The fate of Radio Caroline was sealed the moment that Ronan O'Rahilly was hired as a 'decoy duck'. He probably was the biggest enemy that Radio Caroline ever had!
Clearly that statement will shock some; anger others, and mystify many, who, if they have ever heard of Ronan O'Rahilly, will automatically associate his name with Radio Caroline. But even today, the local and unrelated low-power licensed British station that calls itself Radio Caroline, but which is not related to the twin Radio Caroline stations of the Sixties, performs a backhanded slap at O'Rahilly by disassociating itself from him, while continuing to preach the myth that Ronan O'Rahilly started the original Radio Caroline.
It all began with the need for a "decoy duck", as one MP called Ronan O'Rahilly, and he further described O'Rahilly as a 'front man' for Jocelyn Stevens. Peter Sellers referred to Jocelyn Stevens as the 'Duke of Caroline' in his home movie that he made with Princess Margaret in Stevens' "back yard". There was no confusion either, Sellers created a mock coat of arms for Stevens which had the silhouette of a radio ship perched at its apex.
But what the general public, indeed, what academia and the broadcasting profession really know about the creation of Radio Caroline, is very little indeed. Ronan O'Rahilly was in his early twenties when he first arrived in London at the beginning of the Sixties. By his own admission volunteered in several interviews both in print and on air, O'Rahilly admits that he was not a successful pupil at school in Ireland.
Ronan O'Rahilly did not fare well in the family building materials business, and so he ended up in London with very little money. He became a hanger-on and a 'gopher' for others, as in "go for this" and "go for that". He was primarily at the beck and call of other people while perpetually trying to attract attention to himself.
Along the way his mesmerizing spirit attracted other young men who would play a big part in his life. One of the first was Christopher Moore, and he introduced Ian Cowper Ross, who had by his own accounts, introduced himself to Chris Moore. Ian Cowper Ross appears to have got a job for a short while in Jocelyn Stevens' advertising department which supported a number publications owned by Stevens, including 'Queen' magazine.
Ian soon received an assignment to become a sort of script writer for Ronan O'Rahilly, because unscripted Ronan O'Rahilly was likely to say and do the wrong things, and that could have, and it did have unfortunate repercussions for both Jocelyn Stevens, and Radio Caroline. In fact, it was as if the number one enemy of Radio Caroline had been implanted in its very core point of origination, and the name of the enemy was Ronan O'Rahilly.
So how could all this be true if the world was taught to believe that Ronan O'Rahilly had created Radio Caroline? Therein is the key to the mystery. Years later, George Lazenby was asked for his opinion of Ronan O'Rahilly after Lazenby turned down the opportunity to earn millions more as the star of future 'James Bond' movies. Lazenby did so upon advice he received from Ronan O'Rahilly. Said George Lazenby: ".... he started (Radio Caroline) and launched all these English pop groups, so I though he knew what he was talking about."
Unfortunately for George Lazenby he swallowed the lies of Ronan O'Rahilly who did not create Radio Caroline and neither did he launch "all these English pop groups". He said that he did, and he repeated it often enough so that people began to believe him, and they did so because no one stepped forward with the truth.
Now why was that?
Just about all of the other major offshore radio stations followed very traditional methods of corporate management, including steps taken to avoid the tax man. True, the money behind Radio Caroline was a mystery, but so was its outward manifestation. There was no company behind its beginning that was registered as Radio Caroline.
Its rival called Radio London, was fronted by a dummy company registered in the UK as Radlon (Sales) Limited, and it was not too difficult to trace it back to its parent company in the Bahama islands, and from there to the small East Texas town of Eastland. That is where the road also led if you traced back the original operating company behind Radio England and Britain Radio; while Radio Scotland and Radio 390 followed very traditional lines of corporate ownership. To some extent this was also true of the other offshore stations big and small.
But what was 'Radio Caroline'?
The ancestry of Radio Caroline actually stretches back to the last few years of World War II, and the coming together of vested interests sharing a common objective but employing different means of reaching their unified goal. That objective finally emerged from a very formal entity known as Project Atlanta Limited, and that is when its corporate structure vanished from view.
Project Atlanta Limited has its own strange ancestry which ties part of it to the independent record business in the United Kingdom, and part of it to a series of failed ventures all trying to start an offshore broadcasting station. Those twin roots will be explained within the blogs to follow. But if Radio Caroline as a project had a real front man, then it was Jocelyn Stevens, and it was Jocelyn Stevens who guided 'Plan A' of the Radio Caroline project which eventually went through two more major stages.
The first plan, which I have called 'A', lasted from March 27, 1964 to October 15, 1964. The first date is marked by the first test transmissions of the original Radio Caroline, and the second date is marked by the UK General Election results.
While 'Plan A' had a legal objective to gain licenses for some 200 registered sponsored commercial radio stations; some in clusters registered by major companies, and some of them individualistic. One theme that glued them all together was the trade to which Jocelyn Stevens had attached himself: printing and publishing. But 'Plan B', which was the second phase, took off almost immediately following the UK General Election of October 15, 1964, and it placed Radio Caroline into the welcoming arms of the Jewish Mafia and its regional parent criminal organization called Cosa Nostra. Both of these organizations were entwined with the music and broadcasting business based in New York City.
'Plan B' was wrecked by Ronan O'Rahilly, and his wrecking ball began swinging almost immediately after October 15, 1964. One of the biggest blows that was launched by Ronan O'Rahilly on March 17, 1965, was when Ronan O'Rahilly decided to revive references to his grandfather and the Irish Republican Army (IRA). That was at a time when peace was about to break out on the island of Ireland. At least, all of the main players seem to think so. None of this had anything to do with offshore sponsored commercial broadcasting, but it had everything to do with the vanity and insanity of Ronan O'Rahilly!
So after March 17, 1965, the attention began to swing back to London and a cauldron of people milling around 6 Chesterfield Gardens which had been renamed 'Caroline House'. However, while the control gradually passed back from New York to London, it was still being influenced by the Jewish Mafia in the person of Phillip Solomon who had his own music business dealings with the same people that Radio Caroline had been hooked up with.
We know what happened next, or we all could know if the facts in evidence are accepted. Phillip Solomon took the twin ship stations and ran them to the point that they had to be removed from the sea due to lack of maintenance and therefore lack of insurance coverage. After all, until August 14, 1967 when the formal Radio Caroline 'Plan C' ended at midnight, everything was operated on a neo-businesslike manner. After August 14, 1967, the 'rump' of 'Plan C' was allowed to fizzle out on March 3, 1968.
Now that we are back on track, I will begin by unraveling 'Part A' in more detail. After that we will move to 'Plans B & C' and then this material will be re-edited and reassembled as part of the ebook called 'Radio Noir'. The blog will of course then continue in parallel with more information.