Dec. 6, 2015

My Special Music People: #26

My Special Music People: #26

A Brief Raycap of my Career in a Nuthouse, Nutshell.

A Short List of some of the SPECIAL people and projects I worked with during my 38 Odd (and they WERE ODD!) years in the Music Bidness..

The material herein remains the property of Ray Ramsay and is not intended for Publication, Reproduction, or Broadcast without the Authors permission. Yeah.

Chris Rea~

            So, whatever happened to the guy that put out the ‘Whatever Happened to Benny Santini?’ album, Chris Rea? The title track is worth the price of admission itself!

            The Guitar slinging Charlie Watts doppelganger had a run of hits that also included ‘Fool If You Think It’s Over’, and the FABULOUS ‘Gonna Buy A Hat’, a MUST for any impending shit-Storm!

            I never had the pleasure of working with him but I did have the pleasure of working his records.

Shipwreck (and a Trainwreck or two too)~

            I have had Artist Media interviews go south for any number of reasons over the years (I don’t have shoes….what?) but this one was unique.

            At RCA we had a Winnipeg group called ‘Monuments Galore’ (and THAT means????...anyone?) come to town for a couple shows and altho they weren’t ‘ours’ per se (it was a Buy/Sell deal: Sales but no Promo) but we thought we’d give them a leg up anyway. They were a bit of an odd looking lot, like a drawer full of unmatched socks, as each member looked as thought they should be playing in different bands.

            Part (almost all) of the Media work was an interview on RadioCBC with Robert Ouimet, but when we arrived we were advised it was cancelled due to Robert running his boat up on a reef in the Gulf Islands, and was stranded, as were we as this was our ONLY Radio interview, the group was too new, and I felt like Raymondson Crusoe, and no, it wasn’t Friday.

            For the most part, as an opening act, the band was well received and were quite over the top about it which served to deepen their depression the next night when they headlined at that bastion of Counter Culture, The Town Pump as the audience was conspicuous in their absence, but there was little they could say about it UNLIKE the night our Vancouver Rock Group signing The Bloody Chiclets played ’86 Street’ as an opening act when their fey little Keyboard player confronted me with a shitload of attitude, DEMANDING to know what kind of Promo Man was I as there was nobody in the venue!!

            Well…Two things; One, the doors aren’t open yet and Two, don’t try talking to me again like that before your 3rd successful album is out, ASS HOLE.

            The Bloody Chiclets was a Studio project that formed as a band AFTER the record was and deal was done and they thought they should cobble together an actual group from cousins and friends for live performances, only they didn’t do well at that as was evident when they were brought to Toronto for a showcase in front all the arbiters of Taste, they couldn’t play up to the record, it was said.

Lots of attitude, little aptitude.

            Vancouver Sun’s John Mackie called Monuments Galore, Monuments of Bore and my friend, Tom Harrison of The Province thought another BMG act Big House, should have been in one.

            Big House were a BMG Priority that didn’t ring Tom’s bell and that’s OK, you can’t like them all, tho I did try to get his support with an interview but he was reluctant and therein lies a good lesson; Do Not paint Media into a corner whether they are friend or friendly or you may find yourself friendless as it’s wrong and it doesn’t work. Let the chips fall where they may. Our business is built upon good relationships and they shouldn’t turn bad; you may very well need them on another day for something they’d be glad to cover.

            There’s a fine line between Promotion and Pestering; don’t cross it.

            In this instance we launched Big House at a Media/Retail showcase at ’86 Street’ on Halloween in 1991 in conjunction with The Fox with the venue decked out for the evening we had a Slammer/Dungeon built inside for our guests to mix and mingle with the band before they played.

That’s right, ADMIT ONE, you don’t get to take your date to Prison, if you have a date in Prison, they’re there already..pass the soap.

            It all went well until I got home and dumped a pile of Big House T-shirts I had gotten for give-away, on the kitchen counter, at which point I was hard pressed to explain the pairs of Ladies Thongs that rolled out.

            God, I hate my life.

Shooting Marley~

            The one time I worked with Ras Bob Marley & the Wailers in Vancouver, there was a backstage incident worth noting. Sometime prior to his concert date here at the QET, he survived being shot, with a handgun (by Johnny Too Bad?), and I had charge of an overeager fan with a camera wanting to take his picture but I couldn’t allow it. Incensed, she DEMANDED to know why and I explained it was because she had a regular ‘Flash’ and not a ‘Black Flash’ (which the Pros use), she then wanted to know what the difference was and I explained that there’s little difference between a regular ‘Flash’ and a muzzle ‘flash’ (except for the sound) and considering he had just recovered from being ventilated, I’m sure he’d feel safer and give a better performance having not had to endure the picture, so, NO.

            So, the guy survives being shot but succumbs to a ‘pimple’  on his toe, which turned out to be Cancer, there’s no Jah-stice.

Six Cylinder-signed them too. Good guys, Good ‘Chickens’! But ‘Beyond Hope’, there was nothing.

Bk Row (L)Leagh Alden, Band Member, R2, Front Seated 6 Cylinders and John Ford (3rd from R) cracking everyone up with his Chicken/Road joke, I guess. 1980.  Photo by Benny Wong.


            Handy stuff. Kind of the glue that holds us ALL together, without it we’d just fall apart, literally.

            If your skin is thin, the rigors of the Music Biz is likely not for you; it’s a tough business, you should have really thick skin, if not Bark.

Sloan-They always called me ‘Uncle Ray’ and loved the stories. Good Guys. One day ‘I Love a long goodbye’ will be a big Country hit.

Joel Sonnier-

One of the best experiences I had in County and in general as well, he wanted to take YOUR picture! What a GREAT and under-rated artist.

Red Sovine-

For forgetting that I was his Rep during an autograph session at Treachers Records and calling me ‘Teddy Bear’, his hit at the time. Red was getting on in years and his appearance at the Newton Inn that night may only have been an early show. Yeah.

The material herein remains the property of Ray Ramsay / ALadinLadner Publishing:The Written Werd and Dirty Book Store is not intended for Publication, Reproduction, or Broadcast without the Authors permission. Yeah.

Latest comments

04.06 | 20:20

That's good Ray - spread it around

04.06 | 18:55

Hopefully history will finally teach us that we are all one. No better, no worse.Love one another as you would be loved - and the world and people will be in a better place.

04.06 | 18:46

Excellent musings my friend. What a twisted world and to look now and see it get worse instead of better.

04.06 | 18:16

Wow cuz that's great writing and truth

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