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"You Dog! You Son of a *****! You Speckled-Shirt Dog!" – Pirate Curse, 1722
Yes, Septembaaaar 19th and International Talk Like a Pirate Day (ITLAPD) is that time of year when nobody in the world needs an excuse to don their favourite Captain Jack Sparrow wig and take a cutlass into work to aid with negotiating that long-awaited pay-rise with the boss. Should you decide to amuse the aforementioned boss with a selection of gangplank gags prior to running him through, you can visit piratejokes.net. "Prepare to be gutted with laughs, quartered by puns, and walk the plank of ARRRRRS!" Unfortunately, they don't get much better than, Q: 'How do pirates like their ham?' A: 'Carrrrrrved!'

ITLAPD started in 2002 and gets bigger every year. Our old sea dog friends (and Honoraaaary Anaaaarrraks) The Pirate Guys, Mark 'Cap'n Slappy' Summers and John 'Ol' Chumbucket' Baur, want to know how you intend to celebrate, so they can post the details on their site. (If you are in need of inspaaaarration, visit the previous years' arrrrchives and see what has gone afore.)

No doubt there will be plenty of attempts to top the world record of the most number of pirates gathered together in one place, but they'll all have their work cutlassed out to do it. On 26th June 2011, over 8,734 buccaneers assembled on Penance promenade (AVAST number) to smash the previous world record set by 6,166 renegades in Hastings in 2010.

The Pirate Guys have numerous fun downloads on their site plus individual sections for each participating country. They are particularly interested in hearing about ITLAPD events arrrrganised in aid of good causes. They'd also quite like you to buy copies of their book, 'The Pirate Life – unleashing your inner Buccaneer'. Their own Mad Sally designed this year's ITLAPD teeshirt.

'Bootylicious – What do the pirates of yore tell us about their modern counterparts?' is a 4-page New Yorker review by Caleb Crain of 'The Invisible Hook: The Hidden Economics of Pirates' by Peter T Leeson. The piece and Crain's subsequent blog are a mine of information on the subject of high seas buccaneering. As there were only four known female pirates, the on-board ambience of a pirate ship was, according to Leeson, "energetic and testosterone filled, probably similar to a college fraternity only with peglegs, fewer teeth, and pistol duelling". Sounds a bit like the Sixties offshore stations!

A large number pirates of the offshore radio kind, all experts on Marine Offences, be appearin' in our special Radio London ILAPD Supplement, presented by PARROT – Pirate Anoraks Revere Real Offshore Terminology. They represent Radio Caroline North and South, City, Essex, London, 270, Scotland and RNI. We even have renegades from the land-bound Radio Luxembourg!

You can even do your Googles searches in the language of the buccaneers.

'The Enemy Below'
Andy Porter from Norfolk writes:
After reading about Radio London and the Galaxy on your website, and being a regular visitor, as well as a daily listener of BIG L from beginning to end, I thought you might be interested in a movie trailer for the film 'The Enemy Below', which I believe shows a 'sister' ship to the Galaxy in action – what do you think?"

I agree that the ship looks similar. Apparently, it's a Buckley-class destroyer escort, and the ship they used for filming was USS Whitehurst (DE-634)

The USS Density was a minesweeper and her number was AM218, so she wasn't the same class of vessel, however, many of the WWII ships did look similar.

On Page 2, we have a link to a website with a fascinating feature published by the US Coastguard Service about the MV Courier, the ship that housed Voice of America. On the same site, there's a feature about the USCG Tanager AM/MSF-385; WTR-885Tanager is a sister to the USS Density.

Trailer for 'The Enemy Below' here.

First English feature on REM Island
Hans Knot has penned a fascinating feature on REM island, which can be downloaded as a .pdf file from his website. This is the first time the REM story has been written in English and is a timely feature, considering that René van den Abeelen has recently put on sale a model of the island (see story on page 2). For a few short months, the marine platform housed the first Radio Northsea and also TV Northsea.

(Right) Plans for the artifical platform. A larger version can be viewed in Han's feature.

"Of course the owners of the REM project could have used a ship for television transmissions," Hans writes, "But knowing the immerse technical difficulties in transmitting TV from a ship; they decided that a sea-bed-based island in international waters would be the simple and perfect answer."

