And now... some vaguely interesting facts about...
THE STARSHIP OVERFLOW!
Many many moons ago, when The Overflow had only just began back in the depths of 1986, we were heavily into the amazing music of Daevid Allen & Gong. Over 1973/1974, Gong had produced a trilogy of LP's called: Radio Gnome Invisible, a telepathic radio station broadcasting from an illuminous green Flying Teapot (For those of you who have no idea....I'm serious here)!
We adopted the Flying Teapot for the station (seeing as it had been standing dormant for some years), and through the power of purely our imaginations, that was where the sound of The Overflow emanated from in our early years of broadcasting.
There was much fun on board the teapot of course. One day we held the 'Pea-Green Radio Party'. All crew members were asked to put on their wellington boots and dungarees and grab either the nearest bucket and mop, or something similar from the cleaning cupboard. Zippy the Hippy was given a duster and a tin of duraglit and asked to polish the spout, though as expected he palmed that job off on poor George. Somehow, George managed to wangle his way out of it to and The Black Widow ended up doing the job. It must have been bribery... (We think he gave her his last drop of Advacaart)!
Sometime in early 1987, after a particularly heavy night of copius tea-drinking (and we're not talking 'Earl Grey' here) ,Tim Rice recorded the very first 'Starship Overflow' jingle, which soon became popular.
From the ashes of an ancient civilisation.
A civilisation in the corner of a galaxy, your pitifull planet resides in, came the
It's 250,000 tonnes of hi-tech, on a mission. A mission that would search every
planet. No stone unturned to find lifeforms that turn on beings.
Beings that appreciate music in a horizontal position, that doe'snt involve much
more than sticking papers together!
Overflow knows who blows!
It was around 1991 before there were any further Starship jingles, when Tim came up with several variations of the original, including specialised 90.9FM & 6300kkz SW versions, two frequencies that we used around that time.
It was also around then, that our first floating broadcast vessel - The Flying Teapot, did a mysterious dissapearing act and The Overflow began broadcasting from the all new Starship Overflow!
This gave us the opportunity to really play up to our listeners. The new starship became a big part of the programming between songs and I dont just mean with the jingles being used. One of my favourite recollections, was taking our listeners on a guided tour of the ship, discovering everything from the heads (Ship's toilet), to the snooker room!
Other rooms included : the galley, the engine room, the boiler room, the laundry, the rather uncouth Overflow bathroom, the meditation room, the DJ's cabins and most importantly, all 14 of the licensed bars, (for which L.Blitz had a regular rota).
I took a mobile microphone and went for a walk about, giving a running commentary on each room and what was in it. Upon entering, would speak to whoever was inside without any fore-warning. This made for some hilarious radio, as it put everyone on the spot. For all i knew, I could have accidentally stumbled into an alien orgy!
The Starship tour, again proved popular. So for quite some time, we would visit various places on the ship and every now and then stumble across a completely new room - proclaiming undiscovered territory!!!
In 1997 Tim came up with a new black & white 'Starship Overflow' design. However,that was not at all how I had visualised the Starship Overflow to look. So, at this point the theme changed slightly... the emphasis becoming the workings of the ship & how old it was. After seven years service, tirelessly circling the planet Earth, with no maintenance and few repairs, we had run the poor old girl into the ground (or air I suppose - odd one that)!!!
After weeks of moaning about the ill state of the ship, many on-board accidents occuring, bits falling off including George (who Zippy The Hippy chucked out of a porthole) and even one of the boilers that went bang and shot out of the rear hatch landing on Frinton beach (pictured above - courtesy of 'The Frinton Bugle'), it was time for a new ship maybe!
So myself & The Black Widow went in search of a second hand space-ship, (or nearly new as it were) and found one at a used car-lot (& spaceship-lot obviously), on a notorious local estate known as Hi-Woods. (A titled earned, due to the level of blatent druggies hiding up trees)! Please note - we were pillars of the community and wish to dis-associate ourselves from the whole nasty business.
To be known as The Starship Overflow 2, our new ship was quickly refurbished, studios installed and a large supply of Abbot Ale was delivered ready for the ship-warming party. The black & white starship poster was distributed and the hype began once again.
Yippee, it was all systems go! The roar of the engines... this magnificent sight of steel & gleam, the sidewinder rockets.... (they dont always crash you know - Calvert/Stanshall 1974)!
The new ship once again brought a breath of fresh air to The Overflow. Plenty to talk about, a new tour for the listeners, more bizzare rooms to discover and lots of inter-planetary adventures.
When the station closed in early 2001 and was then brought back for a few months in the final phase of the pirate days, the Starship Overflow 2 was no longer featured. The ship was sold for peanuts, to a used starship salesman and in turn sold on to Universal and blown up in some film called 'Independance day'!
In 2005, Tim Rice (now our webmaster), created the Starship Overflow 3, a new website featuring the view from the cockpit of our fantastic new ship. There were many forums to post in and gadgets to play with on site, including a visual screen where you could chat with anyone who happened to be logged on while you were. Although you had to be a member to post in the forums, anyone could speak through the visual screen, human or alien!
Here in 2008, the Starship Overflow 4 is a state of mind, imperative to travel within, if you wish to retain your marbles. No flash designs, no more ludicrous adventures, just a magical musical escape from the political dogs that rule our Mother-Earth!