The first thing that hits you is the book’s sheer size – just a tad bigger on each side than the albums that superseded the singles the show famously celebrated so exuberantly. As you’d expect from such a large format title, the pictures – and there are scores and scores of them spread across its generous 272 pages – are stunning.
The Beatles, The Stones, The Who, Otis, Marvin are all here in their 60s pomp and prime. As, of course, is the alluring Cathy McGowan (and the rather less delectable Keith Fordyce). Coupled with the supporting insights of many of the stars who appeared in the show’s three-and-a -half-year, 179-episode run, Neil’s writing does a terrific job of conjuring up a time when pop and we ourselves were far more innocent.
Like all great books on music, Neill’s title makes you want to rush out and see the show again for yourself. Sadly, having bought the surviving footage sometime in the 1980s, Dave Clark (of the DC5 fame) only ever released a couple of VHS tapes before selling everything on to BMG in 2018. Until they decide to do the sensible thing and snare the rapidly shrinking audience that saw the show first time around, we’ll just have to make do with last year’s BBC doc and what little footage remains on YouTube.
From the publisher:
Amazingly, Ready, Steady, Go! has never been documented at length before until now. Through exclusive first-hand accounts, exhaustive research, and unseen photographs and rare memorabilia, Ready, Steady, Go! is fully examined from quintessential Swinging London accessory to its iconic status as the most influential popular music programme in British television history.