‘Promo Monkey’ A B.C. Man’s Glimpse Inside The World Of Rock Stars And File-selling
A lifetime within the music enterprise has given RayMan Ramsay a lot to jot down about.
The now-retired South Surrey resident has authored two books about his days as a “Promo Monkey” who helped promote information, beginning within the late-Nineteen Sixties.
The collection gives a wide array of real-life tales and hands-on working experiences documenting Ramsay’s many years with High quality Data/TPC Distribution and, later, the RCA/BMG document labels, within the B.C. market.
He additionally consists of anecdotal tales and his ideas of a number of the world’s most well-known musicians, together with Elton John, KISS, David Bowie, Dolly Parton and others, together with Vancouver-area music-biz insiders.
Stuffed with puns Ramsay is understood for in dialog, the 2 “Promo Monkey” books are subtitled “Monkey See, Monkey Two: Personas & Prima Donnas” and “My Life as a Bellhop within the Waldorf Hysteria: Pals & Enemas.”
Self-published by Friesen Press, the books stored Ramsay busy in the course of the COVID pandemic, and within the years earlier than that, too.
“The explanation there’s two books is as a result of they’re written in numerous kinds, and I simply couldn’t combine them,” Ramsay stated over a cup of espresso.
“I form of miss the job (as document firm promo rep/supervisor), however writing the ebook is one thing I’d wished to do,” he continued. “In 2013 I spotted it was my forty fifth anniversary within the music enterprise so I wrote a bit of factor about that and despatched it to all my pals. Nicely, all of them got here again wanting extra — give us extra! So OK, that went on for years, and that’s the place I acquired the concept to show these ideas of mine right into a ebook, or books now. They had been having fun with it and I wished to take pleasure in one thing too, earlier than my orbit goes to obit.”
A few years go Ramsay and his longtime spouse, Lynne, moved from Ladner to a spot in South Surrey.
As a younger man Ramsay acquired into the industrial fishing enterprise, following in household footsteps, however ultimately put his ardour for music to work, as a man with a artistic thoughts and a manner with phrases and concepts.
On April 1, 1968, Ramsay acquired his begin within the music enterprise when he was employed as a 19-year-old to work as a warehouse “hump” for High quality/TPC, and the April Idiot’s joke is just not misplaced on the writer.
Later, one other landmark day was Aug. 16, 1977, when Elvis Presley died. “One other good begin,” Ramsay deadpanned about his very first day with RCA, which was Presley’s document label.
“I used to be driving house from signing the deal to work there, and on the radio comes the information that Elvis died,” Ramsay recalled. “File gross sales went by way of the roof, after all.”
“I did meet Colonel Parker at an Elvis conference centre in Vegas,” continued Ramsay, speaking about The King’s infamous supervisor. “He was sitting there counting stuff, and Ricky Nelson, his newest sufferer, was sitting subsequent to him. Years later we discovered about Parker’s therapy of Elvis and I assumed, you son-of-a-bitch, why didn’t you take care of him?’ Taking 50 per cent of what he made was outrageous. I haven’t seen the film (Baz Luhrmann’s biopic, launched final summer time), and it form of angers me to see Elvis getting used that manner. I perceive this enterprise is all about cash, however take care of folks.”
Comparable tales are instructed on Ramsay’s Fb web page, dubbed “Monkey Home: the Written Werd,” and on the web site he calls “A Lad in Ladner” (aladinladner.simplesite.com).
One story includes the evening he had some enjoyable with American nation artist Charley Pleasure at Surrey’s outdated Newton Inn within the late-Seventies.
“He had an evening off and wished to go to a rustic membership, and I knew that was the one on the time,” Ramsay recalled. “The membership despatched a limo for him, which was cool, he walks in and everybody’s jaw drops.”
Ramsay’s sense of humour was formed by “Monty Python’s Flying Circus,” the British comedy present.
“I labored with Monty Python within the ’70s once they had been coming by way of Vancouver,” he stated with a smile. “The tickets weren’t promoting (for the present), which blew my thoughts, as a result of who wouldn’t go see these loons? So I advised they get a flatbed truck, construct a cage and put all of the Monty Python signage on it, for the live performance, and pay a man to drive round in rush-hour. The man placing on the live performance, Hugh Pickett, stated at the moment, it then set a box-office document for gross sales, as a result of that was outdoors the field, and totally different folks react to various things.”
For the document labels, Ramsay’s job concerned getting albums observed and offered.
“I keep in mind we had The Eurythmics, and Annie (Lennox) had the masks on for that album (“Contact”), and we had been at A&B Sound. For the advert I stated, ‘We’re going to place this album in upside-down.’ The client, we acquired into it screaming and yelling, he says, ‘That’s silly.’ Nevertheless it was our advert, and he didn’t get the idea of individuals studying the Province on the bus and there’s this upside-down advert, and the way folks would then get right into a dialog going about that.”
Within the document enterprise at present, digital advertising and marketing dominates the streaming world, and there are few CDs, vinyl albums and cassettes to promote.
“Again then we needed to get artistic typically,” Ramsay stated. “I actually loved the work I did as a result of I used to be completely thrilled by the sensation that I may create an concept and transfer the factor ahead.
Ramsay says partial proceeds from gross sales of his two books will probably be donated to Wigs for Children and BC Youngsters’s Hospital.
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