Ye olde radio anoraks kill the memories

Why do old radio anoraks steal and defile the names of old extinct radio stations?

There have been some great radio station, especially the offshore and land-based pirate radio stations of 50 years ago. Although each station was only on the air for a year or two, they made a lasting impression on the eager young radio anoraks of the day.

Very quickly each radio station died, closing down, ending their chapter in the history books, and leaving behind memories that were nothing like the actual original experience. Rose coloured spectacles, or maybe hearing aids, meant radio anoraks would lament their passing like a family pet had had to be put down.

What happened next was and is unforgivable. It is a crime that occurs to this day.

Rather than letting the original radio stations rest in peace, bloody radio anoraks felt the need to steal the name and the original jingles and style of the radio station and put on their own poor man’s version. Some of these were put on as landbased pirate stations, using the names of the original offshore pirate stations. These days they exist as internet radio stations with mainly no listeners.

All the great offshore radio stations have been abused in this way: Radio London (Big L), Radio Caroline, Radio Nordsee International, Radio England, Britain Radio, Radio Veronica, Laser, Atlantis, Mi Amigo, various stations with frequency numbers in their titles, and many many more.

Naturally, of course, these copy or bad sounding tribute stations usually sound embarrassing and, unlike the originals, play old songs.  The presenters sit there in their bedroom studios wearing just their underpants sporting an erection as they speak, almost believing that they are on the original radio station.

It’s important to note that none of the copy stations have ever done anything new and original, and have never generated an audience or been taken seriously by mainstream media.

Instead, as I said at the beginning, all they are doing is rubbishing and insulting the original. And that is outrageous. Deceased radio should be allowed to rest in peace.


  1. I gather this was quite prevalent in the 70s where some of these bedroom adolescent boys allegedly tried to dodge blatant copying by using names subtly linked with the famous forebears. As Caroline was said to be named after John F Kennedy’s daughter, some say that’s why a boy came up with Radio Jackie, named after JFK’s wife. Another lad apparently went one further and named one after Jimmy Carter’s daughter. Having said that I seem to recall there was a Radio City that was although copying the original’s muffled microphone introduced the concept that you really can have too much rockabilly.

    PS I see you didn’t have the nerve to slate the Radio Mi Amigo tribute – which we all know was refreshing different and charming – but I do not the use of the ship in your story.


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