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Motown Pirate Radio
Motown Pirate Radio.jpg
Political Information
Type of Government: Cap'n
Motto: 'Playing the music we like'
Societal Information
Headquarters: Detroit, Michigan
Historical Information
Founded: 2259
Founded by: Bobby Lynch
Policy Information
Goals: Musical liberation
Status: On the air

Motown Pirate Radio is a radio station in the Detroit Wasteland. Having originally started out as an alternative to Radio Free Detroit, it instead evolved into a station run by and catering to Raiders and specialising in post-war music.


The origins of Motown Pirate Radio lie with Bobby Lynch, a Park Lane resident and music enthusiast. Once an enthusiastic fan of Radio Free Detroit, Lynch had come to dislike the station for what he saw as a focus on pre-war music. Something of a collector and trader himself, Lynch enjoyed the vast array of post-war styles that had emerged, and believed that RFD was deliberately overlooking it, seeing it as being inferior or not worth their time. His opinion might have been somewhat skewed by the fact that Lynch himself was an amateur musician and that the station had so far shown no interest in playing his demo-holotape.

Lynch’s big break came in 2259 when he heard about a largely intact radio station in the upper floors of a derelict tower in the Downtown district. After a fair amount of work in buying information, Lynch was able to ascertain the location and, with the aid of a hired bodyguard, head there himself. To his delight, he found that most of the equipment was intact and moderately functional, enough for him to be able to get it working again. Burning off much of his wealth, Lynch secured the services of a skilled technician and some parts to restore the equipment for operations.

Moving into the tower himself and stocking it with his collection of post-war music, Lynch went live on July 1st, 2259. He announced to anyone who was listening that he was hosting ‘Motown Pirate Radio’, which would play ‘real music from the wastelands’, rather then just ‘sanitised crap for nostalgics and prehistoric ghouls’. Of course, this music also included his own, with Lynch treating his listeners to his own live ‘unplugged’ performances. And despite the often uneven quality of the music (Lynch’s music was considered to be pretty awful), he built up a small but loyal audience.

It lasted almost a month before a group of raiders discovered the station and took over. Initially their plan was to kill Lynch and strip it for all it was worth, but he was able to successfully bargain for both his life and the existence of the station. Pointing out how useful it would be to then, he suggested rebranding the radio station as a tool for Raiders to use for their own. The Raider leader, an unusually intelligent man by raider standards, agreed, seeing the value in such a setup. He also admitted that he liked the music.

Lynch was kept on as a part-time host and the manager of musical acquisition, but was given explicit instructions to never play his guitar again. The new main host was Loud Marv, a motor-mouthed man with little in the way of restraint or subtlety. While he was supposed to be serving as a source of news and information, he quickly began running his mouth about every conceivable topic he could think of, with very little of it being of any real use or, for that matter, even remotely relevant.

Despite his lack of focus, Loud Marv proved to be popular with the raiders the station was targeting. As a whole, they were less interested in his news and intelligence (as useful as they were) and more just enjoyed him running his mouth off on whatever subject came to mind. Marv’s schedule was usually to talk until he was out of breath or too tired, and then throw on whatever tape came to hand. Conversely, Lynch’s time at the microphone was more focused on the music and talking about it. While popular, he still was second fiddle to Marv. It was only after Marv’s death in 2265 in an accident involving a Yao Gai and a cocktail dress that Lynch was able to reclaim some control of his creation.

At the ‘suggestion’ of the Raiders, Lynch took on a new host to keep up the content that the audience so enjoyed. Once again, he was forced into the background as the station was taken out of his hands. Lynch would remain the secondary host for some more time until he was killed by an Assaultron in 2272, ironically while he was collecting music from a trader for the station. Despite his death, Motown Pirate Radio continued to operate, finding a new secondary host who could also manage their music.

The station continued its operations more or less interrupted in the years to follow. While there was some disruption due to equipment failures, the sudden unexpected deaths of the staff and other vagrities of the wasteland, Motown Pirate Radio remained on the air and kept its audience. The original plan of providing news and information to raiders was largely forgotten, as they instead focused more on entertainment and music.

Unlike Radio Free Detroit, Motown Pirate Radio was not a target for the Army of Revolution during the Revolutionary war. They simply felt that the station would not provide any aid to the various settlements they had targeted. Furthermore, its position in downtown meant that it would be difficult to strike at and take out anyway. Not that the station’s staff really cared, and instead filled the air during the conflict with whatever information they were able to find – even if much of it was inaccurate or completely made up.


Motown Pirate Radio has no fixed schedule, and is largely run on the whims of the hosts. The two main hosts are supposed to run in shifts, alternating back and forward while the other sleeps or does whatever else. However, because the pair of them are raiders, they often wind up running to a schedule of ‘whatever’ and changing over whenever the other is free. This can lead to extended periods of dead air when nobody is running things.

In theory, the station has two main shifts. The first, ‘day’ shift is run by the current host, Sly Roach. This shift is mostly about him talking at the mic about whatever topic comes to mind. Frequent topics include chems, weapons, retelling tall tales, supposed news (oft indistinguishable from the tall tales), rumormongering and so on. This will be punctuated with music, often consisting of whatever holotape Roach grabs with very little forethought.

