Friday, March 25, 2011

Ray Davies's "Ready, Steady, Go!" Redux

No TV Show held more mythic status among the Mods than "Ready, Steady, Go!" Blasting off with its youth-rallying cry of "The weekend starts here!" the program provided a fresh alternative to the top-twenty lip synching of "Top of the Pops". Every Friday evening from 1963-1966, "Queen of the Mods" Cathy McGowan, who won her job by explaining that the thing contemporary kids care most about is "clothes," presented a rogue's gallery of Britain's greatest, including The Who (who released a tribute E.P. titled "Ready, Steady, Who"), Manfred Mann (who performed the show's zingy theme "5, 4, 3, 2, 1"), The Beatles, Small Faces, The Stones, The Yardbirds, The Pretty Things, and The Kinks.

45 years after the watershed show was canceled, Kaptain Kink Ray Davies is planning to pay tribute to the program that provided his telly debut. As curator of the London Meltdown this summer, he'll be recreating the "Ready, Steady, Go!" format for his contemporaries The Fugs, Arthur Brown, and The Alan Price Set, as well as relative whipper snappers Yo La Tengo, Nick Lowe, Lydia Lunch, and The Legendary Pink Dots. Davies, himself, will be performing a klutch of Kinks klassics with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Monty Python legend Terry Jones will also be on hand.

Sadly, I'm on the wrong side of the Atlantic, so I'll be missing the London Meltdown, but I will be keeping my fingers crossed that it will renew sufficient interest in "Ready, Steady, Go!" to warrant a long-overdue DVD set of the show's best moments. Until then...
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