The government closed down the popular stations in mid-December 1964.

32 Years? How did he do it?
Peter Young says:
"On Saturday August 27th, between 3 and 4pm, I paid tribute to the two great songwriters Jerry Leiber and Nick Ashford, who sadly left us on August 22nd.

It was a double-bubble ‘Soul Cellar’ this Bank Holiday weekend, as we celebrated the show’s 32nd anniversary. Every record from 4-6pm included the word ‘soul’ in the title. Curtis Mayfield, Fontella Bass, Bobby Byrd, Edwin Starr, Ben E. King, Ike and Tina Turner and Sam and Dave were all doing their thing.

32 years! How has he done it, why has he done it, and how much longer will he continue to do it? None of these questions were answered.
And don’t forget the great Emperor Rosko was on Jazz FM, Bank Holiday Monday. If you like me, you’ll like him – Have Mercy!

PY every Saturday, 1500 - 1800 BST.

Jazz FM programme schedule. Shows should be available on-line for one week from transmission date.

Beware of the Borg!
Radio Today reports that KROV in San Antonio, Texas, is using a virtual DJ nicknamed 'Denise' to host one of its radio shows.
Their Final Hour

Dear Mary and Chris,

For 44 years, 3pm August 14th has always had a special place in my radio heart - I shall as always be recalling those most memorable days and what joy Big L bought us. Your dedication to the Radio London website has been incredible and who would have thought so much information is still coming in – a very big thank you!

Best regards, Francis Pullen, Cambridge

The story of the single on the right is in the updated Mini-memories, Page 11, with additions 26/08/11, by Chris Edwards.

The greatest hit of Tony and Arnold!
Perhaps not Tony Blackburn's greatest solo hit – and certainly not a Fab Forty entry – here's a record featuring both Tony and his superstar pooch, Arnold!

Arnold seems to have changed considerably from the portrait on the sleeve to the time we met him during the 2009 Pirate BBC Essex broadcast! (Far right)

New York outlaws Pirate Radio
As New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation making the operation of an AM or FM radio station without a license illegal in the state of New York, an appropriate song (and also for August 14th) is 'Pirate Radio' by John Hyatt –"So how far do we have to go to hear that Pirate Radio?". (Shame about the spelling, though.)

Over in the Netherlands, a similar outlawing of pirate radio is taking place.

August Birthdays
Two August birthday boys appear in the same photo here: Peter Young, right, (60 on August 12th) and Duncan Johnson (17th). (Photo courtesy Peter Young)

Bill Hearne, the Caroline and London DJ who's still on our 'missing offshore' list, is 84 on August 6th. Bill worked aboard both Caroline ships and had a short stint on Big L in 1966 before joining Luxembourg. If anyone knows where he is, we'd love to wish Bill a happy birthday.

Celebrating on August 14th (bad choice of birthday!) is Caroline's George Hare.

Greetings to all of you pop-pickers!

First Otway the Microstar, now Otway the Movie Star
Aylesbury Microstar John Otway gets some unusual birthday presents. He asked his fans (who had previously clubbed together to buy him a Theremin) to give him a second hit record for his 50th birthday and that was exactly what he got. In 2012, John will be hitting 60, so he's hiring a London cinema for the premiere of his yet-to-be-made film, Otway The Blockbuster.

"We've done The London Astoria, The Royal Albert Hall and The London Palladium," he says, "Now we intend to book one of the huge cinemas in Leicester Square for the World Premiere of Otway The Blockbuster."

Filming commenced on July 9th at Friars Square Shopping Centre in John's hometown, where he cut the ribbon to officially launch the merger of Age Concern and Help the Aged under the banner of Age UK, Buckinghamshire.

The crowd fired party poppers as the cameras rolled and the scissors snipped the tape. John participated in a dance display before joining his fans in the bar of The Bell Hotel.

He described the Age UK event as brilliant fun and a wonderful start to the movie project.

See the Radio London Blockbuster Photo Gallery.

Movie clip of the Age UK tape-cutting ceremony

Otway website

Also seen in Friars Square
Fab Forty artist John Dominic, former lead singer with the Bo Street Runners, came with the Otway entourage to witness the Age UK opening.

