That’s Pirate Radio Part 5 – Radio 2 Cominatcha!

June 10, 2007 at 11:12 pm Leave a comment

In May 1979 RTE launched a new legal pop station, Radio 2, hiring A.R.D. founder Declan Meehan to front the breakfast show. On his first show, Meehan famously told listeners that ‘it’s eighteen after eight’, and was carpeted by a producer who insisted that on RTE it was not ‘eighteen after eight’ but ‘eighteen minutes past eight o’clock’. >>>

Radio 2 Schedule, 29 May 1979

The first record played on Radio 2 was the Boomtown Rats hit ‘Like Clockwork’. Here is the first day’s schedule, which began with a lunchtime launch by the least likely pop promoter in Ireland, Fianna Fáil’s Padraig Faulkner, the exceedingly busy Minister for Posts and Telegraphs and Transport and Power.

  • ‘Pop around Ireland’, an afternoon musical greetings show
  • ‘Wheelin’ Home’ with Marty Whelan
  • ‘The Heather Breeze’ with Áine Hennessy
  • ‘Keep it Country’ with Pascal Mooney
  • ‘Night Moves’ with Mark Cagney
  • ‘Dave Fanning Rocks’ with, erm, Dave Fanning

At 2 a.m., when Dave Fanning was used to handing over to Smiley Bolger for the night shift on Big D, Radio 2 sensibly closed down so that everyone involved could get a good night’s sleep.

Pirate Radio, About the Same Time

Contrast this responsible formality to the twilight world of the early pirates, where illegal deejays hosted illegal phone-ins late into the early morning, during which they illegally gave legal advice to listeners. Late one night I phoned in a prank call to such a show, pretending to seek advice about a tricky problem.

Here’s a summary of our on-air chat:

‘Me and a few friends were out watching the Rhythm Kings a few weeks ago, and one of my friends stayed overnight in my flat,’ I began, ‘then my landlord found out about it and wanted him to pay rent.’

‘No,’ the agony-aunt DJ helpfully assured me, ‘he can’t do that.’

‘Yeah, that’s what I thought, but then the landlord came back again the next night, and my friend was there again, so my friend hid in the bedroom, and the landlord said that he knew he was somewhere in the flat, and he was raging’

‘And what happened next?’ asked the DJ.

‘Well, the landlord broke down the bedroom door.’

‘He physically broke the door?’

‘Yeah, and… I think my friend hit him first.’

‘He physically hit him? That’s not good.’

‘And then the landlord took out a gun and shot him dead.’

Long pause. (Extremely long.)

‘He shot him? Have you phoned the police?’

‘No, he said if we did that he’d shoot us too…’

And all of it seemed believable in the surreal environment of late-night pirate radio.

Next Post in Series: Sunshine Radio
Previous Post in Series: The Big Three
First Post in Series: Radio Dublin 253

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Entry filed under: Culture.

John Waters & God v. Hitchens & Reason That’s Pirate Radio Part 6 – Sunshine Radio

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A blog by Michael Nugent

Welcome to my blog about living in the maddest country on earth. Please feel free to leave a comment.

I also write Bionic Bohs, a blog about following Bohemians football club in the 1970s.

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Bionic Bohs

As mentioned above, if you like Irish football and/or cultural nostalgia, I also write Bionic Bohs, a blog about following Bohs in the 1970s.

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