“Voodoo Ray” producer A Guy Called Gerald (real name Gerald Rydel Simpson) has started a crowdfunding effort in order to raise funds for a legal battle against Rham! Records.
“With your help, we can officially commence legal proceedings against the people who have profited from my art and exploited what I had to offer to the emerging dance music scene,” the producer and DJ writes in a statement on the Crowdfunder page. “It’s long overdue but to be successful I need your help.”
The people in question: Rham!’s original owner, and the owner’s assistant who re-registered the record label in 2019 following a 27 year hiatus after the imprint folded in 1992. Simpson alleges that he was never paid a “single penny” for his work on the hit single “Voodoo Ray,” which charted at number 12 in the dance charts in 1988, nor for his Hot Lemonade album. The producer says at the time he lived in a squat, working at a McDonald’s restaurant.
“Can you imagine the frustration?” Simpson asks in his statement. “Acid House’s Summer of Love was in full swing and all I could think about was survival, while these guys spent the next four years exploiting my music. They ditched the label in 1992 and everything went quiet until 2019 when the nightmare started up again.”
Simpson also claims that the Rham! owner’s assistant has struck new deals with music distribution companies without Simpson’s approval, and that they used Simpson’s name and likeness without permission. “This company doesn’t have the right to profit from my music,” he continues.
At the time of writing, A Guy Called Gerald’s Crowdfunder has reached £6,309 of its £20,000 goal to aid the pioneering producer and DJ with funds to begin legal proceedings against the owner and assistant at Rham! Records. Simpson is offering rewards for those who choose to donate, with various tiers that will get donors exclusive music, vinyl records, and pre-release access to new music.
To read A Guy Called Gerald’s full statement and donate, visit the Crowdfunder page.