October 2003
(September 2003 is here...)

The End of Offshore Radio after 45 years?
Mike Brand reports from Israel that on Monday, 20th October, a 'Pirate Radio Law', similar to the UK's 1967 'Marine etc. Offences Bill' was passed by the Israeli Cabinet by eleven votes to five. The law, which made it illegal to advertise on a pirate station, has forced Arutz Seven, which has broadcast since 1988 from the ship Eretz Hatzvi, off the air. An appeal has been made for public protest, and an on-line petition has been launched for supporters of the station described as 'the voice of sanity'.

As far as Mike is aware, the Eretz Hatzvi is still at sea. Arutz Seven's broadcasts continue via the Internet.

Mike's personal view is that, as is usual in the world of offshore radio, rumours, false statements and smokescreens surround the Arutz Seven case. He believes that any future prospects for the station cannot be seriously considered until sentences have been awarded to the station staff and the consequences can be taken into consideration. The accused could receive a maximum sentence of three years in jail and a three million shekel fine.

The story has prompted Mike to speculate as to whether this spells the end for offshore radio and points out that the demise of Arutz Seven marks the first time since 1958 that there have been no broadcasts from an offshore station. He lists:

1958 - 1962 The Scandinavian stations
1960 - 1974 Veronica ( CNBC + Uilenspiegel too )
1964 - 1968 The British stations
1968 - Veronica continues to broadcast
1970 - Hauraki
1970 - 1974 The Dutch stations
1973 - 1993 Voice of Peace
1988 - 2003 Arutz 7 (Arutz 7 closed down by a court today)
1994 - 1995 The Israeli stations

Mike asks:
So this is it? The end of offshore radio?

Talking of the Fight for Free Radio...
Hans Knot has been working hard for six months to produce his new Soundscapes feature, 'The fight for free radio – the political activation of offshore radio's fanbase, 1964-1989'.

This is a long and fascinating work, which, to be fully appreciated, really needs to be printed out rather than perused on screen. The feature catalogues the many European public protests (like the Trafalgar Square rally, right) which demonstrated the public determination to keep the free radio stations it had grown to love, and the story naturally encompasses the rise and fall of the idealistic Free Radio Association (FRA).

Hans explains how the organisation was originally named the Free Radio Supporters' Association, why that title was changed and how, later, the FRA merged with the Broadside Free Radio Movement, run by Peter Phillipson. Hans realises, as we all do with the benefit of himdsight:

Thirty-five years now have gone by and, looking back at the FRA and its leaflets at that safe distance in time, we can only smile at its ambitions and expectations. Remember, though, that we were young in those years and that every active member was really proud to be part of the FRA.

Boss Radio Boss Reporting!
Our What's Happening for June 2002 contained an item entitled 'Piracy in the Potteries' in which Pete Hobson recalled local pirate station Boss Radio and asked for information about it. Radio London has now heard from the station's boss, the mysterious 'DS - the Man from Thrush'! Read the complete story here.

Steve and Otway duet on 'Come Up and See Me'

Good News – Johnnie's Improving!
On September 25th, Johnnie's friend, the travel reporter Sally Boazman, announced that although Johnnie's cancer treatment is progressing well, it may be some time before the much-missed ex-Caroline jock is ready to return to BBC Radio 2. It has been speculated that Johnnie could be back in the New Year, but of course it is impossible to predict a date when he will feel sufficiently recovered and ready to do so. Naturally, Johnnie's friends and fans are hoping he'll be back on the airwaves sooner than that.


On October 11th, John Otway made an appearance in his home town of Aylesbury to mark the anniversary of his Top of the Pops appearance with his second hit, 'Bunsen Burner' in 2002. A mysterious 'very special guest' was also on the bill. This turned out to be none other than Steve Harley, whose performances with and without Otway made the show extremely memorable. The audience loved Steve's version of 'Josephine' – he made the song his own. It was surprising to learn that Steve had never met Otway before this occasion, as they seemed like old friends.