John says he played at John's 'retirement' gig, fifteen years ago. John Otway retire? Never!

Watery Wickets
An unusual game of cricket between two RNLI crews from Burnham-on-Crouch and West Mersea has been played on Buxey Sands in the North Sea, a few miles off the Essex coastline. The match is a regular fixture, tidal conditions permitting.

Ray Clark has kindly sent some personal photos of the event, which he covered for BBC Essex, apparently with mic in one hand, glass in the other. Not much chance of either batting or catching for Mr Clark, then! (The Knees Club Founder is disappointed to note that the Clark patellae have been kept under wraps.)

BBC News website report.

And talking of Patellae... Show your Kninkles with pride!
'Fab' Alan Field has drawn our attention to a disturbing story in the Daily Mail concerning women being ashamed of their 'kninkles' - or knobbly knees. Knees Club Officials are investkneegating. (The paper spells the word 'ninkles' but we feel it should definitely have a 'k' at the front.)

Jim's Radio 'Stuff'
Jim Salmon writes:

I've just read John's report on the LV18 opening – thanks for putting this up on your website. I'm the chap who spoke to John and said he didn't know me but I'd read his previous report on your site!
I noticed that the replay of the Steve Scruton programme is not available now, but I managed to get a copy and have put this on my mediafire page in case your readers want to listen. This is quite a large file - 166MB. It's a straight copy of the whole programme as I haven't had time to edit it!

Readers may be interested in my website which has radio 'stuff' on it.

BBC Essex at Offical Opening
Historic lightship LV18's official opening to the public at her permanent Harwich mooring took place on Saturday 16th July. Steve Scruton from BBC Essex was broadcasting live from the ship during his Steve's Summer Saturday Show.

Radio London's intrepid kneeporter John Sales braved a day of torrential rain to bring us full coverage of the opening. Read his report here.

Click here for audio courtesy of Steve Scruton and BBC Essex – Steve interviews Tony O'Neil; Colin Crawford, Chairman of the Pharos Trust, introduces Councillor Neil Stock, Leader of Tendring District Council, who performs the ribbon-cutting.

John Sales' photo report of the ship at her new anchorage (taken on a proper summer's day!) is here.

Photo: Tony O'Neil

René's latest offshore radio 'ship' is an island!
René van den Abeelen in the Netherlands has sent links to his two websites:

www.renevandenabeelen.net has a fascinating chapter about Radio Veronica, complete with unique personal photos, newspaper clippings and even Super 8 movies that René shot in the Seventies.

www.radioships.com offers tin miniatures of ships that housed legendary radio stations.

He writes:

I thought you might like to know that (much sooner then I expected) my tin miniature number 4 is available! This time it's no ship but an island: the REM island. (Right) REM island housed not only a radio station (the first Radio Northsea) but also a television station (yes, you guessed it: TV Northsea.) While it was only active for four months before the government closed it down in mid-December 1964, it was hugely popular.

The island nowadays is in use as a restaurant in the harbour of Amsterdam.

All in all, there are now miniatures of Radio Veronica's Norderney, Caroline's Mi Amigo, RNI's Mebo 2 and the REM island available.

The poll on Radioships.com to choose the radioship I will make for the 5th miniature has a clear frontrunner. The Ross Revenge so far has more than half the votes!

René/the Captain

We are sure that Radio London fans would much prefer René's next model to be the Galaxy, so get voting!

Otis was at the Upper Cut. Were You?
Bob Morris is researching an article about ex-boxer Billy Walker's Upper Cut Club in Woodgrange Road, London E7, a site with strong Big L connections and where Roger Day was the resident DJ before joining Caroline. The club opened on Wednesday, December 21st 1966 and ran for a year

Bob Says:

This venue really saw the birth of British rock. Take the example of the Who, who opened it in Dec 1966 and closed it in Dec 1967. The sea change between those twelve months is evident in not just their sound but the general idea that they, as many others, went from being R&B groups to bona fide rock acts.

Anyone with memories of attending, please get in touch with Bob via the Rokpool website. If you were at a Radio London gig, we'd like to know too!

