Where do you start in honoring KIPM?
Probably the most creative and unusual Pirate Radio station and personality of the 20th century!
You would listen to a very powerful, clean, perfectly modulated and well engineered signal, and to a brilliantly written and produced drama that unfolded with the narrator, Allan Maxwell, weaving a description of the strangest stories you had ever heard. You couldn't stop listening, for fear of missing something. KIPM was the pirate station of all pirate stations. When he'd come on the air, it was an event. Sometimes staying on for marathon broadcasts for an entire day or all weekend. The only name that comes to mind in trying to compare him to, for someone who never had the pleasure of hearing him, is Orson Welles!
Little is known about Maxwell. We know that he would take an all terrain vehicle, equipped with a generator, to the top of a mountain to do his broadcasts, usually on a weekend (Friday or Saturday) night. He would camp, broadcast, and watch for any hint of the FCC traveling up the mountain to bust him.
Its been rumored that he "Will Return" to Pirate Radio at some time in the future. The question is, "Illuminati future" or our future? Either way, we can only hope its sooner rather than later.
KIPM and Allan Maxwell are the epitome of creative and entertaining pirates. He produced colorful and fascinating QSLs, some of which are pictured on this page. The station, in later years, used the now-defunct Elkhorn, NE, maildrop.
A New 2012 Interview with Alan Maxwell conducted by Fred Moe
FM: How did you decided on KIPM and the Illuminati Prima Materia?
AM: Well I'm naturally limited to what I can say publicly about the Illuminati. (laughter) but, I will say that if one utilizes a quality dictionary, you will find several different possible definitions. For me at least, I prefer the following:
Illuminati: persons who are or who claim to be enlightened, perhaps possessing secret information.
Prima Materia: An alchemical term meaning "original matter," used psychologically to denote both the instinctual foundation of life and the raw material one works with in dreams, emotions, conflicts, etc.
If you distill it all down to three English words, you basically get something like SECRET IMPORTANT INFORMATION.
FM: So you're not part of some type of secret society?
AM: You put me in a difficult situation with this question. Best if I simply say, that I never sought out inclusion into any special groups. However with the Illuminati, one doesn't realize they are a memberuntil it's too late to get out. Let's leave it at that.
FM: How has KIPM evolved from the first transmissions back in 1998?
AM: The show episode title sheet, which I send with QSL cards, lists KIPM shows in the order that I produced them. So the earlier produced shows have low numbers, and the more recent shows are the higher numbers. It should be obvious to anyone that has listened to my earlier shows versus the more recent productions, that I have been on quite a learning curve since the early days. This applies to all aspects of production. Now I spend more time trying to get things "right", where in the early days, I didn't even know what "right" should be. Prior to my KIPM shows, I have no prior experience producing radio material. So, it's really been a learning experience for me. Working with sound levels, audio envelopes, mixing techniques, special EFX processing, etc.
Another area that the shows have become richer in production relate directly to the contributions of the other KIPM players, who have so generously and kindly assisted in performing character readings. These individuals come from the SW pirate community as well, when they are not performing as characters for KIPM shows. To these individuals I'm extremely grateful. As others have stated about the pirate radio community, it contains many unusual characters. You would be surprised at how many pirate operators, as well as listeners, have assisted with KIPM guest readings. Pirate Radio has been a source for many rewarding relationships with listeners, as well as, pirate operators. The friends I have met in the pirate radio scene over the years have without a doubt been the most rewarding aspect of the entire venture.
FM: How has the content of your material evolved over time in addition to the production techniques?
AM: I think in general the shows revolve around the same themes that I had in mind from the beginning. The later shows are certainly far more complex technical productions. You will find that the majority of my shows revolve around either sci-fi productions, philosophical rants, monologue, and/or existential themes. Regardless of what type of show your listen too, you will tend to find many of the same themes return in different forms and guises. A few folks have quite incorrectly come to the conclusion that my shows center around the theme of madness. Some shows have worked directly with the subject of madness, this is quite true. But the theme of madness I use simply as a vehicle to express my real agenda. Some listeners are able to look under the hood a bit deeper, and other folks apparently can't. Either way however, the shows should appeal to a listener on some level. Or that's my hope at least. Naturally the content of some of my shows quickly alienate me from those with limited reality tunnels. But to be one of the lucky few that have the ability to transmit on pirate radio, and NOT push the envelope would in my opinion be such a waste. I mean, if you want the same old thing you get on Corporate Radio, go get your FM or AM radio. Programming is now all the same regardless if you live in Florida, New York, California, or even Elkhorn, Nebraska! I would see it a complete waste of time to just go and do the same thing that one can get every day on a Clear Channel. I really hope that when you hear my programming it evokes a resonate even emotional response from the listener! I want the listener to say "wow, I gotta hear that again!".
