Dred Lepke was the man behind the Dread Broadcasting Corporation, the first black music pirate station in the UK. He began broadcasting from a shed in his Neasden back garden in in October 1980 with an aerial that sent his reggae and community vibes out as far as the end of the street. Soon it became a cultural phenomenon, the literal grandaddy of today’s vibrant pirate radio scene. I interviewed Lepke in 2002 for a Mixmag feature on the history of pirate radio and he kindly sent me this cassette tape, with a handwritten cover, of recordings from the station – something he later turned into the brilliant Trojan compilation ‘Dread Broadcasting Corporation: Rebel Radio’. It’s still got pride of place in my front room. As Lepke said: ‘tune in if yu rankin’.
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