Caroline & RNI fought Stonehouse crook in power.

4 Sep

 FROM Vincent

[Response to the Page: Radio Free Plymouth]

The problem with local free radio was and is its inconsistancy. Thanks to the Blue Meanies, free radio comes in fits and starts.

And the penalties, every time you get a “fit” are horrendous (they include seizure of your RECORDS, equipment, girlfriend and anything else they can get their grubby hands on).

The irony is, if you SMASH your transmitter as the Meanies are charging up the stairs, even though it’s a transmitter – and its remains are still warm – you get off on a technicality: the transmitter is unusable. But the Meanies must laugh their socks off at the thought you have just done their job FOR them.

The thing is, to run a real radio station, you NEED that consistancy.

RNI ran for YEARS (occasionally semi-jammed by well-known upright citizen John Stonehouse – just before he took that swim) and so did Caroline, in the late ’70s – with their album track Top Tens (which could ALWAYS be guaranteed to include the long version of “Layla”).

Caroline was benign – but RNI probably won the Torybastards election for them (thus justifying government paranoia concerning unregulated broadcasting!)

However, the local free stations only appear for an hour here – an hour there – with variable reception and constantly changing freqencies.

I applaud the intentions and dedication of those who run these stations – but from the point of view of the consumers, it can only ever appeal to a slim audience demographic.

Capital Radio was my salvation in the ’70s. All the BEST DJs – who had ignored Auntie’s execrable Radio One – climbed on board. It RULED – but only in London.

What made it unique was its policy to allow the DJs to play GOOD, SIXTIES music in between the contemporary dross on the Playlist. They were allowed up to FIFTY PERCENT!

And at the weekends, you had the Soul Serenade (or something like that) – it began playing Funk, but then along came DISCO. And every Last Saturday Of The Month – Roger Scott did The CRUISIN’ Show.

But this last was eventually discontinued due to Blue Meanie pressure – the Chelsea cops were busy f***ing UP the Cruise.

And this was the beginning of the end. Capital and others SPLIT their output – modern Pop got their FM frequencies, while classic Pop was relegated to AM.

Then when Pop DIED in 1990, the radio stations that fed on them died too.

The last time I listened to steam radio was in the late ’90s when East Anglia got a 3-transmitter English version of New York’s Kiss FM.

As I worked alone, for two months, to ready my folk’s home (my Dad had passed) for sale, the house resonated to hours and hours of TECHNO!

-Vincent

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