The Place: The outskirts of Norristown Pa.

The Time: Winter of 1972, or the spring of 1973.

The Channel: 14, The "Kiddie" channel.

Recorded with: Ross cassette recorder from a Sears 100 mW base station with a "neat-o" super-regenerative receiver.

The Characters:

Jimmy: First person heard on the tape. He is attempting to imitate what an "FCC" official might say, if the FCC did indeed operate this way. Jimmy is riding around in Steve's car.

Brooke: Older brother of one of my friends. He was using the "real" CB in his sister's car, which we were unaware of at the time.  First heard saying "Come in unit 3, where are you?". He is by far the loudest on the channel, because he was right across the street.

Steve: Heard briefly claiming to be "John" (break-break). This "John", was supposed to be an "infamous" FCC official.  But it seems that only Steve had ever heard of him. Steve is also heard claiming to be "Unit 3".

 

Background: This is my oldest, and first surviving CB recording. This short clip occurred during the time period where my friends and I had first started a "walkie-talkie" group on Channel 14, in the latter part of 1972.  Steve, never one to pass up an opportunity to create controversy in the name of fun, was attempting to take advantage of our na´vetÚ and gullibility, to scare us by pretending to be an FCC "tracker".  Jimmy was also along for the ride, since he also enjoyed a good laugh, as he and Steve played "pass the mic". What neither of them counted on was the sudden appearance of Brooke, who started playing along for his own reasons (Which likely revolved around playing a prank on his younger brother and his friends, like most older brothers were prone to do). Steve never liked other people upstaging his pranks, or stealing his fire, especially people he didn't know, and he tried to play along as best he could, while looking to gain the upper hand again.  At some point I had recognized Steve's voice and called him. That part was not recorded. But shortly after that is when Brooke claimed that the illegal operator's first name was Steve ("I believe").

Most of my friends disappeared from the channel, during this prank, but I stayed and recorded the event. The irony,  which was lost on all of us at the time, was that we were all running 100 mW walkie-talkies, so we weren't doing anything that the FCC would even care about anyway, and had nothing to fear.  But this serves to illustrate the paranoia we all had about the FCC in the early days of the hobby.

The audio quality of this recording is somewhat poor, due to the characteristics of the super regenerative receiver and my acoustical "mic to speaker" method of recording. To make matters worse, sometime later I attempted to "edit" the clip by erasing the quiet passages between the major players, so there are a bunch of "pops and drops" as a result.

The "FCC" visits Approx 1.43 minutes, mp3 format.

 

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