Apr. 24, 2016

My Special Music People #2

My Special Music People:

A Brief Raycap of my Career in a Nuthouse, Nutshell. (#2)

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.

*This week’s start-off is fitting with all the Bollywood Ballyhoo going on*


          This music form started as a form of East Indian folk music which quickly turned into an early type of ‘Trance’ music, Bhang being the term for Hashish. BMG picked up the rights to Musicor Records from the UK which was modern form of the format. I found it shocking how, without reservation, a lot of Video/Music store owners would bend over their own Culture by booting a song at the drop of headwear, and think nothing of it.

          Part of the Musicor package was a local artist going by the name of Indian Lion, Michael Sunner by day, and he defined himself as more of a Pop artist, and distanced himself from the Bhangara cache. It was a challenge to work this given his past relations with the South Asian Media, a bit strained and estranged you might say, and his Manager was a lot of work too..La De Da

We DID get some feature Top40 play but nothing like Apache Indians ‘Arranged Marriage’ got.

I did go to a Bhangara concert involving a couple of Musicor groups, and it was a real eye-opening Cultural experience to see how they worked their own community, but I couldn’t help feel like the center of an Oreo cookie.

I called them Bhangaroos; it was just funny and helped with the grief. I still like the food though.


My band; Learned how to play well with others, write songs, gained empathy for working with future Artists and groups. Bruce & Sam booked us and opened a door for the future too.

I was the drummer; I knew right off that I couldn’t get an electric shock playing the drums! I played guitar just enough to be able to write songs but not on stage.

I also sang the Stones songs cuz Jagger can’t sing either, projects well though.

We had some pretty talented players thru the various configurations; one was John Pearson who played Sax with us in our Rhythm & Blues All-Stars days. We weren’t but we wanted to be. John took the name we vacated and with Colin Weinmaster formed ‘The R&B All-Stars’ (nice nick John) with Hans Staymer on Vocals.

The other constant thru everything was my friend Jerry Walliser who played Guitar/Vocals and wrote ‘Out in the Street’ the bands best non-cover song, and the recording is from a rehearsal. John and Colin went on the form Wave Productions and have been very successful.

 Jerry is in the Movie Biz and I saw him in ‘The 5 People You Meet in Heaven’ an emotional book and film tour de force, quite unusual for both to be as good as the other.

I freely admit that I am probably the world’s WORST guitar player, certainly the slowest. I would play only the slow songs because I had to pause while I changed chords, and I wouldn’t do that often..CHANGE chords?! YOU change chords!, I LIKE this chord and I’m gonna STAY here! Like I said, drummer.

I would have been VERY popular at a Dirge-Fest: Hey, where’s Ray, I need to cheer down!

A friend of mine recently commented on my Linkedin picture, saying I looked like Eric Clapton, I replied that I played guitar like Eric Claptrap.

Back in those days, there weren’t any monitors and sitting behind the rest of the band, with all the music going AWAY from me, I’d say we were lucky if we were playing the same songs. It was a joyful noise, if not outright racket, Beethoven’s 9th Racket p’raps.

Bruce Bissell-

Mr Silly to me, But NO Clown at Promotion! A GREAT guy, friend and survivor of da biz. Worked for A&M and Weiner Bros and he’s got stories!

Spencer Britten-(Post Raytirement project)

I’m certainly jaded after all these years but this kid blew me away at a Celebration of Life’ I was attending for my late Sister-in-law when a young Chinese kid stands up and starts singing IN ITALIAN what turned out to be ‘Bring him home’ from Les Miserables. I had some experience with this format from working with Gino Vannelli’s ‘Songs for My Father’ project, and this, to me, is every bit as good. Needs a bit of polishing but otherwise he’s a light in the forest. Where is David Foster when you need him?! Also turns out we’re related thru marriage. Amazing.

The BMG Vancouver Crew-Buck, Miss Katherine, Lisa, Matt2, Mike, Deano, Sean, Peter Mouser, Marilyn, Lynne, Mel, Charlotte, Michelle and Bob: ALL among the BEST crew I have worked with. RIP Leagh Alden.

John Bottomley-

As grounded as they come in a high flying business. A REAL good and appreciative guy and a record that I broke on Vancouver Rock Radio, at the time it shudn’t have happened, but it did, I’m sorry he’s gone.

Brooks & Dunn (and Reba) ~

          Dunn now, but not forgotten. More true Country Music Pros. Country acts are SO good to work with, and they put up with a LOT.

          One tour was sponsored by a Brewery with a stop in Vancouver. We had to go to the Brewery’s Hospitality suite to meet the boys.

(L>R:Reba,fan, Lisa/BMG’s Mom, Ronnie, Lisa, Power Behind the Throne yours truly behind Lisa, Kix in a shirt that would stop traffic, and my long suffering wife and BMG’r Lynne)

          The B&D were VERY well organized, as usual; the roll-out was..Shake/Howdy, Pose/Click, Grin/Agin! Each person was to receive a color Polaroid inserted in a pre-signed cardboard frame, very nice.

          Except, one of the Beer girls had waaay too much brew (and not enough exposure to celebrities, TV and Magazines notwithstanding) and spilled even more ALL OVER the table the cameras and cardboard frames were on, Ooopsy, giggle, offered Miss Jiggle.

          There was a moment of DEAD silence in the room, time stopped and you could hear a firing-pin drop, BUT not a discouraging word (altho I heard it, mind reader that I am), Kix and Ronnie just bit down HARD and got thru it.

          They came thru another time on a Co-Headline show with Reba McIntire and all three did the Meet & Greet together, no Burpo, slips or miss-haps and Reba was VERY nice to deal with. She was repped by Universal’s Theresa Blackwell who is a Super person and deserved MUCH better than she actually got, in the end.

          Unfortunately, Brooks & Dunn went on first and after their HIGH energy show, you could feel the energy level plummet as Reba came on. She does a good show, just not as dynamic as B&D outgunning Tres Hombres.

                                      Ray Ramsay: Wordsmith/Humoroid / Rayconteur

                                           Author of 'Things that go *POP* in my Head' (In Progress)
                                                         and 'I Hate My Life' (Deluxe Edition w Boardgame)
                                                               PLUS the elevating 'How Far Is 'UP?"
'                                                             and new & Unintelligible... Gibberish Speaking'

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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