Steve keeps a diary, which is posted regularly on his website and the entry for October 6th contained news of Johnnie Walker, which is reproduced here by kind permission.

Had good news from my friend Johnnie Walker this week: confirmation comes that his tumour has dissipated somewhat – shrunk, got smaller, going away with any sort of luck. Johnnie helped my career in its early stages to a great degree. He picked one of my singles as his Radio One record of the week and has always supported me, as a fan. We became friends. And I desperately want him to recover, and I'm pretty damn certain he will.

Encouraging news indeed, which we are very grateful to Steve for allowing us to share with Johnnie's radio fans, many of whom have been listening to his broadcasts since he was on Caroline. We have asked Steve to pass on our best wishes and those of his friends Rosko and Howie Castle (see story below).

Noel Edmunds ended his sitting-in session on Johnnie's show on Friday 3rd October, and the Drivetime slot is currently being filled by Stuart Maconie.

Congratulations to Howie from Radio London

Bud's the Best Newsperson!
It will probably cheer Johnnie to hear that on October 9th, his friend from aboard the Mi Amigo in 1967/68, Bud Ballou, (currently morning news anchor, Howard Castle, on KOGO, San Diego) received a pleasant surprise. He writes:

"Can you believe it? Today at the fifth annual San Diego Achievement in Radio ("AIR") awards, I won "Best Newsperson". And I didn't even enter anything!! The station pulled an air-check and entered for me without my knowledge. Anyway, I have a handsome plaque waiting for me at my workstation in the KOGO newsroom."

Awards Info
The San Diego Radio Broadcasters' Association presented the fifth annual Achievement in Radio Awards and March of Dimes charity event at the A.I.R. Awards Luncheon on Thursday October 9th, 2003. Founded in 1987 in Washington DC, the A.I.R. Awards were established by radio station personnel in conjunction with the March of Dimes Birth Defects. In 1995, the A.I.R. Awards became a national event to recognise excellence in radio while raising funds for the charity, thanks to a generous sponsorship by the Ford Motor Company. The event is now held in over fifteen cities around the country.

The A.I.R. Awards Luncheon brings together the entire radio community and bestows the 'Lifetime Achievement Award' to an individual for his/her contribution to radio, and the community at large, in addition to the 'Board of Governors' Award for Public Service.' Also recognized are accomplishments in categories ranging from on-air talent, station events and promotions to news, public affairs and advertising.

Bad Luck, Mike
Paul Rusling shared some news of an unfortunate accident. He received a call from Madeline Bell this week. Madeline, who lives in Spain, has several well-known neighbours, including Tommy Vance. She told Paul that another neighbour, Mike Smith, (the Dave Clark Five's vocalist) who was always a great Radio London supporter has just had a nasty accident. Mike locked himself out of the house and was using a ladder to climb in when he fell off. He has damaged three vertebrae and is going to be in traction for a long time.

Very bad luck, Mike. And all good wishes from the Radio London website.
Roundup – things that happened while the Webmasters were away
Evangelist broadcaster Garner Ted Armstrong, the voice of 'The World Tomorrow', which aired on so many of the offshore stations, died on September 15th, 2003, aged 73. The recorded programmes were made by the Worldwide Church of God which was headed by Garner Ted and his father, Herbert W. Armstrong. Many stations relied upon revenue from the transmission of 'The World Tomorrow' to keep them afloat.

The BBC's failure to broadcast an obituary for the controversial evangelist led to newspaper accusations of media bias. Bizarrely, there is scant reference to Mr Armstrong's death on his own website. (Thanks to Mike Terry for links)

Look Boden has updated his Radio 227 site (contents entirely in Dutch).
Bob Le-Roi's site has part two of a feature on his visit to Sealand.
Starting October 4th Radio Seagull will be using the 9290 kHz Short wave every Saturday from 12.00 till 17.00 CET. Every Saturday from 12.00 till 16.00 a different presenter will give you a look inside the Radio Seagull music library.

