READY STEADY GO!, the TV music show that ran in the UK from August 9, 1963 to December 23, 1966, brought the pop revolution into Britain’s living rooms and helped transform the nation, setting the blueprint for every pop programme since, from Top Of The Pops and The Tube to Later With Jools Holland.
In a lush photo feature in the new issue of MOJO ’60s, we capture the sights of a show that told the nation’s youth what music to buy and what clothes to wear. It was on RSG! that the luckiest generation of pop kids would first have witnessed the energy of Ike & Tina Turner or the psychedelic serenity of Donovan, all packaged and delivered via the down-to-earth street cool of presenter Cathy McGowan.
And it seems McGowan was discovering the nascent counterculture at the same time as her viewers. It was The Temptations’ David Ruffin, meanwhile, who introduced Vicki to the booming counterculture. “He showed me how to roll a spliff and how to smoke it,” she says. “I coughed a lot but he was the perfect gentleman.”
Not all the acts were so accommodating, however. “Chuck Berry’s manager came up with a big bag demanding to be paid in cash, which threw us into a spin,” says RSG! producer Vicki Wickham, who was then only in her twenties. “Van Morrison arrived three hours late in a bad mood and we sent him away; he never did appear on the show. Diana Ross disappeared – we were calling her to rehearsal and we found her at the back of the studio curled up having a nap.”
Also in the new MOJO ’60s: Leonard Cohen, Anne Briggs (see below), The Bee Gees, Isley Brothers, Gene Clark, David Axelrod and an Art Kane portfolio. PLUS! fantastic art prints featuring Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell.
MOJO ’60s Vol.8 is in UK stores now. Or you can have a copy sent straight to your home.