April/May/June 2009

Jan/Feb/March is here
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Rick's still swingin' in Florida

I thought I'd mention – if you or anyone on your side of the Atlantic would be interested in knowing what I'm up to these days –  my on-line radio project is beginning to take shape (streaming for 4 years now), and sounding better every day. To listen, click on one of the links on the homepage at my website www.MusicTampaBay.com.  Music is by local Tampa Bay, Florida area artists exclusively. Jingles are by Steve England, S2Blue Studios. Voices, other than yours truly, include short image liners by my son, Robert, his first audio work of any kind.  

I retired last year from the ION Television Network after 16 years. It was my privilege to help build this national broadcast, cable and satellite platform from the ground up. My wife Joy and I spent a couple of months in France and Italy immediately after my last day at work. This year we are planning a cruise to Alaska, and who knows where else. Life couldn't be better. 

Give my regards to Chris and anyone who remembers one of those American blokes on Swingin' Radio England.

Rick Randall

Major Career Moves in 1966!

Forty-three years ago on May 3rd 1966, major career moves happened for Roger Day and Keith Skues.

Roger presented his first-ever radio programme, aboard Radio England. He and Johnnie Walker were nervous raw recruits to the swinging new station and wondering what they'd let themselves in for!

Meanwhile, Cardboard Skues had jumped ship from Caroline to Radio London.

It was the same week that a quite well-known band of the time, the Beatles, played their last live gig in the UK at the NME Pollwinners' Concert.

Pirate BBC Essex, Harwich, Easter 2009 – the ship is coming in

2007 wasn't 'the last time' after all, and Pirate BBC Essex broadcast from the LV18 on the internet and on all the usual BBC Essex AM frequencies from Good Friday (April 10th) to Easter Monday (13th)!
The year 2009, of course, marks the 45th anniversary of the launch of Radios Atlanta, Caroline, City and London, alongside the much-anticipated release of 'The Boat That Rocked', which has generated tremendous interest in the subject of Watery Wireless.

This time, instead of being anchored in the harbour, the ship was tied up alongside the Ha'penny Pier. This meant everyone on the pier could see what was happening aboard the ship and many of the DJs took the opportunity to come down the gangplank and chat to the audience.

(Left) LV18 ready for action, on Wednesday, April 8th. Many thanks to Tony O'Neil of the Pharos Trust for the exclusive photo.

Participants from the real world of Watery Wireless were LV18 old hands Mike Ahern, Paul Burnett, Dave Cash, Ray Clark, Roger Day, Tom Edwards, Steve England, Dave Owen, Keith Skues, Rosko, Norm St John, Alan Turner and Johnnie Walker, but there was a new 'cabin boy' – Tony Blackburn, who brought a special friend to Harwich. Many years ago, Tony had parted company with his famous dog Arnold, but Tim Gillett managed to track him down and issued a special press release about their emotional reunion. With the aid of a calculation table that assists in the conversion of human years into canine years, we have calculated that Arnold is an amazing 248 years old. This has to be one for the record books – and the hound looked remarkably good for his age!

Also one for the record books was the nationwide broadcast of 'Pirate Johnnie Walker' from the LV18 on BBC Radio 2, Saturday April 11th. (See story lower down this page.) Although previous broadcasts from the ship have been networked with BBC local stations, this marks the first time the pirate version of BBC Essex has 'gone national'. Johnnie and his production team had been searching for a copy of his original 'Pop the Question' quiz book, as the quiz has been revived for his Sunday afternoon 'Sound of the Seventies' programme. Fortunately, Eddie O'Konnor, who was involved in the book's publication was in Harwich and had a spare copy available. Eddie also admitted responsibility for the Tony Blackburn Joke Book and brought some copies with him for Bessie to autograph for charity. Hear Eddie talking to Tim Gillett about the books, his amazing meeting with Wolfman Jack (see photo here) and even some of those 'hilarious' Blackburn jokes!

Right: Bessie and Eddie, publicising the book. We're guessing it wasn't the 'blockbusting thriller' being promoted on the poster behind them. (Photo by kind permission of Eddie)

Another welcome addition to the schedules was Caroline South's pop-singer DJ, Steve Merike, and on Easter Sunday, Gary Walker of the wonderful Walker Brothers was honoured with his own one-hour show. Also making his broadcasting debut from the LV18 this Easter was Paul Freeman from Radio Essex – the original fort-based station, that is. "I just could not believe it when I got an email, right out of the blue, from Tim Gillett, asking me if I would like to do a show. I said YES PLEASE!" says Paul, who loved every minute of the weekend and was christened 'The YTS Pirate' by Dave Cash. Paul also revealed that 'Mature Times' magazine offers, "a piece about the station, the film, and me".

