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Episode 82 : Vicki Wickham on Ready Steady Go + Dusty Springfield + Labelle + Morrissey

31 August 2020

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 Springfieldthrough 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 and Jack Sherman of the Red Hot Chili Peppers 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.

Watch a video clip from this podcast recording.