Two pages for
Oct/Nov/Dec are here
The archived Happenings index is here...
Grammy Win for 'All Together Now'
'All Together Now', the documentary about the making of The Beatles and Cirque du Soleil's show, 'The Beatles: LOVE,' won Best Long Form Music Video at the 52nd Grammy Awards in Los Angeles.
The documentary details the story behind the unique partnership between The Beatles and Cirque du Soleil that resulted in the creation and 2006 launch of 'LOVE,' the stage production still playing to packed houses at The Mirage in Las Vegas.
Fluff Freeman tribute site's all right!
The executors of the late Alan Freeman's estate, have launched a website dedicated to his memory. There is a marvellous archive of photos - including Alan's bus pass – and audio extracts from conversations between Alan’s last manager, Tim Blackmore and some of the key people with whom Alan worked, including Derek Chinnery and David Rider. (Thanks to Peter Young)
Birthday greetings for Jan 29th to ex- Caroline and Big L DJ, Tony 'Bessie' Blackburn and also to a man who was responsible for managing the bands and producing the singles of many a Fab Forty artist, Andrew Loog Oldham.
Normality never applies to pirates
Since 1987, KFJC 89.7 FM in the San Francisco Bay Area has hosted a weekly show called 'Skulltime for Kids' – "A club where parents aren't invited and kids rule the wasteland. Stories, games, insight, tributes and knowledge; a treasure trove of fun. Listen as partner in high seas crime, Captain Jack, takes you on an hour-long adventure and returns you safe and sound. Normality need not apply."Apparently, adults enjoy the show too.
Best Movies for Grown-ups
Many will be surprised to hear that 'Pirate Radio' – better known as 'The Boat That Rocked', was voted a runner-up in AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) magazine Best Movies for Grown-ups Awards. We can name many grown-ups who would disagree with the choice - especially those who were genuine participants in watery wireless.
Improved Server Capacity and Playlist Publication Problems resolved (updated 23/01)
Kees Brinkerink, producer of 'Forty Years Ago', wishes a very happy, healthy and musical 2010 to all and would like to thank everyone who helped him to collect the songs for the programme over the past years. The show on Sunday December 27th was the final 'Forty Years Ago', as Kees has decided to take a one-year sabbatical. Listeners would like to thank Kees for his hard work in producing this popular series. If all goes well, he will return to Oldies Project with a new show in January 2011.
A new 2-hour programme 'A Month in the Life' follows the Fab Forty. Ron says: "It features some of the songs (hits and new releases) which you would have heard on the radio in a specific month in the past. The first show dealt with January 1964, the second one with February 1964 and so on, until December 1969."
Good news for Fab Forty fans, is that the server capacity has been increased, so it will be easier to listen to your favourite programme and playlists are available once more via the Oldies Project website.
Trevor loves the Oldies Project
Dear Mary et al,
A short email to say thank-you, thank-you, thank-you... I could go on! I cannot fail to listen to the sounds of my youth sensationally broadcast via The Oldies Project - WONDERFUL! I have written to say thanks once before but my smile never diminishes. My pc is hooked into the AV system and the music is blasting out in pseudo 5.1 Surround Sound as I write – failing to dance is not an option!!
Please pass on my best wishes to all involved, it's just the best station anywhere. May you ever continue to brighten my and many thousands (millions a bit much?) of others' lives!
Best regards and a happy 2010. (is it really 50 years ago since the start of that wonderful decade?)
Trevor Denman (14 in '66 - the best music year in my humble opinion). Ahh... such memories!
Peel Centres Proliferate Nationwide!
A month ago, Merseyside's Wirral Council announced that it proposes to use the space in the former Birkenhead Town Hall - previously used as a museum - to create The John Peel Centre for Community, Innovation and the Creative Arts.
Now Mid Suffolk District Council has unveiled its own plans to renovate the derelict Corn Exchange building in Stowmarket to become an arts centre. The plan is to name the new centre after the ex-Radio London DJ, who lived nearby for many years. The idea meets with the approval of John's widow Sheila, who feels that leaving the building empty and unused is "a crime".
Colin revives Radio Sutch
Colin Dale, whose wonderfully colourful account of the birth of Radio Sutch and his time there as a DJ appears on the Pirate Radio Hall of Fame, illustrated by great photos and clippings, has been very busy. Not only has he launched his own website, but his own internet version of Radio Sutch. Colin says:
I have posted an interview on Youtube and I also have good news – Radio Sutch is back after 45 years!
Reprieve for Pub Rock?
'The Publican' magazine, which launched the 'Listen Up' campaign petitioning the government to allow small venues to host live music, reports that it has achieved some success. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has launched a consultation on plans to alter the Licensing Act. Full story here.
The Half Moon in Putney had been under threat as a music venue, but 'The Publican' relates that a deal has been struck with the owners, Young's
Aylesbury legend John Otway points out that the Half Moon has been going even longer than he has!
