September 2003
(August 2003 is here...)

"RemembAAAARRR, RemembAAAARRR the 19th of SeptembAAAARRR!"

PARROT – Pirate Anoraks Revere Real Offshore Terminology is pleased to report that a number of ex-offshore radio pirates have contributed to our special five-page Radio London ILAPD Supplement. We 'as tips on talkin' like a pirate from the experts, including real buccaneers from Radios Caroline, London and City. Pirates 'as got to 'ave their own Fab Forty, so we've given 'em one, and seein' as 'ow ye'll be wantin' to look yer best on the big day, we 'as hot tips on what to wear when talkin' like a pirate.

Honorary Anaaaarrraks, Mark 'Cap'n Slappy' Summers and John 'Ol' Chumbucket' Baur (right) the instigators of International Talk Like A Pirate Day still have some interaaaarrrview slots available for the Big Day, September 19th.

RadioU, Columbus, OH, WISH-FM, McLeansboro, IL, KLSY/Mix 92.5 FM, Seattle, WA, KROQ-FM, Los Angeles, KCCL/"KOOL109", Sacramento, CA and KBCO-FM, Boulder, CO, already have the buccaneers lined-up for live interviews, but (as of 9th Sept), no takers from UK stations. A press pack is now available from the ITLAPD website.

"WHY? Talking like a pirate is just fun. It's really that simple. It adds a zest, a swagger, to your conversation not possible any other way."

How it all started, me 'earties!
"Every now and then, some visionary individuals come along with a concept that is so original and so revolutionary that your immediate reaction is: 'Those individuals should be on medication.' " – Dave Barry

Ahoy, there! Start rollin' yer 'AAAARRRs'! Way back in June, we reported how Radio London is shivering its timbers over a forthcoming seavent which is guaranteed to appeal to all lubbers (land or otherwise) of watery wireless. We hope you did as requested and marked a giant 'AAAAARRR!' on your calendar for Septembaaaarrr 19th in red felt-tip quill, because that be International Talk Like A Pirate Day.

This magnificent maritime celebration is the (n)ocean of Oregon hot shots John 'Ol' Chumbucket' Baur and Mark 'Cap'n Slappy' Summers, who claim to be 'reasonably well-adjusted middle-aged guys with productive jobs', in the same manner that Chris and Mary claim to be reasonably well-adjusted Anoraks.

The bold buccaneers' philosophy behind International Talk Like A Pirate Day is:

In plain English: "Talking like a pirate is fun. It's really that simple."
In Piratese: "AAAAARRR!"

Right: You don't have to dress up for the occasion, but it helps set the mood (especially if you have a shark that squirts water...)

With a website devoted to radio stations run by seaweed-encrusted scallywags, the Radio London Webmasters felt we should offer our strongest support for this amazing venture. We launched our own branch of the piratical vernacular movement especially for Watery Wireless enthusiasts. Pirate Anoraks Revere Real Offshore Terminology (PARROT). This will assist participants in adding to their basic pirate vocabulary such well-loved phrases as, 'The station with the very loose anchor', 'Oops, sorry, the tender's just banged into the side', 'AAAAAGH! (As opposed to "AAAARRR!") I've just spilt a cup of Camp Coffee in my lap' and 'Excuse me, I have to throw up.' September 19th will not only be ITLAPD but PARROT day, (a deceased Norwegian Blue, naturally). We strongly encourage every offshore lubber to participate and welcome suggestions for additions to the PARROT dictionary.

Listeners to Pete 'Dum Dum' Drummond's 'The Radio Revolutionaries' documentary on the subject of pirate radio, (Part One was broadcast August 26th), will have noted that Dum Dum is already practising for Septembaaaarrr 19th, using phrases like, "a bunch of swashbuckling young blades, yo ho ho"!

For initiating the brilliant idea of ITLAPD the Radio London Webmasters have bestowed the award of Honorary Anorak upon Ol' Chumbucket and Cap'n Slappy, for their services to piracy. Our carrier-pigeon, Fang, has lately delivered the Anorak certificates to the ITLAPD HQ across the briny. (We think we have successfully conveyed to them the meaning of 'Anorak'.) We now await Fang's return bearing the engravings depicting the recipients with their certificates.

"Don't forget...our ears are analogue!"
In Issue #20 of The Radio Wave, editor Ian MacRae (a contributor to our P.A.R.R.O.T. Supplement) includes a collection of recent radio pranks. One of the publicity stunts reported to have happened in Oz, is so gross that it prompts the question, 'Why is this station so desperate to get listeners and what sort of weirdoes are they aiming to attract?'

