Overheard, between juniors at the hairdressing salon today:
Junior #1: “So, like, I went to see the new Twilight movie last night.”
Junior #2: “Really! Was it great?”
#2:Â “I can’t wait. Have you read the books?”
#1: “Nah. Couldn’t be bothered.”
#2: “You gotta read them. They’re really great.”
Me (like an eejjit): “Did you know they were written by a Mormon, advocating chastity before marriage?”
#1 & #2: “Wha’?”
Overheard, as I’m leaving the salon: “The cheek of her, saying Twilight was written by a moron.”
The First Husband and I watched a DVD of this movie last night. In the interests of accuracy, I should clarify that the version we watched was the UK release, which was called The Boat that Rocked. Not sure why they changed the name for the North American release; either the distributors think we’re too stupid to get it, or they believe the word ‘pirate’ has a Pavlovian effect. Whatever. I managed to get a pirated (drool) copy through nefarious channels (Ohai, #1 Son!) of what I believe is the superior version. I’m told the North American release has been edited mercilessly to build up Philip Seymour Hoffman’s role, but he’s not as ubiquitous as the trailer would have us believe.
We quite enjoyed the movie, and absolutely loved the soundtrack, which I was busily downloading from iTunes as we watched. But it was nowhere near the movie it could have been, had the director or producers left out all the stupid girly stuff, and told the real story of pirate radio.
For me, growing up in wholly catlick Ireland in the 1960s, pirate radio was a godsend. Before it came along, the only place you could hear pop music was Radio Luxembourg, which, thanks to something called the Heaviside Layer, didn’t come on the air until after dark. Anyone who was a teenager in the British Isles during that era will remember the names of Barry Aldiss, Don Moss, and Pete Murray, who were some of Luxembourg’s top DJs – a term that didn’t even exist before them. Come to think of it, I seem to remember that the word “teenager” was only just coming into vogue then. Hmm. Suddenly, I’m really feeling my age, for some reason.
Most of us managed to survive with Radio Luxembourg, but we really didn’t know what we were missing, until an Irishman, named Ronan O’Rahilly, launched a radio station that broadcast from an old rust-bucket anchored in the North Sea. Known as Radio Caroline, it burst into my life like a rocket explosion. I was mouldering in boarding school at the time, when I found it by accident on my transistor radio, and I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I spent the next year playing cat and mouse with the nuns, who thought trannies (which meant something completely different back then!) were instruments of the devil – not far behind books, by their weird standards. Hard to believe, but the nuns once wrote to my father to report that I had been caught reading Jane Eyre. They were complaining to the wrong man; he responded by sending me a copy of At Swim Two Birds, which nearly gave the Reverend Mother the vapours. Much to my father’s delight, I might add.
Despite their best efforts, I managed to keep my tranny hidden from the nuns (Holy shades of Colditz, Batman!) for the remainder of my prison boarding school term, and my pals and I rocked on to the music of Radio Caroline. The scenes in the movie, of boarding school kids jiving and twisting in their dormitories to the music of Radio Rock, brought back some hilarious memories for me. As seniors, we slept in single rooms rather than dormitories (which rooms, I kid you not, were called cells!) and we used to crowd into mine every night after Lights Out to listen to Caroline.
Great fun. And my only good memories of boarding school.
When I grow up, I want to become Jeanne Robertson …