Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Back to the Future Day: 10/21/15

By now, if you've been following online news sites or social media, you've seen that today's Back to the Future Day. If you don't follow either and you only hang out on radio web pages or if you are located outside of North America and don't watch many American movie, here's a short explanation:

Back to the Future was a popular series of three movies that were produced between 1985 and 1989. Because of an accident involving terrorists, the main character winds up traveling back in time from 1985 to 1955. Problem is that he affects the events in his neighborhood, altering the future; one of the drastic effects is that he causes his parents to never meet, which results in him never being born. The rest of the movies in the series all involve time travel and fixing events in the future.

In Back to the Future II, Marty and Doc Brown travel from 1989 to fix the events on October 21, 2015. Today. A number of sites have discussed the events of the movie, what aspects of the "future" have come true, and the culture of the day. Even 26 years ago, there was plenty of talk about the failure of the Chicago Cubs to win a World Series since 1908 . . . and that's still true. In the movie, the Cubs win the World Series on 10/21/15. The Cubs actually made the playoffs this year and, after beating the Cardinals in the second round, were the hands-down favorites to win the National League. Now, having lost three straight to the New York Mets, ironically, the team might get eliminated on the same day that they were projected to win the World Series in Back to the Future II.

On the real October 21, 2015, a great pirate radio way to go back in time is via the unidentified station on 6770 kHz. Although not many of the programs are from 1955, the programming does range from about 1947 to 1954.

Maybe it's a stretch, but one station that really makes me think of Back to the Future (the first movie) is the brand new station Classic Pirate Radio Relay Service, which has made three broadcasts in the past week. During these broadcasts, CPRRS has relayed Radio Dead Man, The Crooked Man, and Radio Morania. I haven't dug too far into the archives, but all three of these stations were reported in 1985.

Radio Dead Man, a spliced-up program of punk, metal, and new wave music, and stories, all involving death, was first reported in August 1985. The station had an interesting photo QSL that was a clip-and-paste parody of a Red Man tobacco package.

The Crooked Man was a single program that was occasionally aired, starting in 1985. From the sound of it, someone recorded a paranoid-schizophrenic ham, saved the most interesting parts, and added in their own songs and IDs. The Crooked Man never responded to reception reports or anything else, making it one of the more mysterious stations.

Radio Morania was a parody of the communist shortwave broadcasters of the Cold War era. It was recorded in the late '60s and sold in cassette form in electronics magazines around 1972. Someone discovered (or rediscovered) the program in 1982 and it was occasionally aired without relay station IDs between 1982 and 1985, although it is still re-aired from time to time.

So, CPRRS might not be on the air tonight, but it was on last night with the Radio Morania relay; almost on October 21, 2015

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