (imagine broadcasting under the worst possible conditions; now imagine doing it while seasick)."

Originally written in 1998, Dan kindly allowed us to reproduce the item some time ago. This time it is reprinted in Dan's blog, complete with its original illustrations by Bobby Ocean. He says, "This is the most popular thing I’ve ever written. Reprinting it is this blog's New Year tradition."

Should Tennant play Everett?
An Australian blog written under the name of GuanoLad suggests that a Kenny Everett biopic should be made, with David Tennant in the lead.
"It seems to me that he is a perfect choice for a bio pic to be made of his life," says GuanoLad. "He was part of so many important pop cultural touchstones, from Pirate Radio, to Beatles, to TV technology, to coming out as gay and contracting AIDS. There's a hell of a story in there. And who should play him? There is only one possible choice. David Tennant.

When you see a photo of Everett and Tennant together, it's difficult not to agree.

Listed Crossing
The zebra crossing
in St John's Wood made internationally famous by the Beatles, who are seen strolling its stripes on the sleeve of the Abbey Road album, has become a Grade II listed feature. The crossing, which has been adopted as a logo by the Abbey Road Studios, is the only one in the UK to have been awarded listed status.Unfortunately, like Liverpool's Cavern Club, the Abbey Road zebra is not the original as trodden by the Fab Four and is not in an identical location. The crossing that features on Ian Macmillan's album shot was moved several metres over thirty years ago for 'traffic management reasons', and no 'original features' (presumably that's black paint, white paint, cat's eyes and belisha beacons – Ed) remain. That's not to say that the current version hasn't had Fab Feet on it, though, as it must have been utilised by innumerable artists on their way to a recording session.

The renowned studios – also Grade II listed – are under threat of closure and it has been proposed that the National Trust, which owns and maintains the Lennon and McCartney childhood homes in Liverpool, will take over the premises.

Save the 100 Club
So many of the famous musical landmarks of the Sixties have already gone for good and more are under threat. The Abbey Road studios have already been mentioned below and now Oxford Street's 100 Club is in danger of closure.

The Who, the Stones... the list of acts who played there in Radio London's heyday is massive. Now a campaign has been launched to save the 100 Club, backed by the likes of Mick Jagger and London film maker George McCallum who has created an 11-minute mini-documentary to highlight the club's importance as a live music venue.

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