One of the exciting chapters in 1960s pop culture was the rise of pirate radio. Combatting the limitations of national broadcasting in the UK, floating stations were set up to beam music 24 hours a day outside the boundaries of the law in international waters. For many kids growing up in the era, this network of DJs offered a kind of subversive rebellion to the establishment and provided a hearty diet of Rock and Roll. Radio Caroline (launched in 1964) transmitted from two ships anchored off the Isle of Man and Frinton-On-Sea and provided stiff competition to Radio Luxembourg, which had been long supplying the UK with broader content (a great inspiration to early Beatles!). The history of Pirate Radio has been celebrated on a number of sites. Pirate Radio Hall of Fame features a wonderful collection of artifacts and clippings, including original Radio Caroline Club publications. One of my favorite discoveries is 242 Showbeat (previously 242), a monthly magazine published in the 1960s for Radio Scotland that featured news about DJs, musicians, and pop icons. Radio Scotland launched in December 1965 from a former Irish light-ship called The Comet. The station "that swings to you on 242" transmitted to fans in Scotland, Ireland and northern England until the Marine Offenses laws closed them down in August 1967. The magazine sported fun graphics, duotone images, and cool 1960s fashion. I was pleased to see The Man From U.N.C.L.E. appear on issue #1 of 242 (April 1966), spotlighting Glasgow-born actor David McCallum. In addition to the Hall of Fame site above, I can also recommend Radio London for more cool artifacts and historical info. Of course, the best example in the world of espionage is the final black and white episode of Secret Agent, Not So Jolly Roger, starring Patrick McGoohan. According to IMDB, the story interiors were filmed at the Red Sands Fortress, a Thames Estuary anti-aircraft structure from WWII. And the site actually played host to real pirate radio broadcasts in the 1960s by Radio Invicta, King Radio, and Radio 390. The location was used again for the Doctor Who story Fury From the Deep (1968). Spy Vibers can keep riding this wave with the 2009 film, Pirate Radio, starring Lucy Fleming (Ian Fleming's niece), Philip Seymour Hoffman, Emma Thompson Kenneth Branagh, Rhys Ifans, and Bill Nighy- great fun and a fantastic soundtrack. Enjoy!
Selected Spy Vibe posts: Spectre Advanced Poster, Honor Blackman at 90, UNCLE School, Ian Fleming Memorial, Radiophonic Exhibit, Portmeirion Photos, Doctor Who Exhibit, Farewell Steed, Pussy Galore Returns, Diana Rigg birthday, Sherlock at 221B, Invisible Agent, Saint Interview: Ian Dickerson, Saint Doppelgänger, Fleming's Typewriter, Rare Fleming, Fleming's Music, Ian Fleming's Japan, Jim Wilson Corgi Interview, Fantomas Design, Jeremy Duns on Bond, John Buss interview, Avengers Season 5 Titles, Saint Volvo, Mod Tales Interview, Agente Secreto Comics, Danger Man Comics 2, Danger Man Comics, John Drake Comics, Der Mann Von UNCLE, Golden Margaret Nolan, Man From UNCLE Rocksteady, Pussy Galore Calypso, Cynthia Lennon R.I.P., Edward Mann Fashion, Leonard Nimoy Tribute, Shatner at 84, Bob Morane series, Thai Bond Design, Bond vs Modernism, Art of Modesty, Tokyo Beat 1964, Feraud Mod Fashion, Green Hornet Manga, No 6 Festival, Avengers Interview: Michael Richardson, Ian Fleming: Wicked Grin, Jane Bond Hong Kong Records, Ryan Heshka Interview, Comics Week: Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E., Comics Week: Archie, Comics Week: Robots, Comics Week: Cold War Atomic, Comics Week: SPYMAN, Comics Week: Jimmy Olsen, Shakespeare Spies: Diana Rigg, Shakespeare Spies I, Rodney Marshall Avengers Interview, Richard Sala: Super-Enigmatix, Cold War Archie, Playboy Bunny Interview, The 10th Victim Japanese and Kindle, U.N.C.L.E. Japanese Books, Trina Robbins Interview, Catsuits, Batman '66 Green Hornet Interview: Ralph Garman Ty Templeton.