Norm St John enjoyed himself so much during the 2007 broadcast that he travelled all the way from Brisbane to present two shows on Pirate BBC Essex 09, before rushing off to Italy immediately after his second show! He told us about participating in a 60-minute documentary that has been made for Australian TV to coincide with the release there of 'The Boat That Rocked'. Norm also got to attend the film premiere with other Australian former pirates. (See story below)

In the run-up to the Harwich broadcast, Tim Gillett launched his weekly 'Pirate BBC Essex' programme, which continues on Sundays, 1500 to 1600. Our own Mary Payne was Tim's guest on March 22nd and made the suggestion that in tribute to Kenny Everett, who gave all the Big L jocks and engineers girls' names, the Essex pirates should do likewise. They already had Bessie Blackburn and Samantha Skues, so Gilly Gillett, Clarice Clark, Sue Scruton and Wendy Wyatt would have made nice additions, as would Jenny Walker. Listen to the interview here. (Thanks to Jon Myer).

Big L's Mark Roman says the interview with Mary, "Sounded good, girl! You are the longest serving member of Radio London, and I congratulate and thank you for keeping her alive." Caroline's Steve Young sent a recording for the programme, which turned into a bit of a Knees Klub Konvention, with club Founder, Mary Payne, the voice of its former President TW and new 2004 recruit number 387, Steve Young! Our current Vice-President, Bud Ballou and member #386, 'Fab' Alan Field also got namechecks, as did members Dave Cash, Samantha Skues and Bessie Blackburn.

Tim Gillett wrote, "Thank you so much for your kind mention in your article in Saga magazine. That'll reach a huge audience of listeners. Also thanks for your time last week, Mary for the interview."

Relive the weekend with the aid of our photo gallery.

Pirate JW 'arrested' at end of series

During his recent Radio 2 series 'Pirate Johnnie Walker' JW was having a ball revisiting his watery roots via the ship Rock and Roll, a 'fantasy pirate radio station'. The final programme in the series (which had an all-female production team) was broadcast live from the LV18 on Easter Saturday. Stuart Maconie in Radio Times picked Pirate Johnnie Walker live from Harwich, as the week's Music Highlight. (Stuart, however, thinks the Sixties offshore broadcasts were 'illegal'.)

On the Ha'penny Pier, our hero greeted the crowds wearing a replica of the outfit he wore in the Sixties in his Sir Johnnie Walker persona (right) while his wife Tiggy looked stunning in a groovy minidress and white boots.
Johnnie came ashore several times to talk to the crowd gathered around the gangplank and prove to his Radio 2 audience that he really was doing a live outside broadcast from a ship. The sad news is that at the end of the programme, the good ship Rock and Roll was boarded by the navy and JW was marched away to be keelhauled.

Visit Youtube to see the s2blue
vocalists rerecording the old PAMS jingles (including the famous 'la station numero uno' Spanish jingle) especially for Pirate Johnnie Walker. (Thanks to Fab Alan Field.) You can hear the new ones, commissioned by Wise Buddah, here. Naturally, we prefer vintage PAMS, but as certified Anoraks, we would!

Despite the navy's best efforts, JW survived and is still on Radio 2's weekend airwaves, with 'Johnnie Walker's Sounds Of The 70s' on Sunday afternoons, 1500 to 1700, complete with the original 'Pop the Question' Quiz, which was part of his Radio One programme in the early Seventies.

'The Boat That Rocked' Sydney premiere

Graham Webb has very kindly shared his photos of the film's Australian premiere, where he, Bryan Vaughan, John Kerr and Norm St John were red carpet guests.

(left) Nick Frost and Bill Nighy, © Graham Webb

Graham's photo-gallery is here.

Documentary on the 'Aussie Invasion' boys
An offshore radio documentary starring the 'Aussie Invasion' boys who came to the UK to be pirates was filmed in Sydney by the Ovation Channel on Tuesday 17th March. Norm St. John, John Kerr, Ian MacRae, Bryan Vaughan and Graham Webb represented Radios Atlanta, Caroline North and South, City, London and Scotland and appeared both individually and as a group. Some of them flew in from other parts of Australia to participate. Craig Peihopa was there to photograph the event.

