Everything was better in the eighties. Back then it was socially acceptable to like pop music, wear red leather and smoke. It was a jollier, gentler time, and the only thing you had to worry about was the perpetual threat of global nuclear holocaust.
If you're too young to remember, the video for Ray Parker Jr.'s Ghostbusters song provides an excellent window into history. A neon window, in fact. It should also give you an idea of sexual politics back then, when there was nothing more hilarious than men hiding under the beds of sleeping women and chasing them half-naked around their homes.
As you already know, and will be reminded regardless every 18 seconds between now and July, a new Ghostbusters videogame is on the way. It has a script written by Dan Aykroyd and also features Ray Parker Jr.'s iconic theme song.
Eurogamer caught up with Jr. at an event in London last week. We had to share our interview slot with "veteran" games journalist Steve Hill, who here plays Richard to our Judy. Read on to find out why Ray didn't fancy the girl in the video, just how much money he made from that song and why he won't be surprised if they don't call him for Ghostbusters 3.
Judy: We were shown the original video for your song earlier today - did that bring back happy memories? Or any unpleasant ones?
Ray Parker Jr.: No! Unpleasant, are you kidding? What's unpleasant about that? I had as much fun watching it as I did making it.
Richard: It's, ah, slightly dated. Do you think you could get away with a video like that today? What was the message behind that, you hiding in a house with a semi-naked woman?
Ray Parker Jr.: I don't know what the message was. We were trying to figure out how to film a video about ghosts. So I thought, put the Saturday Night Live guys in it and we'll make fun of it. I don't know who wrote the script.
At the time, I was ten years younger than the girl in the video. So I was like, "Why didn't they get a cute chick? Who's the old girl?" Now I look at her and it's like, "Ooh, she's kinda sexy."
Judy: You didn't stay in touch?
Ray Parker Jr.: No, I never touched her in the first place.
Richard: What about the scene where you roll out from under the bed? How many takes did you have to do?
Ray Parker Jr.: Not many. I just rolled out.
Richard: That's your natural position, is it?
Ray Parker Jr.: Well, it wasn't natural. It wasn't comfortable down there. Course, when you're younger it doesn't hurt. If you asked me to do it now I'd be in bed for two days with backache.
Judy: How much did you know about the Ghostbusters film when you sat down to write the song?
Ray Parker Jr.: I saw the film. The director told me what he wanted in the song, but the hard part was he wanted the word "Ghostbusters" in it. That was difficult.
Judy: It doesn't rhyme with a lot, does it?
Ray Parker Jr.: It doesn't sing well. You can't even put a rhyming word after it. So the creative part was to fineagle the word Ghostbusters into the song.
Richard: When you first saw the film, did you think that 25 years later it would have the impact it has now?
Ray Parker Jr.: I didn't go that far, I didn't have time. I was thinking, 'I'm just going to get my music done and get my money...' Then after it was done I thought, 'Well, that was a nice film. That was fun.'
Judy: I interviewed Ernie Hudson last year, who played Winston Zeddemore. He told me he'd been to a party round yours, and that your house is nicer than his, and he wishes he'd written that song instead of being in the movie... Is your house really nicer?
Ray Parker Jr.: I don't know, I haven't been to Ernie Hudson's house.
Judy: He's probably too ashamed.
Ray Parker Jr.: First of all, he doesn't live too far from me, so don't you feel sorry for him. It's a nice area. But my house is pretty nice.
Judy: Has it got a neon telephone and a slide-out thingy under the bed?
Ray Parker Jr.: None of those kind of things, no.
Judy: I wouldn't be so rude as to ask just how much money you made from the Ghostbusters song. But can you tell us - was it more than a hundred pounds?
Ray Parker Jr.: Yes.
Richard: Considerably more?
Ray Parker Jr.: More than a hundred pounds a minute, forever.
Judy: You mean for the rest of time? For eternity?
Ray Parker Jr.: Probably, yes.
Richard: Why are you bothering with this videogame then?
Ray Parker Jr.: I love it. I saw the game last year, but they've done so much more to it. When Vivendi sold it I thought to myself, 'Goddarn it, now I don't get my cheque.' There's nothing that ruins my day more than not getting my cheque.
I called my girl and she said, "Ray, they put all this money into the videogame. You're going to get your cheque. You just don't get it this year, that's all."
