Sunday, March 23, 2014

Ready, Steady, Go!

On Friday, March 20, 1964 at 6:15pm, Beatles fans in England were treated to watching their favorite guys from Liverpool on the television program, "Ready, Steady, Go!"   Now this wasn't the first time the boys had been on this show, but it was pretty great that they took time out of making their new movie to appear on television. 

It was a pretty impressive show.  The Beatles mimed to some of their songs "(It Won't be Long, Can't buy me love and You can't do that).   John talked to the host about his new book and the guys were interviewed.   One of the highlights of the highlights of the interviews was when Cathy McGowan interviewed Ringo and one of the questions she asked him was if he was a mod or a rocker and of course Ringo answered very off the cuff, "I'm not a mod or a rocker, I'm a mocker!"   Of course this is a great line and it was included in the Beatles movie, "A Hard Day's Night."

The neat thing about the show was the background consisted of artwork of the Beatles made by fans.  As you know, fan art is something Beatle fans have made since the beginning of the fandom and it continues today at Beatle conventions.    I think having the fan art decorating the Beatles while they are performing and being interviewed is awesome!  And just think if YOU did some of the art and to see the Beatles standing in front of it would totally just put you over the moon.  

Towards the end of the program, the Beatles judged the art contest.  But they judged it in typical Beatle style, buy drawing mustaches and black eyes on the art.   Here is what Tony Barrow had to say about it:

Toward the end of the programme, the camera found Keith Fordyce standing in front of a wall covered in caricatures of the Fab Four: 'Last week we had a contest asking you to send in paintings, drawings, cartoons or photo montages of the Beatles and we got an absolutely fabulous response, 32 sack loads of entries.' To the accompaniment of their recording of ' This Boy' all four Beatles inspected the impressive selection of entries, using marker pens to add mustaches and comments here and there.  John scrawled "Buy My Book" in big letters across one and drew in a funny face on another.  Paul blackened in the eyes of a cartoon of himself.  Eventually they decided that someone named Jeremy was the winner and with shouts of of 'Good old Jerry!' John handed him a pair of albums as a prize.

This is one of the fan drawings that was in the contest and drawn on by the Beatles (I think by George).  Can you see it in the background of the photos?   It was sold at auction many years ago.

So who was this young man, Jeremy, who won the contest?   It was Jeremy Ratter who would later be known as Penny Rimbaud  who was the drummer of a heavy punk band in the 1970's called "Crass."  Strangely the albums he chose were two classical albums, which I always wondered if that was really what he wanted or if it was done for a joke.     The Beatles signed Jeremy's winning piece of art, which was his artistic take on "I wanna hold your hand."  But it is unknown what ever happened to the autographed artwork.

John giving the classical albums to Jeremy Ratter.  His winning drawing is right behind him.

The Beatles on the March 20, 1964 Ready Steady Go is a great show to watch.  If you decided to find it on youtube, make sure you look for Mal Evans totally walking in front of the camera and the host pushing him out of the way.   It makes me laugh every time!

--Information for this post was found in the article "Ready Steady Go!" by Tony Barrow published in the October 2000 issue of Beatle Book Monthly


  1. See this recent eBay link:

  2. Wow, Sara! Great reporting! I always love that part when he picks the classical John's utter bewilderment!! Had no idea (nor does the guy give any inkling that) he'd go on to being a heavy punk drummer!

  3. I don't think they were both classical; one was by Shostakovitch, but the other, AFAICR, was by Jazz double-bassist, Charles Mingus. Given Ratter/Rimbaud's taste in 20th Century orchestral music and modern jazz, I feel sure there were his choice. I think John was quite dismissive of his choice, which was a little ironic given the music that first Paul and then John himself were listening to just three years later, Great pictures, though. :)

  4. Really interesting about Penny Rimbaud turning out to be in Crass! Thanks for posting

    Big Ern xxx

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