Rock's Backpages
Rock's Backpages
Mark Pringle, Barney Hoskyns, Jasper Murison-Bowie
E82: Vicki Wickham on Ready Steady Go + Dusty Springfield + Labelle + Morrissey
54 minutes Posted Aug 31, 2020 at 11:00 am.
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In this week's episode, Mark and Jasper are joined by the fabulous Vicki Wickham to chat all things pop and beyond, starting with her experiences as producer of TV show Ready, Steady, Go! in swinging sixties London, when Vicki became good friends with Dusty Springfield, through writing for Fabulous and Melody Maker to managing Labelle in the 70s and much else besides.

Vicki talks about how she got her foot in the door of television and reminisces about writing lyrics for Dusty, then tells the story of moving to New York to open a US office for Track Records. We then find out how she masterminded the metamorphosis of Patti Labelle and the Blue Belles into groundbreaking pop trio Labelle, who Mark reckons paved the way for TLC and even the Spice Girls.

Vicki, Mark and Jasper then listen to clips from an audio interview with Morrissey, in which the seeds of his later racism are occasionally audible, and Vicki admits that although she was nominally his manager for a short while, he was mostly interested in hearing the stories she had to tell. (In any case, he turned out to be unmanageable.)

The trio then pay tribute to the Heartbreakers' Walter Lure, singer-songwriter Justin Townes Earle, Jack Sherman of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and R&B singer D. J. Rogers before Mark and Jasper present some of their highlights from the new pieces going into the RBP library. Mark selects pieces on pop television, Led Zep IV and Patti Smith, and Jasper rounds things out with the Scissor Sisters and Merzbow.

Pieces discussed: Vicki Wickham, Ready, Vicki, Go!, Labelle's Nona Hendryx audio, Vicki Wickham's Pop Guide to London, Graham Nash, Ashford & Simpson, Morrissey audio, Jon Savage with the Heartbreakers, Pete Makowski on the Heartbreakers, Justin Townes Earle, Red Hot Chili Peppers, D. J. Rogers, TV pop, Led Zeppelin IV, David Bowie, Patti Smith's Horses, The Germs, Morrissey, Scissor Sisters, Richard Pinhas & Merzbow and Echo & the Bunnymen.

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