In 1998, Gerald Simpson (a.k.a. A Guy Called Gerald) released “Voodoo Ray,” a groundbreaking acid-house single that went on to become one of the most influential club tracks in history. The song decimated dance floors around the world and later appeared on Simpson’s Hot Lemonade album released the following year on U.K.-based Rham! Records. The now-classic track rose to number 12 in the U.K. charts and has remained ubiquitous. However, Simpson has consistently maintained that he was never paid by the label that released his music.
Simpson’s claim about nonpayment resurfaced in May when Funk Butcher tweeted: “Did you know that A Guy Called Gerald has not made ANY money from Voodoo Ray?…”
The exchange set off a chain of retweets and comments by shocked fans. Rham Records, which Simpson says has been restarted by the assistant of the original owner, replied that the allegations were false:
— rhamrecords (@rhamrecords) May 21, 2021
Thirty-one years later, Simpson has launched a Crowdfunder campaign. He’s asking fans to help him pay legal costs to secure payment for his recorded work.
“My work is blatantly being taken advantage of, again, and it’s time to end this. There is no agreement between me and this new company, verbal or otherwise, and I’m reaching out to you, asking for your help to stop this crook who is stealing from me,” wrote Simpson.
“While I now have everything that I need to mount a legal challenge, I need your help to cover the legal fees. It looks like it’s going to take about £20,000 to turn this around.”
Big Shot reached out to Rham Records via email for comment about Simpson’s claims. The label replied with the following statement: “We are aware of Gerald Simpson’s social media posts, we refute the allegations and his recollection of events. And we are continuing to pay any royalties that are currently due to him. No further comments.”
What’s interesting to note is that after Simpson split from 808 State and clashed with co-founder Graham Massey over songwriting credit for “Pacific State,” he recorded a biting retort to the group called “I Won’t Give In” found on his phenomenal 1990 album Automanikk. It will be interesting to see how the closure of this issue will affect Simpson’s music going forward.
Image via Wikipedia