Of his feature on digital radio, Ian says, "I saw an interesting comment by a radio engineer this week. Being a little cynical about digital radio he said: 'Don't forget...our ears are analogue!'"

To enjoy these stories in full (you can always skip the gross one) subscribe to the newsletter by sending a blank email to:
Pirates set sail again
Mike Terry has alerted us to a feature about pirate radio from The Independent, by Ian Burrell. It's mostly about present-day pirates, but it does acknowledge Caroline and London and it very nearly gets all its facts right about Radio London – except that the writer seems to think that Radio London became Big L, rather than became known as Big L.

Voice of Peace Video Footage and Memorabilia Required
Mike Brand writes:

An Israeli filmmaker, Eytan Harris is preparing a documentary on Abie Nathan and the Voice of Peace. He is looking for any video footage that was filmed on the Peace ship, or any kind of material pertaining to the station, such as 8mm and Super 8 film, photographs, memorabilia and sound recordings. He is willing to pay all costs (postage + packing, copying of cassettes, etc.) ahead of time, plus full credit to whoever sends him footage.

Mike Brand, Israeli Media Specialist. e-mail:

Cardboard Shoes is Not The Weakest Link
Keith Skues showed the opposition a thing or two when he represented BBC Eastern Counties in the charity Local Radio edition of TV quiz The Weakest Link, on September 5th. The opposition was Tommo from Radio Ceredigion and Radio Pembrokeshire, Frances Finn from BBC Derby, Bill Buckley from BBC Southern Counties, Vic from Galaxy 102, Manchester, Erica Hughes from Saga 106FM, East Midlands, Toby Foster from BBC Sheffield, Marie-Claire, from Real Radio Scotland and Geoff Schuman from Choice FM.

Skuesy (19 years senior to the next-oldest competitor) survived ageist snipes to complete six out of nine rounds of the game where both quizmistress and contestants have to pretend to hate everyone. He succeeded in plugging both watery wireless and Radio Caroline, and denied any connection to Alan Partridge. Keith also responded with panache to salvos from Sultana of Sneer, Anne Robinson.

The winner was Toby, who raised 2,520 for Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice. His obligatory parting shot was, "I'm much brighter than everybody else. They were all thick."

We're sure everyone was really nice and friendly to each other off camera.

Kent Walton 1917 – 2003

Kent Walton, who presented 'Honey Hit Parade' and 'Cool For Cats' on Radio Luxembourg has died, aged 86.

Kent Walton Beckett was born in Cairo and grew up in Surrey. His 'mid-Atlantic' accent was acquired from the Canadians he mixed with during his service with the RAF.

The 'Cool For Cats' title was transferred to TV when Kent, who was already working for ITV as a wrestling commentator, was given one of the first TV pop programmes. The 15-minute early-evening show was made by Associated Rediffusion and transmitted on ITV between late-1956 and 1961. (Accounts of the transmission dates vary). The show was really 'radio on TV', consisting of the host playing and reviewing records. This being long before video promos, or even Pan's People, the music required visual enhancement in the form of The Dougie Squires Dancers. Kent also became one of the presenters of 'Thank your Lucky Stars', but he will be best remembered as the Saturday afternoon wrestling commentator for ITV's World of Sport, a job he held for 33 years.

Trevor Bailey writes:

Thanks for the obituary on Kent Walton. I wasn't aware of his passing until I read your piece. You may be interested to know that as well as the Luxembourg Shows and the Wrestling, for those of us who lived in the West country, Kent will also be remembered as the host of the Bristol-based television show "Discs-a-Go-Go. As far as I am aware, the show, produced by TWW (Television Wales and the West, the then ITV franchise-holder for that part of the country) only went out in that region. (I would be interested to know if it was transmitted in any other regions.) It certainly wasn't networked

For those who didn't see it, it was similar to other shows at the time (early-to-mid sixties). It was a thirty-minute show and I can't remember which night it went out (I was very young at the time!!)with artists lip-synching to their latest "hit parade" songs. There were some "firsts" on the show. It was the place where the "Royal Ruler" Tony Prince got his break, a co-host before joining Caroline, and also the first show to have a black co-presenter, a young lady from Bristol named Cynthia (I can't remember her surname).

It also had an innovative way of presenting records by artists who were not available in those far-off pre-satellite-link/video days. They used a cartoon strip of a Fox to illustrate the song. Not an animated cartoon, that would have been impossible in those pre-computer graphics days, but a series of still drawings to illustrate the theme of the song . ("When I was your age, son we had to make our own fun!"). Naturally this worked better with songs that told stories and I remember Claude King's "Wolverton Mountain", Jo-Ann Campbell's "answer disc"(I'm the girl on)Wolverton Mountain, and Tommy Roe's "The Folk Singer" all getting illustrated by the fox cartoon. If I remember correctly(and I wouldn't bank on it)the fox was called Foxy, but if anybody knows differently then let me know. By writing off to the TV station you could receive free "Discs-a-Go-Go" badges with a picture of "Foxy" on them.

