We still promise, Tom

It’s been a year since Tom Lodge left us. Every time we listen to a song from the early days of the British Invasion, like those from Georgie Fame or the Zombies, we immediately think of Tom.

Shortly before his death, he wrote to a few of us, imploring us to do what we could keep the remarkable story of Radio Caroline and Tom’s role in  it alive.

It was a promise that we gave eagerly.  And now, a year later, we re-dedicate ourselves to that task. Today, have another look at Tom Lodge,  “The man who launched the British Invasion”

The Man Who Launched the British Invasion

We are pleased to announce that our latest video about Tom Lodge, Radio Caroline and Pirate Radio can now be viewed on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxnYkd6DO9s

It’s got some terrific audio clips of Tom on the air during the mid 60s.  If you missed our original video, put out when we released Tom’s book The Ship that Rocked the World: How Radio Caroline Defied the Establishment, Launched the British Invasion and Made the Planet Safe for Rock and Roll, it can also be found on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPZ0h6q2zSw

Or you can visit www.shipthatrocked.com for even more audio clips, to read the foreword by Steven Van Zandt and more.

Imagine John Lennon as a Tea Party Activist

Imagine John Lennon as a Tea Party Activist

Thirty-one years after his death, John Lennon’s political leanings are still the
subject of some speculation. What exactly were his political views?

In an interview featured in the documentary Beatles Stories, Lennon’s personal
assistant Fred Seaman suggested that the former Beatle had become quite
conservative in the late 70s and was even a fan of Ronald Reagan.

Some, including his publicist Elliot Mintz, claim that Lennon’s views remained
unchanged even in later life.

Today, the legacy of Lennon’s political principles is most closely associated
with the belief in the possibility of an end to war and world peace. However, a
little-known 1966 interview, revealed in the book, The Ship that Rocked the
World, suggests that had Lennon lived, he might have been a fervent backer of
the Tea Party.

Lennon’s thinking was made clear in the course of the conversation between the
Beatles and Tom Lodge, top DJ of the pirate radio ship Radio Caroline. The
mostly zany impromptu meeting took place in London in March of that year.

Asked if he had ideas about how he would change Britain, Lennon said he would
“like to change it a lot.”

“In what way?” Lodge asked.
“Well, the tax problem,” Lennon replied.
And what would he do about taxes, Lodge wanted to know. “I’d reduce it
drastically.”

If he were a member of the government, did he mean?
Lennon didn’t care. “If I was anybody, I’d reduce it…drastically.”
George Harrison, who is known as the main writer, along with Lennon, of the song
“Taxman,” piped in to share his thoughts as well, albeit tongue-in-cheek. “Give
the pop stars a fairer share of the country’s wealth,” he said.

“Complaining about taxes was not an unusual thing to hear from British pop stars
at that time,” Tom Lodge says today. “They were all young and most came from
poor backgrounds. Suddenly they had a lot of money that could be taxed.” Lodge
should know. As the top DJ on Radio Caroline from 1964-67, he is widely credited
for helping make stars out of many young musicians.

But Lennon was more outspoken than most – and more direct. “They can’t take the
taxes down because they haven’t got enough money. And they’ll never have enough
money while they’re buying all that crap”So if they pay off a few of the bloody
debts, then maybe they’d be able to cut the tax down a little.”

Sure sounds like someone who might have supported the Tea Party movement.

To listen to John Lennon from 1966, go to www.shipthatrocked.com/audio/lennon_on_taxes.mp3
To learn more about Radio Caroline, Tom Lodge, and the true story of Pirate
Radio, visit www.ShipThatRocked.com