While thoroughly laughing at some of the outrageous comedic complications
to be found in the British movie, “Pirate Radio,” I wondered why this movie,
was ‘panned’ and didn’t make it. Originally released as, “The Boat that Rocked,”
it was a fictitious story about the BBC being rather rigid in the choices of music,
they promoted and allowed on their channel. The ones who were ‘forced’ into
the ships floating in the Sound, have the music British teenagers really wanted
to hear! There are scenes where nurses and doctors are listening in, on their
‘night shifts,’ along with parents who had strictly forbidden their youth to listen
to this ‘trash’ and other derogatory labels given to ‘rock and roll.’
Kenneth Brannaugh portrays a very strict BBC broadcasting boss, who is trying
to use his authority to promote censorship over the ‘air waves.’ While the crazy
characters on board the ship, are sending radio ‘shock waves’ of rock and roll
music out into the English atmosphere. They look like they are having a ball!
The gorgeous January Jones, is in a short part of the movie, as the “Duchess,”
while the main character is Tom Sturgess’ young teen, sent off to his godfather’s
domain, as a so-called “punishment” for being too wild in school.
After the movie, my Mom told my brother and I that she never could get why
parents were so upset over the lyrics, rhythm and movement that washed
over the musical industry during the period that this movie takes place in.
She mentioned the literary period where there was revolutionary thoughts,
along with the 50’s less serious musical and expressionary embodiment of
the “Beatniks.” She summed this up, coherently in this thought:
“Every generation has its rebels, who think they are totally original. While
their deterrents are ones who feel that their oppositional views will create
I have to remind you of why Mom is so open-minded, just in case you are
a ‘new’ reader or visitor to my blog. My Mom taught 30 years of high school.
She found the students that were repressed by authoritarian parents were
the first ones that showed rebellion, like the age old views on “P.K.’s” or
My brother, Randy, while discussing the soundtrack, somehow got on to
the subject of how there are main stream artists, bands and singing groups
that go beyond their ‘comfort zones.’
His examples were eclectic and unexpected. An example of a vegetable song,
which may not have been drug-induced but sounds like it was:
“Smiley Smile,” by the Beach Boys! It is part of that same driving and catchy
album, “Good Vibrations” is on. I had never heard it! Loved it, due to its quite
Using synthesizers, combined with real instruments led us to YouTube, to
also pursue a group with a “genius,” in Randy’s mind and ‘ears.’ Have you ever
listened to the group, Craftwork? Gary Anderson’s “Heroes and Villains,” is
The intriguing movie, that inspired a musical conversation about the “Beatniks”
by my Mom and my brother, Randy’s random musings, has great performances
from some ‘quirky’ actors, including the late, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and one
of my favorites, (from “Love Actually” and other British films) Bill Nighy. The
screenwriter is the one who came up with, “Four Weddings and a Funeral.”
If you haven’t time to watch the movie, please check out the soundtrack. Lots of
popular songs can be found here, along with the sixties and seventies connection.
I enjoyed the way England received the harder styled rock and roll, showing
young people gathered in front of televisions there on the “Other side of the
Pond,” teen-aged girls shrieking and teen boys, hiding below their blankets,
trying to listen to the ‘pirated’ songs played on a boat.
A true page out of history that is enjoyable from beginning to the end! You may
need to include a brew, ale or wine to get in the humorous proper frame of mind.
If you are not a drinker, be prepared for absolute silliness, some rather risqué
You may enjoy actual footage of DJ Robbie Dale, who was aboard the “Mi Amigo”
boat, captured by the film makers, Mike Hodges and Paddy Searle.
I cannot imagine a time when the Hollies and the Rolling Stones, among others
were considered so inflammatory and controversial!
Who would have imagined these ‘renegades’ would most of them have been
‘knighted’ by the Queen?!
Do you know a band who sang something you normally would not hear them sing?
They may have ‘stretched’ to encompass a different musical genre and out of their
Were there any songs(or groups) your parents ‘forbade’ you to listen to?