There have been numerous books written about pirate or free radio if you prefer. Radio Caroline has been the subject or setting for a few. Having read many of these publications, the personal accounts by the likes of Steve Conway have for me been the most interesting and often quite entertaining. Books like Pop Went The Pirates by Keith Skues are reasonable records of a now bygone era, and Gerry Bishop's Offshore Radio book was a real attempt to make a record of each station without any bells or whistles attached. All may contain inaccuracies, some more so than others, in fact it seems that where money is the motive rather than historical research, the attention to detail versus the hurry to cash in, has had a negative impact.
Which raises the question, what do readers actually want? Is it a nostalgia trip with all your perceived favourite moments recounted, a detailed and thoroughly researched reexamination of events with new sources providing details previously not known or only known by a few. Or perhaps you might like a candid warts and all account of what life really was like, including the good and bad moments. Maybe you just want pictures of the ships and DJ's hopefully ones you have not seen before.
What seems to be increasingly clear is the latest book to arrive (The Caroline Bible) is as much about the money and the author makes that clear. He states the need to be out for the Xmas market to get a return on the investment, in fact this seems vital. Add to this the rallying call to all anoraks that his book is best and another book project not yet published is going to be an unfair hatchet job because... well because he say's so, and I sense a plea to please buy the book. Some early fact checking throws up the hilarious lack of research as to whom wrote The O'Rahilly (WB Yeats would not be pleased). However the author tells us that "The book is incomplete, but one must draw the line on the level of detail." Indeed and the level of accuracy one wonders.
That Paul Rusling felt the need to come out all guns blazing against Mervyn Hagger and defend rather than research again the period around 1962 to 1964 himself (but Oonagh told me, so it has to be right), seems to seal the inference that this is about unloading some cash from the ever diminishing and seemingly brainwashed anoraks that cannot allow anyone to challenge their perception of reality, especially if one of their church leaders comes under the spotlight.
Personally I like accuracy and detail, with verifiable sources and a level of peer review and proof reading usually helps. So if you want to read some quality material I recommend SK Moore's 'Life And Death Of A Pirate', available on Amazon, and refreshingly accurate. Or why not head over to the Freewave magazine website and read Andy Archers 'Arseholes and Anoraks' LINK: http://freewave-media-magazine.nl/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Freewave-451-452.pdf For those fanatical Caroline fans, read the full account and see how many people were taken advantage of by a poor ill old man (cue violins Freddie) who these days can't defend himself.
Radio Now & Then
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