Bryan Vaughan reports:

The filming seemed to go quite well. All the guys were interviewed separately (we still don't know what each of us said) and then collectively. Hopefully they got enough material to make an interesting hour of television on the Ovation channel. I am not sure when the programme will be shown but I emailed the producer and am waiting to hear back. I am also doing an hour interview on radio next week, so it's just like being back on Radio Caroline all those years ago!

‘The Boat That Rocked’ has its Australian premiere on Tuesday March 31, attended by Bill Nighy and Nick Frost. Jean and I have been invited as red carpet guests and John and Rhonda Kerr plus Norman St. John are also going to be there. We are all going out for supper after the movie - should be fun! I’m not sure how the film will go in Australia but it should be really big in the UK.

Cheers, Dermot (I seem to have reverted to being Bryan Vaughan lately!)

The special was hosted by the country's top rock historian, Glenn A. Baker, known as ‘the rock brain of the universe'.

"Glenn is a friend," says John Kerr, adding that another contributor to the programme is Harry Vanda. "In the Sixties Harry was a member of the huge Australian group The Easybeats. They broke some songs in the UK via the pirates. Harry is a record producer nowadays."

Many thanks to Norm St. John, John Kerr, Bryan Vaughan and Graham Webb for giving us the lowdown. The programme aired on the Ovation channel, which is available on the Foxtel, Optus and Austar cable television networks on Monday May 11th, with two repeats on Tuesday May 12th.

'The Boat That Rocked' was released Down Under on April 9th. See Graham Webb's premiere photos here.

'My real name is John Ravenscroft'
Jemima Kiss wrote in the Guardian about some of the amazing documents which have fortunately been stashed away by the BBC and the major new project to make them available on line. One of them is John Peel's application letter to the Beeb dated July 1967, when he was still working aboard the Galaxy, while other gems from the archive, which dates back to 1922, include a handwritten letter from Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones from 1963.

No recession for Record Collectors
Alan Hardy reports:

One of the only two original promo copies left of Frank Wilson’s ‘Do I Love You’ was put on auction and was sold yesterday for……..£25,742!

That’s a lot of money for a single!  The previous owner, a northern soul DJ called Kenny Burrell, had paid £15,000 in 1997. A good investment!

I recognise the fanaticism that this record has caused, but £25,000 plus?! ……especially when the song itself is easily available on CD. The auction took place on website raresoulman.com. There’s the interesting full story about the record in the current issue of Record Collector.

Phew - and they say there’s a recession.

More about the 'Single Sale of the Century' by former owner Kev Roberts here and Popjunkietv here.

Caroline's 45th Birthday
Roger 'Twiggy' Day (celebrating his own birthday on March 29th) organised a 45th birthday party in London for Caroline staff past and present.

A full photo-gallery is now on the site.

"Hey! Is that ME on your teeshirt?"

Jack Speaks for Radio England
Swinging Radio England's Jack Curtiss has kindly sent a clip from Down Under of his interview on The Carole Whitelock Show (mp3), ABC Adelaide, April 1,  2009, where he talks about his role in bringing Don Pierson's new station to both air- and sea-waves in 1966.

'The Boat That Rocked'
The RNLI was donated tickets for the Leicester Square film premiere on March 23rd, which were auctioned on eBay. The winning bid for two tickets was £180. No doubt the winner was pretty miffed to discover that one of London's freebie tabloids was offering tickets to its readers for doing nothing more than turning up with a copy of the paper wearing Sixties gear. We're told that nobody checked for authentic dress and that several seats in the cinema that remained empty. We also hear there were two red carpets – one reserved for star guests and a sort of 'tradesman's entrance shagpile' for everyone else.

Meanwhile, Peter Young has some tongue-in-cheek suggestions for follow-up movies: 'Carry On Boat That Rocked' – starring Charles Hawtrey as Earl Richmond! Not to mention 'Boat That Rocked Meets Emanuelle' and 'Boat That Rocked vs Rocky 1V'.

Watch out for the 'nude shower scene' with Nick Frost, which was filmed aboard the LV18. What we want to know is, where was Daphne? It's most unlike her to miss out on an encouter with a naked man! Read Mary's review here. And here's a link to a very enthusiastic review.

The official film website is fully active, and worth visiting regularly to check for updates. A list of release dates is on the International Movie Database which also reveals the different titles under which the film will be shown outside the UK. It appears we have successfully got the erroneous "A comedy about an illegal radio station in the North Sea in the 1960s", description removed. None of the offshore stations were illegal, because they were situated in International waters and the whole point of them being sited there was to keep them outside of the law. The USA release date is now given as August 28th.Tickets for the Weymouth premiere on March 27th, which Johnnie Walker is attending, sold out within four hours, leaving the town mayor without one! (Thanks to Mike Terry ) Much of the film was shot on location in Weymouth and Portland.