Judy: Games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band obviously offer another revenue stream for musicians. Would you like to see your songs in those games?
Ray Parker Jr.: We were just talking about that, we're working on it now. I think they should have Ghostbusters in Rock Band.
Judy: Bobby Brown did the song for the second Ghostbusters film. I don't think it has quite the same legendary status as your record...
Ray Parker Jr.: Can you sing it?
Judy: Umm... 'If it's urrp to urrse we've gaad to make it hap-pennn...'
Ray Parker Jr.: That's pretty good. You're the only one I know who can sing it. I like the song. I'm not saying it's a bad song. I'm just saying, it's not the same... 25 years later.
Judy: The first time you heard It's Urp to Urse, did you think, 'Well, this song isn't as good as mine'?
Ray Parker Jr.: I thought, 'No way is this going to replace my song as the Ghostbusters song.' I thought it was a nice song. I like the song.
Richard: Why didn't they come to you for Ghostbusters 2?
Ray Parker Jr.: Because I made too much money on Ghostbusters 1.
Richard: Would you not even pick up the phone?
Judy: It was too heavy, it was made of solid gold.
Ray Parker Jr.: No, that's not true. I think certain executive parties were upset with me. People kept writing in the newspaper that the song made the film, and I think it made some people crazy.
We sold over 10 million records immediately, even before the movie came out. Then I got nominated for an Oscar and the movie didn't. I won a BAFTA and the movie didn't. I don't know where the resentment came from, but there was a lot of emotion.
Richard: You'd think they'd be pleased - surely it's all good for the movie?
Ray Parker Jr.: You're trying to be logical. Hollywood doesn't work that way.
I would love to work on Ghostbusters 3, I hope they do call me. But if they don't call me, I won't be surprised.
Richard: Who are they going to call?
Ray Parker Jr.: They could call Beyonce, or they could call Britney Spears... Let me put it to you this way: there was a point where the company asked me to return some of the money.
Get out of town.
Ray Parker Jr.: What would you have done?
Richard: "I'll tell you who you're gonna call: not me."
Ray Parker Jr.: I was a lot nicer than you. But I'm thinking, 'Wow, every movie Ivan Reitman directs, it's going to be like Steven Spielberg and John Williams!' I never got a call again.
Richard: Too much, too soon.
Judy: Looking back now, do you think the song did make the film?
Ray Parker Jr.: I have nothing to say. I just think they should call me for Ghostbusters 3, and they should put me in the film. If they don't call me, I can understand that too.
Judy: Would you like to be the fifth Ghostbuster?
Ray Parker Jr.: Absolutely... I love the film and I love being associated with it. I wish they would call me and let me write the song.
Judy: If it doesn't work out we have a programme in this country called Most Haunted, which stars hateful Liverpudlian Derek Acorah. He goes round people's houses busting ghosts. Do you think you might be interested in writing him a theme tune?
Ray Parker Jr.: That's interesting. I guess we could sit down and talk about it.
Judy: Can you think of anything to rhyme with 'Derek Acorah'?
Ray Parker Jr.: I haven't a clue. I know no more about that than I did Ghostbusters.
Judy: Perfect, you'll make a million billion pounds.
Richard: How long did it take you to write Ghostbusters?
Ray Parker Jr.: Less than three days. The song was a minute and five seconds when I wrote it. Then they said, 'Make a record!' I was like, 'Oh, ****.' I had written a verse and a bridge, and that's all I recorded.
Later on I resang it, so the vocal you hear in the videogame is only five or six years old. It's not 25 years old. But you can't tell the difference.
Richard: So you're saying you've still got it?
Ray Parker Jr.: If you told Led Zeppelin to re-record Stairway to Heaven, that might be difficult, because you've got to be in the same hall, the drums have got to sound the same... But Ghostbusters is a computer-driven song. The bass and the drums came out of the sequencer, and I play the guitar, and I got the same guy to play the saxophone. It sounds big, but you could cut Ghostbusters on less than 16 tracks.
Judy: So you're saying you're earning more than a hundred pounds a minute, for the rest of eternity, for a minute-long piece of music you made in three days using two instruments and a computer?
Ray Parker Jr.: Yep. That's pretty much it.
Ghostbusters: The Videogame is released for DS, PC, PS2, PS3, Wii and Xbox 360 on 19th June.