This NME photo shows Otis Redding indicating his performance with the other Stax Tour artists at the Upper Cut Club on Saturday, March 18th 1967. See the Fab Forty for 12/03/67 to see a larger version of the picture and more background info, and the Christmas Scrap Book for the strange story of the Upper Cut Boxing Day Family Afternoon.


Jordan 'Jerry' Ragovoy
4th September, 1930 – 13th July, 2011

The Grammy award-winning songwriter and producer Jerry Ragovoy has died in New York, aged 80.

His most successful song on the Radio London Fab Forty was 'Stay With Me' (co-written with George Weiss) which the Walker Brothers took (as 'Stay With Me Baby') to #4 in February 1967. Sharon Tandy returned with her cover (as 'Stay With Me') in July of the same year.

Jerry Ragovoy was also a producer for Howard Tate and co-wrote his Fab Forty entry 'Look at Granny Run Run', with Mort Shuman.

See Fab Forty 29/01/67; Billboard Tribute by Al Kooper

A Fortune of Fab Four Photos
Previously unseen photographs taken during the Beatles' first US concerts have been auctioned by Christies in New York under the title, The Beatles Illuminated: The Discovered Works of Mike Mitchell. Mike, who was aged only 18 when he shot the pictures said, "That music has stayed with me over the years, almost as if it was emblazoned into the very structure of my DNA."

The collection went for $361,938/£224,034.

Is it art or is it radio?
US-based artist Adam Calkin has constructed a pop-up pirate station in a shipping container for the Mis-Design exhibition at the University of Melbourne’s Victorian College – and it is intended to be a proper, broadcasting station. As it's somewhat difficult to see the radio tower in the night-time photograph on the above site, we have reproduced a lighter version for our viewers.

Jolly good DLT
DLT hit the news at the end of June after Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi revealed in a Radio Times interview with Eddie Mair, that 'The Jolly Good Show', Dave's BBC World Service music request programme, gave her a lifeline while under house arrest.

Dave told Radio Times he was flattered by Aung San Suu Kyi's comments, but not surprised, seeing as the show always had a massive postbag. He recalled receiving one letter addressed to 'Daily Trousers' and said, "Maybe reception wasn't so good then."

Suddenly elevated to 'man of the moment', DLT features in a full-page interview in the Radio Times for July 2nd to 6th, where he reveals that he is still out to seek revenge on Noel Edmunds for the 'Gotcha' prank that Noel played on him many years ago during a quiz on his Saturday morning show.

July Birthday Boys
Dave Cash (right) celebrates with his fiancée Emily Kneemail, on July 18th, Willy Walker will be partying in Florida on the 25th and Pete 'Dum Dum' Drummond has his celebration on the 29th.

Many happy returns to everyone.

We missed Mich's Big Day!
Belated birthday greetings to Michel Philistin – better known to Radio London listeners as Big L's Haitian steward Mich. He was the only original crewman from those who sailed the Atlantic with the Galaxy, who remained on board and worked for Radio London till the enforced closure of the station on August 14th 1967. He was assisted in obtaining his British citizenship by Duncan Johnson and Tommy Vance and has always been extremely proud of his association with Radio London.

Mich's 70th birthday was on June 6th, but unfortunately, we did not hear about the special occasion until a month later.

A lesser-known item of Veronica history
In response to a question in the Guardian Sports section, "Which football teams have been referenced on album covers?" Paul White has discovered a 1973 collaboration between FC Volendam and Radio Veronica.

Lennon Gold Coin fails to sell
A unique, 22-carat gold coin featuring a portrait of John Lennon was auctioned for charity by Bonhams of London on June 29th, but appears to have failed to reach the reserve price. A copy of the 'Please Please Me' album autographed by both Lennon and McCartney, went for £2,880.

The Royal Mint struck a one-off gold version of the Alderney silver coin that had been released on what would have been John's 70th birthday, October 9th, 2010. 30,000 members of the public had voted in an online poll to choose one of six 'Great Britons' from history that they felt was worthy to enhance a coin. The former Beatle received 92% of the votes. Lennon's iconic sixties image was designed by sculptor Danuta Solowiej-Wedderburn.

The proceeds of the sale were intended to benefit the Alder Hey 'Imagine' appeal, of which Yoko Ono is a Patron.

