The Beatles were back in the studio today, though they didn’t actually get to work until almost 7 P.M., the lazy bastards.

The first thing they did was to record a Christmas message in support of the “pirate radio” stations Radio London and Radio Caroline, which operated from ships anchored offshore to circumvent the British government’s monopoly on broadcasting. Before Radio Caroline went on the air in March 1964, the government’s cozy relationship with the major record companies had severely limited what British listeners got to hear. But an unlicensed station could play whatever the hell they wanted.

Wikipedia says that Radio Caroline “was a pirate radio station that never actually became illegal, although after the Marine Offences Act (1967) it became illegal for a British subject to associate with it.” Radio London came along later in the year, and radio was probably never as glamorous as it was at this time, beaming contraband rock’n’roll to a grateful nation. And they even got a shout-out from The Beatles — how cool is that? Continue reading »