Pirate Radio, it needs to comeback

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Recently a movie that was made overseas was released here in the states; officially on Nov. 13, 2009. The Boat That Rocked or Pirate Radio, as it is being called in the states, is about a group of individuals that fought the tyrannical oppression of rock music over British airwaves.

Here is some background on the origins of Pirate Radio: Back in the early 1960’s England was teeming over the broadcast of rock music on their airwaves; they deemed the music as offensive, crude, and is not music at all. They called it unbroadcastable music. This notion of squelching the powerful music of the 60’s didn’t sit right with some individuals, thus Pirate Radio was born.

“The idea of Radio Caroline originated from plans drawn up in Dallas, Texas by radio maverick Gordon McLendon and his financial backer and personal friend Clint Murchison. These plans came into the possession of Alan Crawford who intended to start a radio station onboard a vessel owned by McLendon/Murchison which they had previously used as a radio ship operation called Radio Nord broadcasting to Stockholm, Sweden. While Crawford was looking for investors in Britain he exposed these plans to Ronan O’Rahilly who in turn shared them with associates of Joceyln Stevens.” -Wikipedia

Once the seeds of Pirate Radio were born it became one of the most powerful forms of radio in the UK. The brilliant part about what Radio Caroline and all other Pirate Radio Stations were doing, revolved around the fact that they were doing it all within the confines of the law; it was totally legal. That does not mean that the Government of England did not try to stop the Pirate Radio movement, however. They used every angle they could, like passing the Marine Broadcasting Offenses Act, and other maritime laws.

The Government of England and Radio Caroline were in a constant struggle for over 30 years in who can best the other in a battle of wits and freedoms. England would past laws extending their nautical domain, they would raid ships, destroy equipment, and say that the frequency Pirate Radios pitched at impeded communication between ships. Despite all the setbacks the English government placed, Radio Caroline stood strong and continued to strive on in their task.

Radio Caroline and other Pirate Radio stations deserve a movie. They don’t deserve it for the fact that it is entertaining and people would enjoy watching it, they deserve it due to its unaltered expression of freedom and justice. In the face of an essential tyranny of the people, they stood tall and fundamentally showed the beauty of the will of revolution.

So where is Pirate Radio now that we need it most?

The last Pirate Radio to reach the great city of San Diego, some of you may remember, was 96.9, and what a breath of fresh air it was. They played music that no one else had ever heard before. It wasn’t latent with teeny bopper lyrics and nonsense music that we had begun to hear in the 21st Century.

For months as “Free Radio San Diego” broadcast, the radio was once again good to listen to. Music was worth while and our ears didn’t feel like they were being raped by the corporate shells that musicians had become. Airwaves over San Diego were once again proud, but at the same time illegal.

The FCC was hunting down 96.9 and ultimately they would find the. But just like anyone with a cause worth fighting for, they were rebroadcasting within three months. Soon after they were shut down again. Inevitably they lost the battle.

Now the radio station that brought hope to our ears is run by a Christian based radio station, oh the sweet irony. What once was a beacon to fight and have  power against the government, has dwindled down and morphed into a Christian based radio outlet, Jesus Christ.

In most cases of Pirate Radio, stations are usually shutdown rather effectively if they are outside the means of the law. However, it is very interesting that anything that presents value and meaning to a society is somehow deemed illegal and egregious. Doesn’t that seem fundamentally flawed to you? Where has that passion gone? Why do we no longer band together and fight for what we know is right, and where have all the Pirate Radio stations gone in San Diego?

The music nowadays does not even come close to the beauty and power that it held in the 60’s and 70’s. No, it shouldn’t be said like that. The music that is popular nowadays is nothing compared to what is out there, deep within the underground culture, deep within the streets of our city. Just because something is backed by the bureaucratic process of record labels and played on stations owned by Clear Channel, doesn’t mean it is good music. It’s almost like a direct reflection of the tyranny of the 60’s and 70’s in England’s broadcast scene.

There are however some stations that do seek to bridge the divide, but still fall short. 94.9 and Rock 105.3 both have a decent play list of local music at certain hours, and music of value during normal hours. Even though they valiantly try, they still fail to completely wipe away the machine that is mainstream music.

It is not the DJ’s fault that they play such material, they do hold some responsibility and they need to make a living. Defying the powers to be would inevitably lead to unemployment for them, but we need to stand up.

No longer can we sit by and allow this fascist regime of record companies and business conglomerates to dictate what should be played and what shouldn’t. We need to start to turn our ears to the dark side of the moon that we have neglected for so long. Bring back Pirate Radio, start one up in your home, in your office, on top of your apartment complex. If we start to turn our ears away now we may never get our hearing back.

Raise up as one unified voice and say “no longer will we listen to Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, Lil Jon, Justin douchebag Bieber, and many other corporate whores. Nay, we will fight and bring back the music we love, GOOD MUSIC!”


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