To advertise or sponsor the transmissions, please contact the station.
A great deal of activity has taken place on John Schneider's Radiopoly site, as the battle for Internet radio rages on. And there are comments on the recording industry's attitude by musicians from Santana and the Grateful Dead.
Mike Terry reports that there is an eight-page special on offshore radio in the October edition of Short Wave Magazine.
In Volume 21 of The Radio Wave, Ian MacRae has unsurprisingly received feedback on his comments as to why there should still be a need for Radio Caroline in 2003.
On October 1st, the Radio London site visitor counter, which is set to record every 'hit' to the site Home Page, reached 100,000! Our 'Down Under Correspondent' John Preston was visitor 999,999 and 100,001, but we have never heard from our one-hundred-thousandth visitor.

Big L 1965 – on and offshore
In Jonathan's October update of The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame, there is an interesting article from 'The South Westerner', a 1965 student magazine, concerning a visit to Curzon Street and a trip out to the ship. The author, Malcolm Newson (any relation to Caroline Newson, who was involved in the Big L RSLs?) seems to have received totally different accounts of life aboard the Galaxy, depending on whether he was interviewing the guys on the ship or the Radlon staff! Malcolm writes of travelling on the tender with Adam, Mike and Tim who only recently featured in the Fab Forty and were on a visit to the Mi Amigo. But things get a little inaccurate when the writer claims that the Radio London format involved cramming the entire Fab Forty into every hour!

Honorary Anaaaarrraks, Mark 'Cap'n Slappy' Summers and John 'Ol' Chumbucket' Baur, the instigators of International Talk Like A Pirate Day

ITLAPD Report: "On SeptembAAAARRR 19th we rocked the world!"
PARROT – Pirate Anoraks Revere Real Offshore Terminology is pleased to report that its UK representatives (right) had many people in Branson, Missouri talking like pirates on Sept 19th. Mark 'Cap'n Slappy' Summers and John 'Ol' Chumbucket' Baur have posted the following report on a staggeringly successful day:

"From Australia to Iraq, from Los Angeles to Leeds, from San Antonio to South Africa - and every imaginable place in between, not to mention dozens of radio and TV stations, newspapers and every nook and cranny of the Internet - you were talking like pirates.

We're humbled. And a little boggled. And exhausted. And exceedingly grateful to the PEAK Pirates, who kept this boat afloat in the face of a mind-blowing 11 million hits since the first of the month.

We're taking a few days to regroup. Once we've had some rest, we'll finish getting the Web site updated ... and start making plans for Talk Like A Pirate Day 2004.

Our thanks to every one of you who chimed in with "Arrrrs" and "Ahoys" and "Avasts." We came up with the silly idea, but you're the ones who made it International Talk Like A Pirate Day.


The Radio London webmasters: "Open wide and say....."

Twiggy on Caroline
Roger 'Twiggy' Day's involvement in a new project means that his Caroline broadcasts will now be restricted to weekends. He says:

I have been lucky enough to get a job setting up and managing an Internet radio station in Medway for young people. It is basically a training ground for new radio talent, and isn't there a desperate need for that? As it is a youff station I won't be doing any broadcasting just passing on tips on how not to do it.

The strangest part of my new day job is that I walk past the Ross at least twice a day. Very tempted to jump on board and turn the 50KW on and let it rip.

I am very pleased to tell you I shall be growing old disgracefully this Saturday 11th 15.00-18.00 and Sunday 12th 10.00-13.00 on the Sound Of The Nation. Do hope you can spend some time with me. Got quite a few tasty tracks for you, including Uriah Heep, Joe Satriani, David Gilmour, Tom Waits, Tim Buckley and probably some Beach Chaps. Plus that music from 'Butch Cassidy' that Mark Wesley turned into an RNI jingle. ('South American Getaway' - Mary)

As usual any tracks you might like to suggest I will try and find.

Love & Peace, Roger

For current schedules, Net feed and info on listening via satellite, visit: www.radiocaroline.de

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