A few weeks ago, the great Christopher Knowles of The Secret Sun emailed this most curious account by legendary DJ John Peel describing an incident that unfolded in Dallas, Texas in the immediate aftermath of the Kennedy assassination. At the time, the British Peel had been living in the Dallas area while working as a DJ and for an insurance company. Somehow, Peel was able to convince Dallas police that he was a journalist working for the Liverpool Echo. This bought him a ringside seat for Lee Harvey Oswald's first appearance as Kennedy's alleged assassin before the press. Also present for this event was Oswald's future assassin (as in two days later), Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby.
This is quite a bizarre "coincidence" on any number of levels. For one, there is Peel's fondness for underage girls. This was a "taste" that Peel reportedly first developed while residing in the Dallas area. After Beatlemania broke out in earnest during early 1964 (only a few months after the assassination), Peel described the scene as thus:
"I was suddenly confronted by this succession of teenage girls who didn't want to know anything about me at all. All they wanted me to do was to abuse them, sexually, which, of course, I was only too happy to do."
|Jack Ruby is on the far left while Peel is on the far right|
The curious figure who ties all of this together is fellow DJ and media baron Gordon McLendon. McLendon is considered to be one of the pioneers of Top 40 programming and pirate radio. One of Peel's earliest radio gigs involved working for McLendon's famed KLIF station as its "official" Beatles correspondent. Reportedly, McLendon also had ties to the even more legendary Radio London, the off-shore pirate station that provided Peel with his first big break when he returned to the UK in 1967.
As was noted above, it was during this time that Peel first developed a taste for underage girls. This ultimately resulted in him marrying a 15-year-old Texas girl in 1965. Not long afterwards, they fled to Oklahoma "just ahead of [the] police." Two years later, Peel would end up back in the UK working for the McLendon-backed Radio London.
As should come as little surprise, McLendon had a deep background. Before breaking into the entertainment biz, McLendon cut his teeth working for the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) during the Second World War. There also indications that McLendon had ties to the Syndicate in the Dallas area. The great Peter Dale Scott in Deep Politics and the Death of JFK notes that McLendon was one of Ruby's six "closet friends" in the Dallas area and that he turned up in the saga of Candy Barr, a Syndicate-linked stripper and prostitute who had relations with both Ruby and LA godfather Mickey Cohen.
|David Atlee Phillips|
The AFIO is certainly a curious entity. As such, it is quite striking that a future co-founder was active in Peel's early career. While this researcher has found no indications that McLendon knew Peel when he found his way to Oswald's press conference, there can be little doubt that Peel was in his employment when he began his escapades with teenage girls. Peel was then able to move around the country, despite having married a 15 year-old in 1965, with little concern over the legal consequences. When things finally did get a little hot in the States, he effortlessly returned to the UK, got a job at another radio station linked to McLendon, and would continue his peculiar appetites unabated for decades to come.
This isn't to suggest that Peel was wholly a creation of McLendon. Surely he had other backers. But Peel does make another curious addition to this sinister network lurking behind the JFK assassination that appears to have become gradually incorporated into the AFIO's network by the 1970s. McLendon's own contributions to the creation of modern radio in the US and Europe, in addition to his patronage of Peel (possibly the most famous DJ in the world by the end of the 20th century) shows that this network's influence on popular culture was none inconsiderate, in addition to its other activities.
What's more, the profound influence that Texas had on the development of rock 'n roll is tremendous, if little understood. The "pirate stations" that McLendon launched from there were instrumental in introducing both "black music" and early rock to a wide ranging audience across the United States. A few years later, one of the earliest psychedelic scenes in the US would emerge in Austin. Inevitable, it also produced the largest acid rock scene outside of San Francisco, driven by the legendary 13th Floor Elevators. And even the far more well known San Fran scene owed a huge debt to their Texan counterparts. Further, the Austin scene would later have a tremendous influence on a host of other styles: blues rock, punk, new wave, and post-punk, among others. Much more information on the Austin scene can be found in my series on the Elevators.
This was quite a feat for what was and still is one of the most conservative states in these United States. And with a man like McLendon looming behind these happenings, one is left with the distinction impression that these developments were not entirely organic. And with that I shall sign off for now. Until next time dear readers, stay tuned.
Thanks for this interesting article. There was definitely a darker side to the UK pirate radio stations: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/armed-raids-shotgun-killing-drugs-10993196ReplyDelete
Can't help noticing how much KLIF looks like KLF...ReplyDelete
Some interesting paper-trail on deep state involvement in the UK pirate radio scene here:
Combined with what we now know of Jimmy Savile, and extrapolating from the Dave Macgowan material, a couple of grimly ironic points become almost inescapable -
The entire edifice of rock'n'roll/pop-culture was developed as an anti-Soviet op to capture the spirit, allegiance and disposable income of post-war Western youth; and that the same youth culture was basically an artificial, public-financed industry, enjoying massive state subsidies while espousing a primitive libertarian philosophy which fetishised individualism, ant-statism etc.
Great take. Consider now how such a preponderance of people digging into these matters are coming from a more rightward tendency. All this rock and roll was a plot to destroy 'the family' (itself a social construct largely created in the 19th century to enforce social reproduction of the laissez-faire capitalist society. Why would the CIA, (an organization formed by an unwholesome marriage of white shoe law firms, wall street finance houses and military adventurers, particularly those who'd made their fortune in the corruption of the Chinese dope trade) suddenly want to unleash anarchism, eastern religious traditions, and psychedelic substances on a population already thoroughly indoctrinated in Eisenhower era mores? They already had near total social control. Who decided to dump those drums of pure Sandoz LSD out the back of the Army truck that night?Delete
This is why we have David Icke and "Q". People are trying to make some kind of sense of a situation wherein the documentary and witness evidence seems to point to an inner court aristocracy dissolving the sinews of its own power. Trying to make sense of this, people reach for 'aliens', 'The Jews', the idea that the CIA was a commie front all along1
It seems like it was a way to divert naturally rebellious impulses and direct them towards activities that aren't harmful to the status quo. Whenever social stresses push the young towards overturning things we see new drugs/music pop up out of the blue and dominate the culture. The Sixties may be the base example, but look at Britain in the late 80s; the poll tax was massively unpopular & mixed with high youth unemployment it seemed like something was going to blow. This led to the poll tax riots and it seemed for a brief time that young people power could take down the political class.Delete
Alongside these pressures rave culture appeared almost fully formed accompanied by a new drug culture and was heavily promoted in the media. Within a few years political kick-offs ceased and young people became more apathetic often focussing on single-issues that allowed easy vectors of attack from politicians.
The Verve sung 'The Drugs Don't Work', but as a social anaesthetic they almost certainly do.
Am about to listen to a podcast on Wouter Basson, the South African bioweapons expert and scumbag who may have produced much of the Ecstasy that fuelled the rave scene in Europe.
The defeated must not be given any sign of any possibility besides submitting themselves totally to a self-reinforcing feedback loop of a self fulfilling prophecy, a destiny of demoralization & self-destruction.Delete
Another question that comes straight to mind is: Who owned those famous Mexican radio stations? Wolfman Jack the pivotal figure in George Lucas'American Graffitti' KIngdoms of the Radio indeed. Too Much Revolution, then?ReplyDelete