Thank for allowing me this nostalgic wallow, Trevor

A photo from "Discs-a-Go-Go" is here.

A New Box of Offshore Recordings
In Jonathan's September update of The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame David Sinclair, who worked on Radio Essex, Radio 270 and Radio 390 has sent the HoF a box of tapes which he had kept from his days at sea. There were no Radio 270 tapes in this batch (although he has promised some in the future) but there were recordings from both of the other stations, clips of which now feature on the site.

There are also some great colour photos of a Dutch group called Q65 (said to be musically similar to the Pretty Things) visiting Radio City in a small dinghy.

(Visiting an offshore radio station in a small dinghy? I got a flash of déjà vu then! – Mary.)

Songwriting Success for Meltbak
Steve Hill of Platform Soul has sent an early announcement about a band gig at Aylesbury Civic Centre on Sat 29th November.

Steve has also enjoyed success with another musical venture, Meltbak, a duo he formed with Helena Jones in January 2001 to develop their songwriting skills after a few years of playing together in various bands. The resulting album of soulful, urban, funky, jazz- and gospel-tinged songs, debut album 'A Matter Of Time', was released in April this year.

Meltbak achieved success in the prestigious 2003 UK Songwriting Contest, sponsored by the Brit Trust. Their song 'Without The Man You Love', taken from 'A Matter Of Time', gained runners-up position in the Jazz/Blues category, when results were announced on 7 August.

A second Meltbak album is due out in 2004.

We saw Platform Soul at a sellout gig in Aylesbury back in November 2001.

Webcasters file antitrust suit against the Recording Industry Association of America

John Schneider reports interesting developments in the battle for independent on-line music stations.

"A group of small Webcasters has filed an antitrust suit against the Recording Industry Association of America, alleging that the trade association tried to push independent music stations offline.

The Webcaster Alliance has been threatening to sue the RIAA for months, after Congress ratified royalty rates for Internet radio stations that many small operators said will drive them out of business. The existing rates were negotiated between a small, unrepresentative group of Webcasters and the RIAA and are aimed at eliminating competition, the alliance members said." (Full story)

Then the Radio And Internet Newsletter reported:

"Yesterday's news of an industry group representing small webcasters filing suit against the record industry may further compound the RIAA's image problem in the eyes of consumers and lawmakers, affecting record sales and the RIAA's legal alliances." (Full story)

Says John:

I've already exchanged emails with the president of the Webcaster Alliance, Ann Gabriel, and pledged to help the group in whatever way I can. She was excited to hear from me and "would absolutely love", as she put it, to count me among their supporters.

Meanwhile John has posted on his site his latest bout of heated correspondence with Washington, of which he says:

You need to know what kind of bull they continue to spew forth, even in the face of undeniable truth.

The End of Europe Europe has announced that it will no longer continue to offer localised sites in UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Netherlands. Artists can still access their Artist administration login via the US site and their content will continue to be available on that site.

Mike's Next on Citybeat Special

Kenny Tosh's next Citybeat offshore special will be Sunday 28th September, when Caroline's Mike Ahern will be his guest on The Revival Show between 9am to 1pm.

It must be love – Mike discards his 'I love Tony Blackburn' T-shirts for 'charidee'!
Mike Read, the DJ who fulfilled a life-long ambition to broadcast from offshore when he made his watery wireless debut on RNI 1999, has allowed the Life Laundry team to persuade him to part with some of his mass of radio and music memorabilia. Mike's fiancée Eileen didn't share his enthusiasm for collecting Radio One roadshow T-shirts, so he decided to make a public attempt to clear some of the clutter and invited the TV cameras to his home. Although 35 bags of hoarded treasure were donated to charity, Mike admitted to the Radio Times that this was 'only scratching the surface'!

The big clearout was broadcast on BBC2 on Wednesday, September 3rd.

(Webmasters' note: we wouldn't let the Life Laundry team within a mile of our memorabilia!)

News from Offshore Echoes
The Offshore Echoes website now contains the story of Laser Hot Hits, with the news features from Offshore Echoes magazine, photos of the ship and deejays, plus loads of audio clips.

Euroradio 2003 commemorates twenty years of Radio Caroline's famous ship the Ross Revenge. Euroradio 2003 takes place in Calais, France on Saturday 13 September 2003. Guests will include Peter Chicago and Big L 2001's Dennis Jason.

Booking details via the website.

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