When Radio Northsea International began on the 23rd January 1970 it broadcast from a number of different Medium wave frequencies before finally settling on 220m. But its shortwave transmissions were always either 31m or 49m or both. The station closed on the 24th September 1970 and returned 19th January 1971. Within a few months the RNI “World Service” added to the one hour A J Beirens Northsea goes DX  shows on shortwave and began broadcasting in English all day every Sunday 9am to 7pm on 31m/49m with different programming to the daytime Medium Wave output (which was usually in Dutch). 

I recorded a number of the Northsea goes DX shows that featured A J. Beirens’  histories of earlier offshore stations along with airchecks. I also recorded some of the other shows broadcast by RNI on shortwave in English on Sunday mornings/afternoons until the SW signal began to fade. Of course the contents of those reels were mostly wiped when I became a musical snob and decided I preferred 1970s Radio Caroline “album” output rather than early 1970s RNI Europop. 

I have posted this short RNI World Service recording previously but I still find it interesting. Mike Ross (real name Colin Novelle) appeared on RNI on and off between September 1970 and January 1974. Sadly he died in 2017 aged 70. 

This RNI World Service recording from 14th November 1971 of Jane Ballantyne (her only live broadcast from the Mebo 2 unless you know otherwise) is longer than the version currently available to download at the Azanorak site. She had a great radio voice and an engaging personality. It’s a shame her stay on the Mebo 2 was so short.

Radio Seagull

Aug 1, 2018

The first version of Radio Seagull appeared quite unexpectedly from the Radio ship Mi Amigo at 9pm on the 24th July 1973. I recorded extracts over the next few days on my (t)rusty reel to reel tape recorder. But only having a 30 minute reel to spare I had to just record the DJs rather than the music. So a few years ago I was pleased to see someone else with more blank tapes/money than I had recorded an hour of Barry Everitt from 26th July 1973 of not just the links as heard on my recording but also included the music and placed it on the Azanorak site. Barry had been involved in the music scene, the underground scene and Radio Geronimo prior to his few weeks aboard the Mi Amigo (First Radio Seagull show: 24th July, Last show: 7th September). He would go to the States where he continued DJing. Later back in the UK he remained in the music business. He passed away in 2017.

Radio Seagull Barry Everitt 26th July 1973 

Barry is third from the left, arm raised, behind Andy Archer.


Here are a couple more copies of Monitor magazine covering the first period when Radio Seagull was broadcasting from the Mi Amigo. (Aerial trouble beginning 1st October would put the station onto low power and eventually completely off the air from 18th October 1973. Radio Caroline managed to return for a couple of days over the Xmas period. Radio Seagull would re-commence 7th January 1974 until 22nd February 1974 when the powers that be decided the station should once again be called Radio Caroline).

Monitor 04 Summer 1973

Monitor 05 Winter 1973

More Monitors

Nov 1, 2016


Roland C. Pearson, better known in Free Radio circles as “Buster” (1928-1985) was the man responsible (with help from others) for the fascinating publication known as “Monitor”. Begun in 1972 as coloured foolscap sheets, by the early 1980s it had progressed into an A5 booklet format. Always crammed with information about Offshore Radio these news-sheets have become even more interesting as time has gone on. There were 37 issues produced. (Update: I’m informed there were actually 38  or even 39 issues. Looks like they didn’t bother sending me the last ones!). Join me in my Time Machine as we revisit the first three issues published in those interesting times of 1972 and early 1973.

Monitor 01 issued Spring 1972

Monitor 02 issued Summer 1972

Monitor 03 issued early 1973

 PS: Monitor 01 was typewritten onto white foolscap paper. Monitor 02 was typewritten on dark blue foolscap paper. Monitor 03 was typewritten on multi-coloured foolscap paper for the full psychedelic experience. Do you remember typewriters? If you didn’t clean the keys regularly some letters got a bit clogged up with ink. My antique machine would make neat little holes whenever I used the full-stop key. Foolscap paper is longer and thinner than A4 which made copying these newsletters a pain. I apologise if some pages are difficult to read. Fuzzy typewritten text on blue paper doesn’t make for the greatest readability. I guess I could have spent a week or two tweaking things to improve them, but hey I’ve got a life, so they are what they are.