A second international trailer has been released, with different footage from the second UK one. It includes more footage of the Philip Seymour Hoffman character, The Count – which some claim to be based on Caroline's Emperor Rosko. (Thanks to Mike Barraclough) A trailer showing the making of the film is a world exclusive to LoveFilm.com. It reveals the 'ship' built in the studio to replicate Radio Rock. It's mounted on gimbals to recreate wave movements from choppy to storm force and sounds as if it could also quite effectively recreate sea-sickness!

In 2007, having already completed the script for the film, Richard Curtis attended the Radio Academy Celebration of Offshore Radio, accompanied by the associate producer, his partner Emma Freud and its producer, Hilary Bevan Jones, to get a feel for what life was really like aboard the radio ships.
However, the producers stress that the film is fiction and the story is not based on any specific Sixties station or vessel.

The ship Sealink Challenger is starring as floating radio station Radio Rock – although she is a little young for the job, having been built in 1964. She co-stars with the likes of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Rhys Ifans, Nick Frost and Kenneth Branagh. Not content to playing home to various RSLs and twice being the home of Pirate BBC Essex, Light Vessel LV18 was the other ship involved in the filming of 'The Boat That Rocked' and spent five weeks in Portland, Dorset in 2008. The historic lightship had already taken a role in Grey Pierson's TV documentary, 'Swinging Radio England – A Tale of Pirates, Texans and Teenagers'. Photo: Tony O'Neil. Tony, Project Manager and Trustee of the Pharos Trust, the charity that owns and operates the LV18, is delighted with the publicity that the film is attracting for raising funds to restore the historic ship.

Links: LV18 site; Working Title Films site www.workingtitlefilms.com; Swinging Radio England – A Tale of Pirates, Texans and Teenagers; Pirate BBC Essex

Tom's 'Stormy Life' heralds the start of pirate mania in the media (updated 08/04 ). If only they could get their facts (and pictures) right!
Tom Edwards wrote a feature for the Daily Mail which turned out to be the first of many offshore-related stories in the media. In 'My stormy life aboard the boat that rocked Britain', Tom tells of his life as Programme Controller on Radio City, the shock of the death of Reg Calvert and Tom's subsequent transfer to Caroline South.

(08/04) A major Watery Wireless article appears in the April edition of Saga magazine. Penned by our own Mary Payne, the printed article includes interviews with many of the DJs appearing this Easter on the LV18, including Tony Blackburn, Johnnie Walker... and Tom!

On his birthday, Tom wrote, "I have just received Saga magazine for April; I know David the editor and he has raced me a copy. Well done my darling! It is THE best feature written and illustrated to date, I lie not. So congratulations! Arriving on my birthday made it a fabulous pressie!"

Thank you very much, Tom, for your kind comments! Although a few errors have crept in during the editing process (Atlanta wasn't on the air before Caroline, the Fredericia wasn't anchored off Suffolk and the Galaxy didn't have a switchboard) the feature is very pleasing. It is just a pity that all mention of Radio Scotland, Essex and 270 were removed! They certainly were not forgotten, but there was only space in the magazine for 2500 words.

Can't ANYBODY get a story right? (updated 08/04)
Since Tom's article appeared, a rash of offshore radio-related features has proliferated in magazines and newspapers national and local starting over the weekend of March 7th and 8th and countless TV and radio interviews have been aired. Sadly, we have yet to see one that is 100% correct. Tom says: "I think we have to accept that the papers do it their way and we have no control over that."

(updated 08/04) Media Coverage – a round-up of current film and offshore radio-related storie and film reviews

(08/04) Beanos of Croydon
The famous secondhand record store is closing its doors after thirty years, but owner David Lashmar told the Croydon Guardian how his vinyl emporium played its part in 'The Boat That Rocked'.

"Last year I got a call from Shepperton Film Studios. They didn't want a record, they wanted eight thousand. They wanted to simulate a studio and record library on the Radio Rock Pirate radio ship.
Since they are a film company and, in common with most of the media, they wanted the records yesterday or, actually, the next day."

(08/04) Alan Hardy writes: "You might have seen this article about last weekend’s box office takings for The Boat That Rocked and an analysis of the poor response. Also, the ‘soundtrack’ CD entered the industry/Music Week compilation chart at number 6 (as a compilation, it’s not eligible for the main ‘artist’ Top 50 albums).

