JOHNNIE    WALKER

Johnnie Walker
In January 1982, former 60's Caroline deejay Johnnie Walker announced that Radio Caroline would return to the air on November 28th 1982. Speaking to London magazine -"Event" Johnnie revealed 'We are calling the ship 'IMAGINE' because we very much wanted to keep going the philosophy that Lennon was putting forward during his life. We've got some amazing stuff from Lennon in an interview he did in America. He said that in the '60s we all wanted peace and love, and when it didn't happen we moaned. But you couldn't change the world overnight, and you couldn't expect someone else to change it for you. I think that on Caroline we can offer something that's not being offered elsewhere in this country, not only the music but the consciousness and attitude of the deejays and what they talk about. For their three hour stints each day the jocks will be paid slightly better than on British commercial radio. I have been attracted back by Caroline's policy of 'free form' radio: playing around the clock a mixture of all popular music genres, on albums and singles, regarless of the demographic studies which impose blandness upon land-based commercial radio. I am under no pressure to hit target audiences from Caroline's advertisers. On a ship out there in international waters, full of talk about freedom, it doesn't really make sense to enforce rules and formats on deejays. I like to think we'll be a radio equivalent of "Ready Steady Go!". Johnnie was to be programme director for the new Radio Caroline, but by the Summer, Johnnie had quit, as there was no sign of the station returning. He took up a job with Radio West in Bristol UK.

James Ryan
New investors for the Caroline project had been found in Canada, among them Elaine and Thomas Morrison. They invested in Simor Establishments, a company in Vaduz Liechenstein, one of a number of "smokescreen" companies that were responsible for owning and operating the Ross Revenge and Radio Caroline. The financial director of the company was James G. Ryan, a New York money broker and consultant in whose wake it was said "Banks have turned to jelly". James Ryan's involvement soon led to disagreements and legal action. A private investigator was called in by the Canadian backers, as they had no proof that a ship had been purchased, and wanted to trace the 500,000 US Dollars they had given the Caroline Organisation. It was claimed that Ryan - financial director of Simor Establishments until "removed" by Ronan O'Rahilly in March 1982, schemed to defraud the Morrisons. Around May 1982, FBI agents set up an undercover "sting" operation in New York, to ensnare James Ryan, who was arrested for fraud. As a result of the legal actions, the Ross Revenge was chained up, and all work stopped. The court case against James Ryan, was finally heard in November 1989, when he lost his appeal in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvannia courts and was sentenced to five years imprisonment on charges of fraud.

Johnnie Walker

Johnnie Walker

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Portokabin

Portakabin on deck

James Ryan

James Ryan

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Ross Spain

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