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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pirate Radio Brings Me Back to the '60s

I know I should be writing and the guilt is biting into me like tiny pinches all last night and today, but I'll be back to it after writing this post. :) See my current NaNo total on the sidebar, but for those who don't want to look it is 18, 237 words so far. I want to be over 20,000 words by the end of tonight and hopefully I will spurt ahead in the next week. Hope all of you who are doing NaNo with me are able to write and that it is smooth and fun. Though I have to admit that sometimes writing isn't fun, though as I think back on the experience it's like a beautiful memory.LOL

Yesterday we went to see "Pirate Radio" in a theater we usually don't frequent. But the times matched and we were close so we went there. The seats in this theater are different, because they are slanted back so when you sit you are automatically forced into an angle. It's almost like your chair had been tipped back and of course you can go back further too. But the strange part about this is that they were very comfortable during the movie once I got used to it. Normal modern movie theater seats have the back loose so you can lean backward, but in these the seat tips back. So I spent awhile acclimating myself to these.:)

"Pirate Radio" is a movie that is best appreciated by people who have either lived through the 1960's or have a good knowledge of the music and history of this period. Based on a true story about the brave people who had radio stations that played rock music, banned in Great Britain in that time, this movie explores the every day life of those people. They couldn't broadcast on land, so they did it from ships out beyond the three mile limit so they wouldn't be touched. For someone who lived in America during that time period and actually listened to what they called alternative radio, it's hard to understand not being able to listen freely. However, in the movie they mentioned that over 25 million people listened to the pirate radio stations every day. These stations had to be listened to in locked rooms or in the middle of the night in the privacy of your own home. People listened in groups and danced and sang along. It was a real fan experience with people choosing their favorite DJ's.

The movie goes into what it was like for the hard working broadcasters on a ship out at sea. The tone is light and the story brings a layer to the movie that transcends the music. Though the music is so great! It starts in 1966 when the British government decided it wanted to get rid of pirate radio stations. Kenneth Branagh is a member of the government who needs to exterminate the station. I researched it a little bit and there were more than one of these stations broadcasting out there. But his performance is so incredible, because I didn't even realize who he was until after a few scenes. With his hair slicked back and in a suit of the period, he certainly looks the part. I think he even gained a little weight for the role too. There is not a drop of sexiness in this character at all.:) Also in the movie and I'm not counting, but she's been in several movies this year, Emma Thompson. She has a small part, but she makes the most of it.:) January Jones has a cameo role too, and she plays it well.

But even though the movie is one of the best I have seen this year, what holds it together is the soundtrack made up of every classic rock song you ever heard. The movie starts with The Kinks and you hear Beatles songs a great deal, because at that time I think they had four or five songs that went to number one. Music fills the movie almost like another character and it is constantly on in the background. We have all heard these songs so much that they are a part of our life and especially with The Kinks, who we saw a great deal in concert later in the decade, I could picture them doing their thing on stage.

I think it's better not to give the story, but I will say if you love rock music and "WKRP in Cincinnati", you will love this movie. There is a lot about the workings of a radio station and you get behind the scenes and inside the lives of all of the people who inhabit the ship that houses "Radio Rock". Though as Ben Fong - Torres quotes another writer saying in his review: "It wasn't about rock and roll. It just used rock and roll." it made me leave the theater with a smile and for me that is a great movie. Don't we all need something to make us smile these days?:)

Can't get into the change in the times yet. The sun started to set before 5:00PM today and I'm not ready to crawl into my house for winter yet. Nights seem to be endless and they will only get worse as we get toward the beginning of winter. If I get up late I only have a few hours of daylight, so I'm going to have to go to bed earlier just so I can see more daylight!:) Of course as the nights get longer the earlier the sun rises. So if I stay up late enough I can see daylight too.LOL

Have to get back to writing, because those words won't write themselves.:) Until the next time hope all of you had a great weekend and are staying healthy and warm or cool if you live in a warmer climate.:) The temperature changes are also strange too. One day it is in the 40's and today it was 65 degrees. Ah global climate change!!

Thank you to my faithful readers and to the new people who are following me. I hope you had a chance to listen to my October radio show on Red River Writers Live Tales from the Pages. My November show, which will be on Tuesday, November 24th will feature Kim Richards Gilchrist who is the co-founder of Damnation Books and Julie Maloney, who has founded a group called Women Reading Aloud. Julie will discuss how she came to found her group and what the group hopes to achieve. On my October show Karen Hunter and I discussed the idea of "authenticity". Julie Maloney founded her group on this idea. It should be a fun show.:)

My December show is going to be all about a wonderful group called Milspeak. It is made up of service people from the armed forces. A woman named Sally Drumm formed this group of people who wanted to write and now there is a book out called Milspeak: Warriors, Veterans, Family and Friends Writing the Military Experience with all of their writing. Unlike previous shows I am devoting the entire show to these writers. It should be a great show and I am looking forward to meeting all of these new writers. I hope you will join me. Just click on the icon on the sidebar or go to Red River Writers Live Tales from the Pages for November.


  1. Well I am one of the people who lived through the times of pirate radio, and it certainly does bring back memories. Great memories of great music.
    Thanks for the memory. lol

  2. Donald,
    Thank you for visiting! Did you live in England or in the US? Glad you enjoyed the post. Please come back and visit again! Us youngsters have to stick together.:)

  3. Thanks for the review of "Pirate Radio." It's one of those ones on my "wanna see" list. Maybe I will. With a six year old, most of our movie budget is donated to Pixar and the like. :-)

  4. V.R,
    You're welcome! Thanks for visiting. I remember when The Care Bears movies were my usual viewing. Cheer up! Get a babysitter and treat yourself to a movie.:) Or you can wait until they're grown and come back to live with you!LOL


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