The second ‘night’ shift is run by co-host Black Noise. This shift is more focused on the music, and has a much more structured and deliberate approach to the content. Black Noise will try to focus on either new arrivals or music that she believes is popular with her audience. Failing that, she will simply play the music she likes. While she does provide her own news and stories between songs, she also likes to talk more about the music she’s playing, where it comes from and who made it.

Musical content on the station comes in a variety of styles and sources, but all of it is strictly post-war in origin. Types of music played by the station include (but are by no means limited to) Commonwealth Smooth Jazz, Raider Acoustic, Pitt Industrial, Neo-Trabal and even Super Mutant Noise. The station does not bias against any source, as long as it can be verified to be post-war.

The station’s most infamous show, however, is held only once a year. First launched in 2278, Detroit’s Next Top Raider is an annual review of the city’s raider culture and members, with an evaluation of how they are performing compared to each other. This assessment includes such matters as territory, the number of gang members, their growth over time, their income and so forth. Since 2283, the top four spots have consistently remained the same, with the Scrap Dogs at number one, and the War Bears at number four. The Wrecking Crew and Cake or Death have traded the number two and three position back and forth, largely based on the ongoing feud between their leaders. Recent events mean that the 2288 edition could prove to be very exciting indeed, especially given the destruction of three of the top gangs in an insane self-destructive war. Raiders, right?


Motown Pirate Radio’s sole site is located on the upper floors of the derelict Boogalow Internartional Music building in the downtown Detroit Wasteland. A pre-war studio (and a part of the Boogalow multimedia empire), the facilities managed to remain more or less intact, functional and unmolested over the years. The offices attached to the studio have been crudely converted into living quarters, with the station’s three staff remaining on-site. A small team of Raiders also supply security against any intrusions. The building itself is largely intact and structurally sound, although its location in downtown means that there will often be open fighting around it.

In an ironic twist, Motown Pirate Radio's content policy means that it would never play any music produced by Boogalow International Music.

Notable Staff

Sly Roach

Loud, noisy, opinionated, constantly running his mouth and with a mean sense of humour, Sly Roach is the perfect host for the station. Brash and uncouth, he will gladly run his mouth off on any subject he cares about, which makes him popular with his audience. He is also very vocal about Raider culture, and strongly believes in it. At the same time, he enjoys sticking it to ‘the man’, where ‘the man’ is any sort of organised authority; be it the various Detroit Settlements, the Army of Revolution, the Foundry or whatever else.

When he is not running the station, Sly Roach can usually be found high on chems or passed out on the floor.

Black Noise

The secondary host, Black Noise is genuinely enthusiastic for the music she plays. A raider and a musician herself, she believes that post-war styles are deliberately overlooked and under-rated, with too many instead clinging to the past. Her encyclopaedic knowledge of the subject makes her invaluable to the operation of the station, allowing her to pick out genuine post-war music from rare or obscure pre-war material. She very much enjoys hearing new music and finds the emergence of new styles interesting.


The station’s chief engineer, Wires is one of those rare raiders with genuine technical skills, making him invaluable to their operations. He keeps the station running through scavenged parts, jury-rigged repairs and putting out the occasional electrical fire in the centuries-old equipment. Something of an eccentric, he will often talk to the equipment he is working on the point of carrying on conversations with it. He also likes to test batteries by licking the terminals.


Playing the music we like. Screw you.— Sly Roach
Has anyone ever figured out what it is between Mrs Mothrapickles and Dave-o Plop? I’d love to know myself, but I also ain’t dumb enough to stick my nose into that— Sly Roach
So that was Acoustic Omega with ‘what is nothing’. Up next, I got some Exaxes tribal techno-chants, then after that, some some Nemesis Lake. Top of the our I have some new stuff I just picked up from a place over in the Commonwealth called Nuka-World. Man, just hearing that makes me thirsty— Black Noise
Many people think that Super Mutants don’t have any culture of their own, and are just big dumb brutes who kill and eat things. The truth is somewhat different; they do make their own music, but it’s hardly what others would consider such. But if you like the sounds of things being hit with other things with accompanying grunts, then this is the style for you— Black Noise
By now we’ve all heard about the fall of Baggie High to the Army of Revolution. I’ve just had it confirmed that those punks wiped out the Toxic Wastors, down to the last man. Now I know a lot of you freaks out there didn’t have much love for the Wastors; after all, they went legit and became agents of the man. But let us not forget, the Wastors used to be raiders. And under their management, they kept the chems flowing from Baggie straight to you. So I’d like to take a moment to pour one out to the Toxic Wastors. Here’s to you guys, and I hope that wherever you are now, you’re all high as kites.— Sly Roach
So I heard the Army of Revolution tried to take out Radio Free Detroit and even screwed that up. Man, one thing I could have loved them for, and they couldn’t even get that right— Sly Roach
I got some news about the Hellfire Gang. Yes, they are still around. Yes, I am as surprised as you are— Sly Roach
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