(08/04) Mike Terry writes of Mark Kermode's review: "Kermode said, 'I laughed solidly and consistently enough... and you know what I liked the film.' However, he also made some stupid comments e.g. 'The thing that really knocked the pirates off was the existence of Radio 1' and 'One of the DJs is based on "Whispering Bob" Harris!' "

(08/04) Love Film: Groovy Baby! Our Favourite Swingers Love Film interviews Bill Nighy

(08/04) Amsterdam Premiere photos

(08/04) Australasian Round-up

Recalling pirates of the radio waves – great interview with Norm St John

Three others: Courier Mail; Perth Now; Courier Mail

(08/04) Clip of Rick Wakeman soaking up the atmosphere aboard the Ross Revenge

(08/04) Another Review

(04/04) John Sales and numerous others have nominated this feature in the Nottingham Post to receive an award for the most badly-researched article ever. Judging by the comments posted, it could be the outright winner! It's somewhat disconcerting to realise that English students in Slovakia (see earlier story) have far better knowledge of offshore radio in the UK than journalists living here!

(04/04) Simon Dee and Paul Burnett are both considerably miffed by the movie:

Dee-constructing The Boat That Rocked



(04/04) Meanwhile, Tony Blackburn posted a personal clip on YouTube to make it clear that he and his fellow Sixties 'Wets' were neither junkies nor sex maniacs and nobody ever swore on the air.

(04/04) In Australia, Graham Webb enjoyed the film, It’s been a rockin’ ride for this DJ but admitted 'poetic licence'' had been used when it came to the gaggles of girls aboard Radio Rock.

(04/04) Commenting on the activities depicted in the film, Cardboard Shoes tells Emma Lee of the Eastern Daily Press, "There was definitely rock and roll. But I can't say that I saw either of the other two."

"Listening to Keith – an hour and a half in his company just zips by – you wonder why Richard Curtis didn't just make 'Skues: the Movie'." she says.

Pirate radio's Keith Skues on life afloat

(04/04) Radio 270 is remembered in the Yorkshire Post

The boat that really rocked... Yorkshire pirate Radio 270 recalled

(04/04) BBC 1, 2305 - 2335, Tuesday March 31: Film 2009 Jonathan Ross reviewed 'The Boat That Rocked' and was considerably less scathing about the movie than many critics e.g:

Rock 'n' roll movie "Boat" just barely stays afloat

"Frequently, the film becomes simply a music video involving the whole cast."

(04/04) The Sun critic: Davy Jones's Rocker, was more appreciative and under no illusions about authenticity. "If you are hoping for an accurate account of how the likes of John Peel and Tony Blackburn took on the law and lost, put those expectations aside now.

(04/04) Interesting comments in the Independent (commences second paragraph of feature) by Kenny Everett's biographer David Lister, on how Radio London was far more influential on Sixties radio than Caroline. However, his statement, "Brian Epstein took a boat out to the Radio London ship to hand Everett the record, and ensure that it had its first play on Radio London" is somewhat wide of the mark. Kenny had already left the Galaxy by the time of the album's release and got to play it on the Beeb several weeks after Radio London. The real story is here.

Earlier stories have been moved to last month's Happenings.

(Thanks to Mike Barraclough, Alan Hardy, Jon Myer, Mike Terry, Graham Webb and others)

Cashman celebrates the Pirates
Saturday 28 March 2009, 1800 to 2100, Dave Cash presented his Pirate Radio Special. He interviewed Richard Curtis about 'The Boat That Rocked' and also two of the film's stars, Nick Frost and Bill Nighy. Marianne Faithful. Dave also interviewed Tony Benn and buried the hatchet after 40-odd years of blaming Tony for the demise of the pirates! Dave's website is here. Hear the programme and full-length interviews on BBC Radio Kent

Tony's show comes highly recommended
Mike Terry writes:

"I heard a wonderful one-hour northern offshore radio special on April 3rd from Tony James on BBC Cumbria. Not just the usual jingles and sound checks but good interviews about 270 and Radio Scotland.
One studio guest was an avid listener of Caroline North, he told a great story of when as a teenager he was cycling to school with his tranny and some music came on the radio that he had never heard before - River Deep Mountain High by Ike and Tina Turner and he was so amazed at it he had to stop his bike and listen. It's memories like that of offshore radio that many of us remember to these days. I certainly do.

The guest also spoke fondly about the Isle of Man and how whenever he goes back to the island, he stands at Ramsey Bay (pictured) and looks out to sea where Caroline North used to be anchored."