I do try to produce my shows (particularly the new productions) with the intent that a listener should hear the show several times and find new meanings, or nuances upon each listening. I may not have much time with my audience, so I try to make my programming and mixes truly memorable for the listener. (All of the newer shows are also produced in Stereo for those that manage to get studio copies)
FM: It’s now 2012 and no new shows? Can you say if you will be back on the airwaves again in the future?
AM: Well I really can't say for sure. Each time I transmit, it's potentially the last time. I can tell you that I have developed several new shows that await their first airings. I believe these new shows represent a new generation of shows pushing the envelope for KIPM production levels and content. In fact, I can say that the new shows that await are truly unlike anything ever heard on any radio spectrum. One way or another these shows will air at some point in the future via the KIPM Transmitter or perhaps relay. Even though it may be a long wait, patient listeners will not be disappointed!
FM: You miss transmitting?
AM: Yes, very much!
FM: KIPM always had a very loud clean signal. How much power did you run?
AM: Typically between 2 and 5 KW high in the Rocky Mountains.
FM: Is it true that some transmissions originated using a multi-wave Rhombic Antenna that was rotated atop a Rainbird crop irrigator? Like the ones that make the circles you see on the ground when flying across farm country?
AM: No comment!
FM: Any last comments about your experiences with pirate radio?
AM: I will say that being able to express oneself on the electromagnetic spectrum is extremely rewarding and addictive. I love all aspects of Pirate Radio. But once pirate radio is in your blood, it's a hard thing to set aside. It's truly a shame that citizens don't have access to a small sliver of the spectrum for just such a purpose. If this were the case, I believe that this would be a strong indicator that we really do live in a free democracy. A place where communication of unique ideas of all kinds have a home. A place where corporate agendas, government bureaucracy, and self-interest groups can't impose their own direct or indirect censorship. The vast majority of the population today (2012) seem to neither care or even recognize they live in a reality that clearly was not the goal of the founding fathers. I'm no expert on early American history, but I can say, that excluding public access to the radio waves to one or two mega-corporations is about as anti-American as one can get. In the end, pirate radio transmissions are a real risk to the operator. But the reward and satisfaction of expressing oneself via the magic of radio far surpass the risks and hazards. I'm very proud to be a pirate radio operator! It's a wonderful thing to be able to express oneself without censorship, and I recommend it highly!
Episode Descriptions for Select The Voyage of the Illuminati Shows
The Accursed Galaxy:
The adventure begins when a strange meteorite lands on my private mountain top. What secrets does it hold? The listener will find out in this episode.
He Who Evolved:
A scientific experiment that takes the listener (and Professor Pollard) 300 million years into the future! Be prepared for a surprise ending!
He Who Shrank (Part I):
A scientific experiment sends an unwilling participant down into the sub-atomic universe.
He Who Shrank (Part II) Conclusion:
The experiment concludes with some startling surprises. Strange music fills out the conclusion of the hour. The ending brings an unforeseen surprise!
A Message From Tesla:
This story begins with descriptions of the US military run experiment called HAARP. But who isactually at the controls? Show concludes with a otherworldly transmission from Nicola Tesla.
This is one of the stranger shows that feature a Alan Maxwell attempting to make contact with a being from another dimension. The last 25 minutes have cerebral music that rounds out the hour
This show has short pieces by Alan Maxwell interspersed between Pink Floyd tunes performed by female groups. These short pieces are pulled from other Alan Maxwell productions all dealing with existential themes. ALL VERY strange!
This show deals with existential themes and charts Alan Maxwell’s slow descent into MADNESS!
This is probably the most poetic show yet dealing with existential themes. Several short pieces make up this hour long voyage.
This show looks into the mind of a VERY DISTURBED homicidal individual. Dealing with themes of Fundamental Christianity mythos being lived out in current times. A classic story of good versus evil. THIS SHOW CONTAINS VERY EXPLICIT MATERIAL AND SHOULD BE REVIEWED PRIOR TO PLAYING ON AIR! Guaranteed to draw listener reactions to station of ALL types, both good and bad!!
This show follows the journey of a scientist from the future who travels accidentally travels back into the Cretaceous Period. Follow his adventures in the early days of the dinosaurs, and find out the startling conclusion in this episode. This was one of the first episodes produced for the Voyage of the Illuminati, and while it starts slowly, listeners find it picks up into a very engaging story.
This episode takes listeners on a voyage into the secret world of dark sinister forces that try to attack listeners via their radio receivers! Will Alan Maxwell prevail? Find out in this episode!
This show deals with existential themes in a very beautiful and perhaps even enlightening manner.