Ready Steady Go!: The Weekend Starts Here
Author: Andy Neill
Publisher: BMG Books
Release Date (U.S.): November 6th, 2020
Here in the U.S., we had such great music oriented shows as “Shindig!” and “American Bandstand”. These shows heavily influenced the musical tastes of America’s youth almost as much as the music itself.
On the other side of the pond, our British cousin’s enjoyed an equally popular and influential show: Ready Steady Go! This, of course, was while their bands were successfully invading our shores – this time, musically and, this time, with open American arms and ears.
Back to Ready Steady Go!
Lest you think that the show was not a big deal in Britain, check these comments from a few lads whom we respect and admire.
“Ready, Steady, Go! was the best rock ’n’ roll TV show of all time. It just seemed more vibrant and real…You always thought you were slightly on the edge there.” —Mick Jagger
"Ready, Steady, Go! was a pivotal part of the cultural development in the U.K. in the post-war years ... it reflected the colour and vivacity of the times better
than almost any other medium." —Pete Townshend
“The mid-Sixties was a special time and RSG! reflected that period with art, dance and fashion, as well as the music. There was no other live showcase like it, one that had its finger so firmly on the pulse of a cultural revolution.” —Ray Davies
“Nothing came along to challenge RSG! as the best music television show ever produced. I thought it was terrific and it hasn’t been duplicated since.” —Eric Burdon
"With RSG! I knew something different was taking place. When I looked into the camera for the first time, I knew that this was the new media, and suddenly the Sixties would carry the message of the music through television." —Donovan
If you’re a music nut like those of us at Boomerocity, then this book is a MUST HAVE for your personal library. It is chock full of mostly previously unpublished photos that give the reader eye-popping insight into the show as well as what all was going on behind the scenes.
Here’s what the press release says about this valuable tome:
The London-based Ready, Steady, Go! began broadcasting in August of 1963 and, within a matter of weeks, became an essential television ritual for the newly confident British teenager. It set trends and became the barometer of popular culture by attracting and presenting everyone who was anyone in popular music: The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Kinks, The Animals, Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, Otis Redding, and many more. RSG! also provided the first small screen exposure for then-unknowns such as Rod Stewart, Marc Bolan, David Bowie, Donovan, and Jimi Hendrix. The show ran for three and a half years, setting a blueprint for music presentation and production on television that resonated over the following decades and can still be felt today.
Ready, Steady, Go! has never been documented in full detail — until now, when BMG Books will publish Ready Steady Go: The Weekend Starts Here in the U.S., due out November 6, 2020. Featured in this lavishly illustrated and definitive history of the show are hundreds of photographs — the bulk of them previously unpublished — as well as exclusive essays and more (see below for details). Author Andy Neillfully examines RSG!, from quintessential Swinging London fixture to its current iconic status as the most legendary popular music program of all time.
Ready, Steady, Go! reflected the cultural upheaval of the mid-'60s and was the only place on British television where anything went as far as performance, fashion and attitude were concerned. No other program was prepared to risk an entire hour to showcase, for example, the Tamla Motown Revue (including Stevie Wonder, The Miracles, The Supremes, Martha and the Vandellas). The incredible success of this Sound of Motown special directly boosted the commercial acceptance of black American music in Britain.
Ready, Steady, Go! broke through technical barriers, too. Young iconoclastic directors such as Michael Lindsay-Hogg experimented with camera techniques used in French nouvelle vague cinema. The sets that were designed each week by Nicolas Ferguson were consciously modelled on current mod fashions and art (Hockney, Riley, Blake etc.) that perfectly reflected the handpicked mod audience who were an equally integral part of the program.
The book features:
- Exclusive essays by artists, managers, and others intimately involved with the show, including Mick Jagger, Pete Townshend, Ray Davies, Andrew Oldham, Chris Stamp, Donovan, Lulu, and others.
• Exclusive contributions from those directly involved (presenters, directors, dancers, set designers, etc.) as well as illuminating and evocative insight from contemporary viewers whose lives the show touched.
• Hundreds of color and black and white images — the bulk of them previously unpublished.
• Original ephemera and memorabilia (tickets, contracts, letters, etc.), as well as illustrations from the groundbreaking set designs and title sequences.
• A never-before-published and fully researched complete guide to all 173 episodes, including songs performed and artists’ appearances. (Only 5% of the filmed performances survive. Read and weep at what has been lost!)
• Introductions from the show’s original editor Vicki Wickham and acclaimed director Michael Lindsay-Hogg.
Since the holiday gift-giving season is just around the corner, why not order copies for those music lovers on your gift list this season. They’ll love it!