Tony's interviewees reveal that the outlawed [Radio Scotland] 242 was considering anchoring the Comet off the Isle of Man! The crew and DJs endured one particularly treacherous journey when the lightvessel (they have no engines, remember) was towed right around the coast of Scotland.

Pirates teach English in Slovakia
David Robinson writes:

Bratislava calling! I love the site and listen to the Sunday Fab Forty shows when I can. Oldies Project is great, as it introduced me to music even I don’t even remember. I really enjoy the Fab 40 songs. I am a middle-aged anorak – if you get me – now teaching English in Bratislava. I have fond memories of 70’s and 80’s Radio Caroline and Laser 558! Let’s just say I have a vivid ‘imagination’ of it all! I understand the Laser ship did bob around, unlike the Caroline ship and tenders in force 6 were not fun...

Attached is a pdf of my latest lesson: Easter, pirates & the boats that rocked. (NB: David says, “Please feel free to download and use this lesson. It teaches the subject to a whole new generation of students worldwide." However, David's English lessons are copyrighted, so he must be credited as their author.) I have only just started teaching this lesson I've created - yet for all my students so far, it is really fun and enjoyable. It is all NEW to foreign students and opens a door to them. Many of my adult pupils - early 20s - have never heard of a 45! Most have heard of a transistor radio, which originally I wrote as a ‘tranny’ – but when I double-checked the dictionary, discovered that in today’s world it is also listed as a transvestite!

The lesson goes down really well – especially when I round it off with the international movie trailer on YouTube for The Boat That Rocked. Then it all makes sense to them. It is interesting just how people here view music – today and in the past – so different to in the UK. I like the Slovak versions of English songs and also songs in Slovak. Yet the principle is exactly the same. Young people today want alternative music that mainstream stations here don’t play. They are fed up with the mainstream radio here; it is so boring. Two of my adult students prefer folk and Viking ‘metal music’ – also underground music. So history repeats itself. Before, there was Communism. Now there is capitalism and recently the EU!

People here under communism used to listen to Radio Free Europe, Voice of America and the BBC World Service. This was free radio for them. Musically, many used to listen to Radio Luxembourg. My old landlord used to be a DJ during communism. They used to smuggle the singles over the border from Vienna. The communists turned a blind eye – even providing an outlet for university students with purpose-built discos in mainly communist-built university buildings.

Keep up the web page – it is FAB! Will be in the UK over Easter. I might even go to Harwich!

We think many English teachers would do well to take a leaf out of David's book. Visit his News Flash English website.

(Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia and spans both banks of the Danube River. The city borders both Austria and Hungary.)

Sensational Sonovox
Admirers of Radio London's signature tune 'Big Lil', aka the PAMS Sonovox Waltz, will enjoy this clip on YouTube – Incredible Sonovox - Kay Kyser - 1940 film "You'll Find Out"(Thanks to Stuart Aiken)

Satisfied Customer
Astrid in Hamburg writes:

Dear Mary, thank you for the wonderful Radio London sweat shirt! It was a birthday gift for my husband. He was listening to Radio London for several years when he was about 17. Now he is 62 and he is still listening enthusiastically to your music. He was very surprised to get the sweat shirt and I have difficulties to wash it because he doesnt want to take it off!"

Thanks a lot, Astrid

Breakfast Afloat
From Monday March 30th, Absolute Radio's Christian O'Connell Breakfast Show was broadcast from an ex-Royal Naval ship as she sailed from Newcastle down the east coast to London. Monday 30th, was Newcastle. Tuesday 31st, Whitby, Wednesday 1st Grimsby; Thursday 2nd, Lowestoft. On Friday 3rd, the ship arrived in the Thames and in the evening, 'Boat That Rocked' stars Nick Frost and Chris O'Dowd hosted a Sixties music show between 1900 and 2000. The Dobson Agency photographs are here.
Plagued with Pirates? – try one of these!

Want a new Toy? – how about a radio-controlled pirate ship!

Now everyone can join the Beatles
An electronic game called 'The Beatles: Rock Band' is set for worldwide release on September 9th (090909). It takes players through an "unprecedented experiential progression" of the musical career of the band. Giles Martin, co-producer of The Beatles innovative LOVE album project, is providing his expertise and serving as Music Producer.

To register for updates about the game, visit thebeatlesrockband.com where you'll see an empty Abbey Road studio. If you turn your volume up full, you can hear a bit of tuning up and chatting going on in the background.

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