"Check out www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxIAfYTDYk8 - for a glimpse of my last gig there (it looks great if you can watch it in HD). If you can make this month's gig at the Half Moon, that would be great."
Full gig list on John's website.
Happy Knee Year (updated 09/01)
Dave Cash guested on December 27th's special edition of 'Pirate Johnnie Walker' on Radio 2.
Johnnie played both the old Kenny and Cash theme 'Nut Rocker' and 'Knees', the magnificent single that he and Kenny recorded in 1965. It escaped (rather than being released) from Decca shortly afterwards and was adopted as our official song for the Knees Club. As a result, 'Knees' achieved magnificent sales of around 12 copies. (Read the full story of the Kenny and Cash 'Knees' single here.)
(Right) During Pirate BBC Essex, two superstars discuss what they most miss about Canada. (More Cousin Moosie further down the page.)
Later in the show, Johnnie and Dave paid tribute to their much-missed friend, Mike Ahern.
Meanwhile, Club Member 235, Cardboard Shoes, has admitted on air that he is not in possession of a copy of the Club Song, a matter that Radio London has been only too happy to rectify.
Lil's a Revived 45 – time for a 'Knee Trembler' knees-up! (updated 24/12)
Keith Milborrow has found the perfect drink for toasting Radio London's revived-45 birthday on Wednesday, December 23rd.
"I recently consumed a pint of “Knee Trembler” (4.5 ABV)" says Keith, "And wondered whether it was an appropriate drink for a certain exclusive society, but I can’t think which one..."
Francis Pullen in Cambridge writes:
"A brief 'Revived 45' Happy Birthday to Big L and the MV Galaxy – still strong in our hearts and minds – and all thanks to both you and Chris for your dedication and hard work in keeping the Radio London website on the internet. Full of so much accurate history – it's a remarkable achievement. A Big L Thank You for that.
Also, belated, but just as heartfelt, 'Bus Pass Birthday' wishes to you Mary. I know you had an amazing celebration party organised by Chris – no less than you deserve!"
Ben Endorses Radio London edit
At Mary's recent birthday party, Radio London's Original Programme Director, Ben Toney, told her how pleased he was with how she had edited the extracts from his book for the Radio London site. What's more, Ben has been kind enough to say so in writing.
(Right: Ben takes the mic at Mary's party to say "Radio London News - tells you more, says it better!". In the background is Ben's daughter Raquel. Photo: Martin Van der Ven)
"About as close as you'll get to actually listening to one of his shows"
'Kats Karavan – The History of John Peel on the Radio' is a new 4-CD boxed set (click link for track listing) dedicated to the legendary ex-Radio London DJ. We cannot do better than to quote from a 5-star Amazon review by Shug McCretin:
There are many compilations available which bear the legendary DJ's name but none that comes anywhere close to matching this fabulous four-disc box set. Around half of the tracks are taken from Peel sessions (many of which have never been previously released) and with the great man's voice popping up from time-to-time, it's about as close as you'll get to actually listening to one of his shows. With only 74 tracks covering almost 4 decades, you get an indication of the scale of the problems faced when trying to select which material to include (and, indeed, omit!).
Disc 1 concentrates on the years 1966-1979, disc 2 1980-1989, disc 3 1990-1998 and disc 4 2000-2005.
The excellent booklet contains, amongst other things, several recollections from artists who appeared on his programme over the years and it's obvious that a lot of care and attention to detail has gone into the making of this collection.
I can honestly say that I listened to the entire box set in one sitting and never felt compelled to hit the 'skip' button.
Another successful Radio Day
On Saturday 14th November 2009, approximately 350 people from the United States, England, Scotland, Ireland, Belgium, Curaçao, Germany and the Netherlands visited this year's Radio Day in Amsterdam, which celebrated the 25th anniversary of Laser 558. The event is organised by Hans Knot, Martin van der Ven and Rob Olthof, with a little help from Martin's wife Ulrike, Hans's wife Jana and a number of good friends. The winners of the bi-annual Radio Day Awards (Radies) were announced with Big L's Keith Skues receiving one for 'An Outstanding Contribution to Offshore Radio'.
(05/12) Johnny Lewis spoke to his local paper about his delight at receiving his Radie.
Offshore Echoes Caroline Eighties update
We're pleased to announce the next chapter of the continuing Offshore Echoes Caroline story that brings us into the third era of the offshore radio station. The Ross Revenge travels from a Scottish scrapyard to Santander in Spain for fitting out as a radio ship. The story includes legendary US DJ Wolfman Jack, Caroline 60's deejay Johnnie Walker, financier (or fraudster?) James Ryan and more. There are pictures of the Ross Revenge being fitted out in Spain, press cuttings, court documents, and audio.