RNI World Service

May 1, 2016


Radio Northsea International broadcast from International waters via the Mebo 2 from early 1970 until August 1974 (with a break between September 1970 and January 1971) on a variety of Medium wave frequencies at first before settling on 220m. They also broadcast on FM to Holland and often on 49m and 31m shortwave to the rest of the world. Interestingly, in 1971 and 1972 the daytime shortwave broadcasts on Sundays were in English supplied by the DJs on board, whilst 220m medium wave carried Dutch programming, only some of which was live. The rest of the Dutch daytime shows consisted of tape recordings prepared earlier on land as often happened with Radio Veronica. Evenings on 220m Medium wave usually reverted to live English speaking DJs from 7pm or 8pm onwards.

There are many many hours of recordings of RNI available around the Interwebs. If you click here or click the image below you can hear a recording of A.J. Bierens on RNI on Shortwave that I made on my (t)rusty Philips reel to reel tape recorder on a Sunday morning circa 1971/1972.


After August 1974 The Mebo 11 moved to the Mediterranean Sea and apparently ended it’s days being “used as target practice by the Libyan Navy in the 1980s and sunk in the Gulf of Sidra”.

Two more books

May 1, 2016

It was said five years ago that books would be obsolete in five years. I always thought that would be somewhat premature. Books are still being produced, although in smaller numbers than they used to be. In very small numbers regarding the two books I feature here!!

Weekly Music Charts

As the chart book says “Printed and Published by Amazon” I presume copies are only assembled as and when someone actually orders a copy. This book fails to address the main question I wanted answering. How and by whom were the Radio Caroline and Radio London charts compiled? Did they refer to charts published by the BBC/Musical Express/Melody Maker or just ask the DJs for this weeks favourite tune?? Or were records included in the charts by more sinister means? Perhaps money changed hands for the promotion of certain singles? It had happened in the States in the 1950s and it has been said that one of the main reasons Ronan started Radio Caroline was to give greater exposure to his roster of clients.

Radio Caroline Chart 8th April 1967


Radio London Chart 9th April 1967

I’m bemused by the vast differences between the Caroline and London charts through the mid 1960s. For example in April 1967 there are only a handful of songs (seven!!!) that feature in the top 30 of both charts. If you listened only to Radio London you would be exposed to dozens of songs that never graced the Light Programme or Radio Caroline.

Holding the fort

In this book “Prince” Michael gives a fascinating insight into the behind-the-scenes machinations that led to his whole family squatting on an ex-Navy fort three miles out to sea for decades. Perhaps if he hadn’t been a mere 14 at the time, with the Government fearful of potential negative publicity, they may have been removed by military force in 1968 and the Principality of Sealand may never have been created.

More Disc

Mar 1, 2016

I purchased the pop newspaper “Disc” every week from 1966 until the summer of 1975 when it was merged into “Record Mirror”. By 1975 I had also been buying the edgier and ever-improving “NME” for a number of years anyway.


Disc 16th February 1974

In the early 1970s “Disc” was useful for its pop pirate radio coverage and for classified adverts where you could send off for cheaply printed duplicated/photostatted newsletters from the likes of Crispian St John containing yet more pop pirate radio info.

Free Radio column Disc Feb 1974

A highlight for me was always J.Edward Oliver’s comic strip  featuring Fresco Le Raye. This always contained pop-related in-jokes and numerous mentions of JEO’s continued infatuation with Madeline Smith. Of course, writing this gives me the perfect opportunity to insert an image of MS (and JEO’s likeness of her too).


Madeline Smith by J Edward Oliver

Episode 190

It’s worth a closer look at JEO’s survey.

JEO survey

Radio 270

Oct 1, 2015

Radio 270

Although it seemed to be for a much longer period when I was a youngster, the 1960s offshore pirate radio station Radio 270 was only on the air from June 1966 until August 1967. As was usually the case Radio 270 was more accurately to be found on 269m in the medium wave. Anchored 3 miles off Scarborough, it had a catchment area covering Yorkshire, the North East and into the Midlands. As perhaps the smallest pirate radio ship at the time being on the Oceaan 7 must have been pretty uncomfortable out there in the middle of the North Sea. One of the few “benefits” of being small was that when larger supplies such as diesel oil and water were required the ship just upped anchor and sailed into port (Scarborough or Bridlington) to re-stock in comfort. Presumably they had to cease transmission whilst they were within the three-mile limit though?

Pirate up for sale

The station proved to be popular and reasonably successful and was one of the handful of pirate stations that would continue to the bitter end of midnight August 14th 1967 which was just before the Marine Etc (Offences) Act became law.

Oceaan V11 derelict