I recently wrote about offshore radio and Radio Caroline being the last ever offshore radio station (here).
Peter Moore from Radio Caroline made the following comment, which I have elevated into its own article here in order to give it more prominence. Peter Moore writes:
Your summary of Radio Caroline is correct in many respects. When launched, it did not have to be particularly good, it only had to play music all the time, round the clock, which the BBC would not do and Radio Luxembourg could not do.
As you say, the station was silent for long blocks of time and last broadcast a signal from a ship beyond UK territory 23 years ago.
The present incarnation of Caroline using Satellite, Internet (here) and Apps, now represents the longest span of unbroken transmissions of the station’s history.
Radio Caroline was placed on a ship in 1964 since at the time, this was the only way to operate a private radio station.
This era will never return for legal and practical reasons and because of technology and because of the huge proliferation of radio stations on platforms that did not exist years ago. The cake has not really got any bigger but it is now sliced into hundreds of tiny slivers.
The present Radio Caroline is enjoyed by sufficient people that it can be sustained by their voluntary donations. It entertains them and does no harm. Agreed it is not ground breaking only in that it is not profit driven and can thus play a higher percentage of music per hour than stations that have to fill their time with advertisements and promotions.
It is fine to look back at the history of offshore radio with nostalgia. It was a charismatic thing to do and there were many adventures.
But, there are a tiny number of people who have turned it in to a complex religion, where the only true God is an AM radio signal coming from a pirate ship in the ocean. These are the Ultra Orthodox Anoraks. Others, less radical, will accept a signal that is licensed so long as it comes from a ship. Maybe they can barely hear it, but will tune in anyway as it represents ‘Offshore Radio’. Some will listen to a modern means of delivery such as Internet, so long as the signal originates from a person sitting on a ship.
Obviously it cannot be proven 100%, absolutely, certain, for sure, that nobody will ever again put a radio station on ship far out to sea. So the Ultraraks speculate on how this might be done. What might it cost, would the authorities close it down?
One person asks to be given £30,000 to revive offshore radio, but refuses to say when, where and how. Another feels that it would cost maybe a million pounds as everything ought to be done by the book and with high wages for all concerned.
It is harmless enough stuff with which to pass the time.
I could pose the question, that if my age were magically halved, my hair transformed from grey back to brown and if I became a Rock Star and my penis doubled in size, how many groupies might I sleep with per tour and what would their names be.
Some of these guys would say this was a ridiculous question, but I swear that some would say ‘about twenty, called Suzy, Lulu, Tracey, Linda ‘ etc. While others would ask how long the mythical tour may be, which country and whether I would play Classic Rock, Melodic Rock or Heavy Metal.