Bonhams website.
Royal Mint website.

Caroline Fair Shot
Mike Terry writes, "This has just been posted on the Caroline website":

Radio Caroline has, after discussions with politicians and media practitioners, decided to change the objective of our Fair's Fair campaign. The station has been calling on Ofcom to treat the station as a special case and be allowed a licence to transmit our programmes on medium wave to the south east of the UK. Now we are calling on Ofcom to find a frequency and advertise its availability, giving us the chance to apply. Please go to the campaign website for full details and how you can help.

The Ultimate Offshore Radio Station (updated 24th June)
A month or two back, Mike Terry kindly pointed us to a fascinating feature published by the US Coastguard Service about the MV Courier, the ship that housed Voice of America.

On the same website, there's a feature about the USCG Tanager AM/MSF-385; WTR-885. Tanager is a sister to the Big L ship USS Density.

Now Mike Harris writes:

Here's a bit of 'radio trivia' that you might enjoy! It's a page from the Web site of the Modesto [CA] Radio Museum about a radio ship used by Voice of America in the early 1950s. I'd say the 'pirates' would have been quite envious of both the ship itself and of the 150kw transmitter! The article even gives a nod to Caroline.

At the Modesto Museum site, I also found a page with some rather good photos of the radio forts and an interview with Radio Essex DJ Paul Peters.

Avast, Heathcliffe!(updated 24th June)
The Bronte village of Haworth in Yorkshire went pirate during its Sixties weekend, June 18th and 19th. Organisers said they hoped to run a pirate radio station broadcast from a small boat in the park and made a last-minute appeal for a suitable boat. Keighley News, the local paper, reports that a boat was found and a pirate radio station was heard, but sadly, we have not been able to find any pictures in the village photo gallery.

If anyone can supply a photo of the station on the small boat in the lake, we'd love to see it!

International Radio Festival
Tony Prince: " I was asked if I could persuade my colleagues to give a couple of days of their lives, no fee, to bring the world something that could best be described as 'The last UK Offshore Pirate Broadcast'.

Impossibility is difficult, miracles take a little bit longer. The idea that we could bring together the major players in UK Sixties pirate radio seemed forlorn. Simon Dee, Kenny Everett and Daffy Don Allan have left us, Bob Stewart and Mick Luvzit can’t travel from the USA and Canada. With so many pirate colleagues gone or in ill-health, I had to think about who I worked with, would they be available and would they want to do a gig for nothing online and absolutely live?

I drew up my list and asked Shaun Tilley to produce our shows and bring it all together and now it's come to pass. A truly historic series of live programmes which I've called 'The Last Pirates Standing'.

Wednesday, 15th June 2011 will be remembered in radio history for the final united front of some of the finest seamen in musical history...The Emperor Rosko (Radio Caroline), Tony Blackburn (Radio Caroline & Radio London), Paul Burnett (270), Larry Tremaine (RNI), Mark Wesley (Essex/270/Radio Scotland), Ed Stewart (Radio London) and The Royal Ruling Prince Tony (Radio Caroline South and North).

Live all day from Zurich’s International Radio Festival, we brought you 'A Tribute to the UK Offshore Pirates'.

To all my colleagues....weren’t we lucky? To all our listeners.... weren’t we blessed? Tony."

(Right) Stewpot models his Radio London teeshirt – available only from this website!
(Thanks to Fab Alan Field for grabbing the photo. Click on it to view a gallery of screen grabs taken on the day).

We listeners are all very much hoping that this will be far from the last-ever UK offshore broadcast.

...and talking of Edwin Bollier
Mike Terry has kindly shared this communication from Mark Dezzani:

Just to let you know that I shot a video yesterday (June 14th) of Edwin Bollier in his office, with Larry Tremaine being interviewed by Tony Prince and also with Tony Blackburn, Ed Stewart and Paul Burnett joining in. Edwin was a very kind host and spoke about RNI and also about the Lockerbie affair. He is very keen to prove his innocence and is writing two books, one about RNI and the other about the Lockerbie affair. I will publish the video on-line soon.

Pictures of Edwin appearing on Larry Tremaine's show are included on the page of screen shots.

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