The Carl Mitchell papers, pages 3 and 4

Carl Mitchell

We continue Carl Mitchell's outline notes for a book about Radio Caroline he was planning to write. On page three he mentions some of the engineers: Ray Glennister, Morris Brown and Don Richardson as well as fellow disc-jockeys Robbie Dale, Glenn Adams, Stevi Merike, Spangles Muldoon, Ray Cooper and Stevie Gee (or G). Weismuller (actually spelled Wijsmuller) was the company that crewed and serviced the Mi Amigo. A couple of Carl's offshore colleagues, Andy Archer and Bud Ballou have helped fill in the gaps in our knowledge and explained some of Carl's references. For instance, we didn't know what the ‘Frau Weissmuller’ song was. Bud tells us “The song was sung by our Dutch crew around the holidays after many drinks, had dirty (Dutch) lyrics, and was sung to the tune of ‘O Tannenbaum’ (Oh Christmas Tree). Each crew member would take turns singing some made-up lyrics and then they would all burst out laughing.”
Andy explains the reference to the Hotel Pax. “This is one of the hotels we stayed in when on shore leave. The other was Hotel Suisse.” Bud remembers the nightlife. He says: “Two of the clubs in Amsterdam we went to were The Kick and The Blue Note on Leidseplein.”

Carl's papers - page 3
Outline cont.

Engineers - character, some things they have been responsible for. Like going off the air. Ray Voice of Gloom - why name. Morris - the Rockin' Vicar. Already mentioned Don. Mention tender crew, handing (handling?) scene - both watching from tender and shore. Opinions and info on Weismuller (sic) - don't forget the song - “Frau Weismuller”. Thing on Christmas, Christmas tree and all the packages - what some of us got. New Years and what a drag! Hardships of living on a boat. Pleasures - drop out scene - chance to get a name for ourselves. What London crowd is like. Feelings toward Radio 1. Towards DJs of Radio One. View of land and their view of us. Listener reaction in Tunbridge Wells. Look into Robbie's character, the conversation between him and Glen Adams. Memos. Plug records. Blue boxes. Food. Balloon scene before Christmas of Robbie's. Ramonda in office during big scene of Sally coming over. Also Stevi and Spangles in office. Hotel Pax. Clubs in Amsterdam. Ray Cooper and more important Stevie G.

Andy Archer also remembers “the Voice of Gloom”. He says “That was dear old Ray Glennister's nickname! Sometimes you would want to slit your wrists after a session with Ray!!”
Page four of Carl's notebook talks about the Viking Saga, the pleasure boat that used to bring holiday-makers out to see the radio ship. There is a reference to someone called Andrew Carr. Does Carl mean Andrew Kerr, also mentioned by Glenn Adams, who was involved in the start of the Glastonbury Festival (see Guardian obituary), author of Intolerably Hip? The Beatwave Carl refers to was a magazine started by Robin G. Allen to report on the offshore radio scene. Sadly it only lasted two issues. The “Scaddin” Carl mentions is Bill Scadden who used to operate the radio link between his home in England and the Mi Amigo.
We got the impression that Carl didn't approve of drinking (see also the reference on the previous page) but was rather more enthusiastic about the pot “smoking scene”. Andy has confirmed this: “As I recall, Carl was not much of a drinker, just the odd glass of beer. He preferred dope to booze!” When he wasn't on the ship, Carl lived in Amsterdam, a city with a famously tolerant attitude to soft drug use. Andy has also explained the reference to homing pigeons. He writes: “Often they would get lost or exhausted and stay on the ship for a few days before flying off.” Explaining another reference, he says: “The hotel in Frinton was The Maplin. Carl was fascinated by the town of Frinton, its gentility etc. He went to stay there for a couple of days and stayed at the Maplin.”

Carl's papers - page 4
Outline cont.

Visitors - Viking Saga. Fishing boat, speed boat. Beatwave reporters, Andrew Carr. Also give personal opinion. Maybe include some info on smoking scene. Also drinking. Rations. Cigarettes. Views on the government. Also news source, how it's done. Mention possibility of land station and Luxembourg rumour - maybe Isle Of Man? Tape of August 15. How everyone felt. Salary, DJs vs. engineers. Scaddin (sic) & comunication - how it's done. Homing pigeon. Birds that congregate. Smell of diesel oil and how one gets accustomed to it. Communication with listeners. Real power of station, also potential. Generators and station close down & start. Reason for it. Maybe some facts and figures on background of everyone. Ice cream. Beer throwing Christmas. Hotel in Frinton and slight description of town. Their reaction to when it went aground. Gale force 11 scene. What happened. What happens when mic is closed. Cue up - selection of records, cross off plug list. Smoking. Promo tapes and shower or bathroom.

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