Forthcoming Rykodisc Book! If you're an ex-staffer, or a close associate, fill this questionairre out to contribute your part of the story!
BIG ENOUGH TO MATTER, SMALL ENOUGH TO CARE; THE RYKODISC STORY!
EX-RYKOS, PLEASE TAKE THE QUESTIONNAIRE!
Thanks for finding your way here!
Over the course of the next few months & years, I'm going to write a book on this history of Rykodisc, and I need your help. As the label faded from the mainstream (and then into the ether) a tremendous legacy and story has been largely lost, and getting this done has been eating at me for a long time.
At first, I was going to periodically knock out some stuff on my website, but that was slow going and wouldn't have been comprehensive. Then Bowie and Prince died; their passings really knocked the stuffing out of me. It reinforced that, sadly, none of us are getting any younger (why not?!).
After Bowie passed, I went to Salem Cinema to propose a talk on the history of Rykodisc and Bowie. Purely on a local level, I felt it was valuable to remind people of all the Rykodisc creativity that happened in their city.
The theater's response was enthusiastic; in fact, they wanted to book the show in a scant two weeks. Keep in mind this was just an idea at this point, so I got them to give me four weeks to pull it all together. It still wasn't enough and I finished the final draft and got the script printed about 1/2 an hour before doors.
The script proved unwieldy and too long, especially for an audience that wasn't quite sure what to expect, and, considering the timing, was probably more interested in the Bowie angle. Plus, with a live band accompanying me, the whole thing ran painfully long.
In my defense, Ryko's 25+ year existence and Bowie's 50+ year career are two HUGE subjects.
Despite this, the show was a financial success for the Cinema - sold out! in advance! thanks to many the Ryko Alum who attended! As a result I got other - unsolicited - bookings, during which I tweaked and fine-tuned the presentation to be more Bowie-centric.
At these shows I met a LOT of incredible people who were enthusiastically interested in the Ryko story. This was really heartening, because in the larger scheme of things, there's virtually no reliable source of information for the world's best mid-sized record label. Just look at the wikipedia page on Ryko, it's a scant 6 paragraphs! Please.
Since I'd already written the bare bones of the Ryko Story for the presentation, a book felt like the best way to tell it in detail. But there were many projects on my plate already and I back-burnered the idea. Yet it kept nagging at me.
The book can't be written without Ryko Alum, but I especially wanted to make sure the three longest serving founding partners were okay with it before I started (no disrespect to Mr Lexa, who I'm sure will be part of this too!).
Recently, at a lunch with Thomas Enright, I finally asked Don if he would be okay with me writing the book. He agreed, Rob & Arthur came on board, and the process has begun!
Like any factual book, this will be take considerable time to research and write. It is not designed to be a profit-generating venture (see recent publishing stats and the fact there's no publisher on board), but a fitting tribute to a great label and great people. As mentioned, I have many other things on my plate (including a catalog label launch I'll be - for real - announcing shortly), so I can't devote giant blocks of time to writing. In other words, It probably won't be out in time for the 2017 Holiday Gift-Giving Season.
That said, before I start, I need your input.
As I go forward, I'll need more of your thoughts, and recollections, and pictures (ESPECIALLY PICTURES). So please, fill out the form below and thank you in advance for your time and thoughtfulness.
And if you are in contact with any other Ryko folks who aren't on Social Media or part of the Ryko Facebook pages, please let them know and send them the link! At minimum, I want to list every Ryko employee, but I'd love to have input from everyone too.
Please note some of the questions require answers, so even if you have nothing to say in reply, type at least one character in each box, otherwise it may not send.
PS: of course Ryko Distribution will be part of the story, and I welcome participation of Ryko Distro Alum, but the book will mostly focus on the label. If someone wants to write a Ryko Distro book, that's a story in itself, I'm sure!
PPS: Yes, I have an editor who will fix my bad grammar and logically irresponsible sentence structure.
PPPS: ROCK ON!