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Phil had participated in several RSLs in recent years and the sad news came from his shipmate Colin Lamb, organiser of two RNI broadcasts. Phil suffered a stroke in 2005 and although he had made progress with regaining his speech and communication skills, he had never fully recovered.
Phil's Radio London connection is that his band The Style (in common with the Radio London DJs and Episode Six) was represented by the Philip Birch Agency, run by Big L's managing director. What little information we have about the band is here. Phil liked blues music and in the Sixties, formed a band called 'CC Rider'.
Danny Vaughan, who was a band member, has kindly sent some photos. "So sad to hear about Phil," he wrote. "He was a good mate and I was in his band CC Rider in the 60s. Phil and John Johnson did form a blues band. They never recorded, but I have a CD of them playing live."
The photo above left was taken in 1966 at Alexandra Palace, North London. (l to r) Phil Cook, Derek Copus (on drums - obscured), Phil, Danny Vaughan, John Johnson. (Right) John Johnson, Phil, Derek Copus, Phil Cook, Danny Vaughan. (Click on photo to see enlarged version)
Phil contributed a chapter entitled 'A Pirate's Life For Me' to Hans Knot's book 'The Wet and Wild History of Radio Caroline 1964-2004'. He related many stories of his offshore adventures, including his nightmare first journey to the Mi Amigo in 1974. The only way the captain of the tender ("a small, smelly fishing boat") managed to locate the ship in a thick sea mist, was by tuning Phil's trannie in to Caroline!
Tragedy for the Kerr family
|'Give Peace A Chance 2008'
Achim Schultz feels that very little has changed on the planet since the Plastic Ono Band sang 'Give Peace A Chance', with wars continuing to rage throughout the globe. John Lennon's 1969 protest inspired Achim to write and record a new song of the same title, dedicated to his Beatle hero. Achim has some impressive friends. The sleeve artist is Klaus Voormann, who designed the cover of 'Revolver'.
'Give Peace A Chance 2008' was released on June 2nd 2008. For more information visit myspace.com/overtwentyachimschultz
The Radio Caroline Story – the 1970s
Walker #1 - Johnnie
Walker #2 - Gary, from the Walker Brothers
|Autographed offshore tee on ebay
Chris and Jackie Dannatt of Offshore Memories, who own the exhibition that took pride of place on the Ha'penny Pier during Pirate BBC Essex 2007, auctioned a teeshirt autographed by participants of the event, in aid of charity.
The Rosko World Syndication shirt is signed by Rosko himself and many of the other famous faces of Pirate BBC Essex 2007, including Johnnie Walker, Dave Cash, Keith Skues, Norm St John and Graham Webb.
Proceeds of the auction go jointly to MacMillan Nurses (at the request of Johnnie Walker) and The Stroke Association (in light of the sad passing of Chris Cary).
John Peel was at the club during the early months. On September 8th 1969 he appeared (and presumably played records) as a support to the band Quintessence and is described in clippings as 'Britain's foremost musical pioneer – the much-loved John Peel.' He refused to take any payment for his appearance.
Congratulations to webmaster Mike O’Connor on a marathon effort! Mike is still seeking memorabilia and recollections from the 87,000 former Club Members. (Thanks to Aylesbury Showcase)
Guinness Kazoo Record attempt at Hammersmith Odeon
Jon had checked with Guinness, who had confirmed that the record had been held by 2,679 players from Rochester, New York since December 2006. Over 3,350 people were present at the Odeon and photographic evidence was taken to prove their kazoo participation, if not their proficiency.
An attempt on the record was made at Macon, Georgia the birthplace of the kazoo, on September 27th 2007, during the Georgia state fair. The website explains:
"The kazoo was invented in Macon, Georgia, by former slave Alabama Vest and unveiled to the world at the Georgia State Fair in 1852. (Its original name was the Down South Submarine.)" (See YouTube)
The 'Face Behind the Voice' – Take Two!
Penguins instead of parrots!
As the penguin-suited team departed for the Creative East Awards, Mary Payne was the 3 o'clock guest, talking to Graham Bannerman about what offshore radio meant to her.
Although a non-winner, BBC Essex was the only radio finalist in Best Broadcast Production, competing against three television production companies. However, the station proudly came away with Best Radio Programme for 'Inside at Christmas', a feature about the inmates' life at Chelmsford Prison during the festive season.
Produced by Tim Gillett (left), 'Inside at Christmas' was broadcast on December 24th 2007. It beat almost three hundred other entries from across East Anglia.
The Creative East Awards were created to acknowledge and celebrate the wealth of creative talent across the Eastern region.
Mary's interview – it starts with Graham Bannerman talking to the traffic reporter about the station 'penguins'.
| Radio 2 Sixties Season still available
Chris and Mary were interviewed by producer Mark Hagen (left) for a Radio 2 documentary 'Don't Start Me Talking', where members of the public chatted to Mark about the demise of offshore radio and the start of Radios 1 and 2.
The programme is still available with others recorded as part of the Radio 2 60s Season, on 'Listen Again'. Although none of the participants was identified, Chris and Mary's voices were prominent in the production. You could also tell that Mary was still suffering from the after-effects of the 'Harwich lurgi', a nasty bug that took her voice completely for several days after the exciting events of last August!