Until 1990, the fake story of Radio Caroline had been left to Ronan O'Rahilly to blag on about in order to shield Jocelyn Stevens and the real source of money and reasons (plural) for creating the station. But in 1990 something changed when Ian Cowper Ross, who had been there at the beginning in 1964 with Ronan O'Rahilly and Christopher Moore as puppets in the offices of Jocelyn Stevens, suddenly reappeared to augment the fake story as told by Ronan O'Rahilly by launching a fake add-on of his own. This was achieved in a two-stage program: First by writing a roman-a-clef novel which his mother-in-law Lady Killearn helped to launch with the aid of society magazine 'Tatler', and in the next year of 1991, by appearing in person with Ronan O'Rahilly; Christopher Moore and Jocelyn Stevens, in order to narrate the totally false explanation that his 1990 book was in fact a disguised version of the true story. This was the big lie that Ray Clark in particular has fallen for by engaging in a series of interviews and then by publishing books that are based upon them. Those interviews and books are all founded upon the lies spun by Ian Cowper Ross in 1991 when he claimed that his novel was a recital of true events. It was not, and the true story has yet to be told and will be told in Yesterday Never Happened: The Girl Who Never Was.
Ian Cowper Ross, age 23, married a daughter of Lady Killearn in 1966, after Lord Eliot, then age 21, had married Ian's sister, age 20, two years earlier in 1964. It was Peregrine Eliot who had teamed-up with his school pal from Eton, and they, with other friends who gathered on the King's Road, Chelsea, then formed a British company with a U.S. subsidiary, and this group of pals used these companies to pull-off one of the greatest contract deals of all time. That is when Brian Epstein agreed to pay them 90% of all merchandizing income derived from licensing companies that used the name 'Beatles' in their products!
The Wall Street Journal at the time estimated that U.S. licensing of Beatles' merchandising could result in $50 million in sales - all aimed at a target of mainly young girls between the years of 7 and 13 years of age: the same girls who provided all those screams!
But this is only one part of the story relating to the true background identity of Ian Cowper Ross and it does not explain the source of money used to finance Radio Caroline, but by comparison with the Beatles' merchandising contract, it was small change indeed! The money to fund Radio Caroline came from the printing and publishing industry via contacts with Jocelyn Stevens. It had absolutely nothing to do with Ian Cowper Ross, or Ronan O'Rahilly!
This amazing story runs parallel to the start-up of Radio Caroline.
John Bramley Fenton, age 26 in 1964, became the Chairman of Stramsact Limited, a British company which obtained the original contract from David Jacobs, the lawyer (not the eponymous dj) who represented Brian Epstein. At that time Epstein's NEMS company was out of its depth in dealing with merchandise licensing, and in those days few understood how much money could be made from business that was ancillary to the main operation, which in this instance was singing, recording and performing.
Fenton was working in the record industry, and he formed a partnership with Simon Miller Mundy, age 22, who was already a "former" accountancy clerk and on the verge of his own financial inheritance. These two joined-up with Mark Warman age 21, and his CV read "in films". Their company called Stramsact Ltd brought more British people into their circle, and together they formed a U.S. version of Stramsact which was named Seltaeb ("Beatles spelt backwards"), and it was incorporated in the USA. Seltaeb Inc., was the most profitable arm of their venture because it held all licensing authority for Beatles' merchandise outside of the UK.
Heading up Seltaeb, Inc., was Nicky Byrne as President of the company. He was age 31 and claimed to be a former English racing driver. His wife was Kiki Byrne, a fashion designer. The weight of British aristocracy came from Lord Peregrine Eliot, age 22 who had been managing his family's estate in Cornwall, and Lord Eliot was joined by Malcolm Evans who had been working in the television industry. These four took up residence in New York City.
This group had collectively known each other for years. Simon Miller Mundy had attended Eton at the same time as Peregrine Eliot. John Fenton and Malcolm Evans had also known each other for a considerable period of time, and Malcolm Evans at one time had dated Mark Warman's sister. He originally met Nicky Byrne when Byrne was attending Eton, and Malcolm Evans was attending Westminster. It was during this time that Byrne and Evans first met on the football field.
Years before, Tony Benn had also attended Westminster, and it was into this privileged inner circle of British society that Ian Cowper Ross was also grafted, after attending, and then dropping out, of another English Public School. During this time as a teenager, Ian Cowper Ross managed to land himself in court, after running head-on into a bus while driving a Jensen sports car and almost losing one of his feet. It was this accident, and the subsequent medical patch-up job, from which he gained the nickname of 'Flipper'.
In 1966 Ian Cowper Ross married the sister of Lord Eliot's wife, and supposedly within the pages of his roman-a-clef novel called 'Rocking the Boat', he narrates the details about how the beginnings of their relationship developed into marriage. This is the same book published in 1990, in which Ian Cowper Ross claimed on television one year later, that it is more autobiography than fiction. It was not until 1991 on that BBC-TV program, that Ian Cowper Ross claimed that his novel actually revealed for the first time the true story about the financing of Radio Caroline. His book was promoted by Ian's aristocratic mother-in-law. Her own ties to the "upper crust" of British Society went back by marriage to a Privy Councilor, and by fairly recent ancestry, to a physician who attended Benito Mussolini in the days before World War II.
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