“Ready, Steady, Go! The Weekend Starts Here” by Andy Neill has just been published by BMG Books. The 12″ x 12″ hardback comprises 272 pages with a UK retail price of £39.99.
Pauline Boty danced on the first show and was from then on a regular dancer with Derek Boshier. Both are mentioned in the book and Boshier’s 10th July 1964 dancer’s badge button is included among its illustrations.
From the BMG press release:
“Almost sixty years have passed since the first transmission of the most influential popular music programme in British television history. Ready, Steady, Go! began broadcasting on Friday, 9th August 1963 and became an essential television ritual for the newly confident British teenager. It provided a style bible – setting trends and becoming the barometer for popular culture. It epitomised the spirit of youthful optimism that gripped Britain in the mid- Sixties, reflected by the handpicked Mod audience who were an integral part of the programme. This was perfectly embodied by girl-next-door presenter Cathy McGowan whose shy, almost awkward demeanour directly connected her with the show’s target audience. It ran for three and a half years up to December 1966, its demise coinciding with the loss of pop’s innocence and the birth of the ‘rock industry.’ Within that time RSG! set a blueprint for music presentation and production on British television that resonated over the following decades and can still be felt today. It attracted and presented anyone who was anyone in popular music at the time: The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Marvin Gaye, The Supremes and Otis Redding were just some of the important names that appeared. RSG! not only gave invaluable television promotion to these greats but also provided such then-unknowns as Rod Stewart, Marc Bolan, David Bowie, Donovan, and Jimi Hendrix with their first small screen exposure. Ready, Steady, Go! broke through technical barriers. Young adventurous directors such as Michael Lindsay-Hogg experimented with camera techniques used in French nouvelle vague cinema. The sets that were designed each week by Nicholas Ferguson were consciously modelled on current mod fashions and op art (Hockney, Riley, Blake etc.) Ready, Steady, Go! has never been documented in full detail before – until now. Thanks to exclusive contributions and unseen photographs and memorabilia, author Andy Neill fully examines Ready, Steady, Go! from quintessential Swinging London accessory to its current iconic status as the most legendary popular music programme of all time.”
The programme was clearly close to Pauline Boty’s heart – she was regularly chosen as a dancer in the audience with her friend and fellow Pop artist Derek Boshier. The first documentary includes footage of them dancing in the party scene concluding Ken Russell’s “Pop Goes The Easel”. Further information from and links to the BBC website below:
“The story of Britain’s iconic 1960s music show, Ready Steady Go! The programme revolutionised television ‘for the kids’ and coincided with the tremendous explosion of British pop talent that took the world by storm. It championed emerging talent like The Beatles, The Who, Sandie Shaw, Cilla Black, Otis Redding and The Rolling Stones.”
The Story of Ready Steady Go! BBC4, 21:00, Friday 20th March 2020 We go behind the scenes and speak to the people who made it all happen, including original producer Vicki Wickham and the programme’s pioneering director, Michael Lindsay-Hogg. Plus further contributions from Annie Nightingale, Eric Burdon, Chris Farlowe, Mary Wilson, Martha Reeves, Paul Jones, Gerry Marsden and Jools Holland. Further information available here [link]
The Best of Ready Steady Go! BBC4, 22:00, Friday 20th March 2020 This priceless archive has rarely been seen and includes some of the most memorable performances from the greatest stars of the day. Tune in to see The Beatles perform Twist and Shout on a moving stage, The Rolling Stones presenting their very own episode, and Otis Redding’s sensational duet with Chris Farlowe and Eric Burdon. Other acts include Cilla Black, Lulu, and Martha and the Vandellas. Dusty Springfield also takes centre stage. Further information available here [link]
Paulineboty.org: What were your first impressions when you met Pauline Boty? Derek Boshier: My first impressions on meeting Pauline were the same as almost everybody. She was a very vivacious, glamorous intellectual. You know. And a lot of fun –the fact that she should have died so early aged 28… I mean, she loved life, you know – and she knew how to live it. She was just good to be around really. And that aspect of her, knowing how to live life, really fed her paintings too.
PBO: Did Pauline express her frustration at having to study stained glass instead of art as she’d originally wanted to? DB: No. Mainly because she wasn’t a complainer. Politics though – Yes – but not her personal life. The Anti-Ugly March she organised for example, which I went on. She was the figurehead for that. The point about her is that she said her mind – not only in paintings with sensuality and sexuality, but she said it with architecture. I mean she was very direct.
PBO: And your painting “Pauline Boty Goes Digital [for Pauline Boty]”. How did that come about? DB: Well it’s a very large painting that I made in 2011. You know, I always think of Pauline and what she did and I’m often reminded of her when people write to me and ask me about her or “Pop Goes the Easel” and I remember my friendship with her. I was about to start a new series of paintings about smartphones and I just thought before I do that I’d like to do a homage to Pauline as it were, just to help keep her in people’s memory really.