Long time Los Angeles residences, especially those in the Hollywood area, may remember a pirate radio station operating on 87.9fm from 2000 to 2003 called Pirate Cat Radio. The station even return to broadcasting in L.A. from 2005 to 2006, featuring illegal rebroadcasting of the Sirius based Howard Stern show and original radio shows hosted by “Madam of Hollywood” Heidi Fleiss, comedian Andy Dick, Bauhaus drummer Kevin Haskins and Victoria Sellers (daughter of Peter Sellers).
Pirate Cat Radio’s punk-rock-ethic-based-programming gained a great deal of attention in LA during, winning the stations founder, DJ Monkey Man, the 2002 L.A.W.M.A for best radio show.
DJ Monkey (Daniel Monkey Man Roberts) continued to broadcast Pirate Cat Radio in the San Francisco Bay Area, eventually from his cafe “Pirate Cat Radio Cafe” in the San Francisco Mission District. The FCC eventually caught up with Monkey in 2009 and fined him a whooping $10,000.
This took the station off the air and brought online and occasionally providing content for Monkey’s other, legal radio stations (KPDO and KXCF).
Towards the end of 2010, Monkey decided to sell Pirate Cat Radio Cafe to use the funds to get Pirate Cat Radio onto XM radio as XM/Sirius had opened an application window for new stations. Monkey also planned to move and work on radio projects abroad. “I wanted to live life as a normal person and get away from the spotlight. It became impossible to walk down the streets of SF without someone you don’t know stopping you and acting like they have been a life long friend. It was all too superficial for my liking.” says Monkey.
During the sale of Pirate Cat Radio Cafe, complications arose with the sale the cafe and the new owner laid false claims to also owning Pirate Cat Radio. “This really created a difficult situation for me and the legacy I built around Pirate Cat Radio. Despite the sales contract for the cafe this guy was seriously trying to pull a fast one and take everything. Sadly the station staff got lost in the mess and made things even more complicated.” Monkey and his attorney, Michael Cousins, fought a legal battle with the new cafe owner and eventually won. The cafe owner, Raymond Chen, still owing Monkey over $12,000 in damages (Chen declined interviews).
The remaining staff of Pirate Cat Radio regrouped to start Mutiny Radio with Chen. ” I really was hoping that these guys could keep the viable business running that I had created. Sadly the new owner took too many wrong turns.” say Monkey. The cafe has since closed and become less than what Monkey had originally hoped for.
While abroad, Monkey worked remotely with Common Frequency members on a number of FM radio projects and was asked to join Nokia to help them develop a personalized music application.
At the start of 2014, Monkey was contacted by former a Pirate Cat DJ and was told of the problems with Mutiny Radio how they needed to change. ” I can’t say who contacted me as I promised to protect this persons name, but basically a few of the staff members wanted to get out and cut their loses. That’s what I was told anyway. “.
One reason may be that The current landlord of the former cafe, Jin Yee is closing the Mutiny studio (former cafe) in San Francisco. Mr. Yee spoke to us via a Mandarin translator: “The studio downstairs has been a problem for to long. My family and I need to move these people out of there”.
The staff member that contact Monkey offered to sell him the domain names for Mutiny Radio.
“Buy your domains? I figured why not. Pirate Cat Radio had already been running out of Berlin as an FM station since 2011 and I had plans for how I wanted to grow Pirate Cat.
Monkey did buy the domains and, as of March 4th, re-launched Mutiny Radio as Pirate Cat Radio’s “All punk, all the time” online stream based out of Los Angeles. Monkey and LA based Pirate Cat DJs started building new studio for Mutiny Radio in the same small Silver Lake office as the Pirate Cat studio.
“Monkey has really been amazing! We usually only get to talk over Skype when he is like in bed, but this guy has really helped us to build something incredible out here. We are really stoked to run a second station from here.” says Cyrus Gambar, L.A. based DJ on Pirate Cat Radio.
Monkey and his crew plan to run Mutiny much like the way Pirate Cat Radio is ran. DJs from studios in Berlin, SF, LA and New York all broadcast at different times to the station’s online stream. DJs host their shows for fun Listeners can hear the station online and Monkey finds other FM radio stations to rebroadcast the content. The only difference with Mutiny Radio is that it will focus on all forms of punk Music.
“We just at the start now and are really excited to see where it goes.” say Monkey who also recently launched another Pirate Cat channel called Max80s. Pirate Cat Radio’s 80s music station. “The 80s are awesome! We really needed to have a dedicated channel for 80s music out of LA.” says Monkey.
Mutiny Radio is streaming online and being prepared to broadcast on a few of Monkey’s broadcast radio projects in LA and the central coast.
Watch PirateCatRadio.com and MutinyRadio.com for more details about when and where.