MONITOR SPRING ISSUE 1972          - Page Six -

      Rick Michaels has air-mailed this account from Florida, U.S.A:

                             REQUIEM FOR A PIRATE
                  Anyone who thought that the pirates proved a demand for 
                  local radio of that kind was deceiving himself. What 
                  were the pirate ships? They were hulks with big masts, 
                  carrying microphones, gramophones and seasick disc jockeys.

                                                Anthony Wedgewood Benn
                                                Postmaster General
                                                The Times, March 4 1966
            Mr. Benn neglected to mention that several million persons listened to "pirate" 
      radios, primarily because of the continuous music that he termed "audible wallpaper". 
      Radio Luxembourg had for years shown that there was an audience in Britain for this 
      type of programming.
           Although the venerable Times suggested that in 1966 that the Britain public 
      was really not interested in commercial radio, in April of the same year, a 
      National Opinion Poll survey estimated Radio London's weekly audience at 10,330,000 
      or 20.9 per cent of the sample. Some 15.6 per cent listened to Radio Caroline with 
      4.2 per cent listening to Radio 390 and 6.1 per cent listening to Radio Scotland. 
      In addition to these figures, Radio City claimed a regional audience of over two 
           With the addition of Britain radio, England and 270, the popularity of off-
      shore commercial radio soared and became a representative symbol of the freedom of 
      the "Swinging Sixties".
      The Beatle Bonanza was coming into full swing in late 1964 and the mod world 
      was coming into fashion. This was the swinging zany world of the Rolling Stones, 
      boutiques, mini-skirts, beat clubs and long hair. Britain's drab image of the 
      tweed jacket, old school ties and the pre-war look changed over night to the mecca 
      of the "with it" generations and "pirate" radio was very much part of the swinging 
           My association with the wonderful world of the pop pirates began one year 
      after Screamin' Lord Sutch and Reg Calvert hired a fast launch* and equipped it 
      with a small transmitter, and then sped down the Thames from London Bridge with 
      the Jolly Roger flying and playing pop music. Radio Sutch, later to become Radio 
      City, was established on the Shivering Sands Towers on May 27 1964.
           I spent my third year of university at the London School of Economics, and 
      towards the end of the year became interested in the phenomena of "pirate radio". 
      Having previously done a small amount of work on radio advertisements and desiring 
      to remain, at least for a while, in Britain before continuing my education in the 
      United States, I recorded several demo tapes at Pye Recording Studios and mailed 
      them to the stations which were in operation at that time.
            In June of 1965, one of the Radio City DJs had to be removed from the 
      Shivering Sands Towers by helicopter suffering from acute appendicitis (Ed. - Tony 
      Carroll). Reg Calvert had heard my demo tape and asked me to act as a replacement. 
      Reg then asked me to stay on primarily since an American voice was a true novelty 
      at that time!
           I was later made Reg's assistant and even though I continued to do occasional 
      stints on Radio City, primarily became responsible for local advertising and press 
      relations. As many of you will remember, Radio City received more than its share 
      of press coverage - both good and bad!
           I remained with Radio City during the Knock John Fort raids, the ill-fated 
      merger agreement with Major Oliver Smedley and the planning of the new tower
      which later gave the station the nickname "The Mighty Tower of Power".
           By late 1965 the Vietnam War had intensified and local draft boards were 
      drafting most young men who were not in university or working in a strategic 
      industry. After receiving a notice that I would be drafted into the Armed Forces
      if I did not return to the United States and register in university, I decided to 
      leave Radio City in late December 1965, just six months before Reg Calvert's 
      unfortunate death.
           I maintained interest in "pirate" radios, enough that in 1968 wrote my thesis 
      in partial requirement for my Master of Arts degree (University of Pennluania) 
      entitled "Pirates of the Airwaves". British Offshore Commercial Radio, 1964-1968".
           Throughout the years, I have managed to maintain contact with Radio City's 
      Alan Clark, as well as John and Jill Wilemen who now reside in South Africa,

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