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Eurogamer meets Ray Parker Jr.

Bustin' makes him feel good.
JudyGames 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.

JudyBobby 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?

JudyUmm... '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.

JudyThe 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.

RichardWhy didn't they come to you for Ghostbusters 2?
Ray Parker Jr.

Because I made too much money on Ghostbusters 1.

RichardWould you not even pick up the phone?
JudyIt 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.

RichardYou'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.

RichardWho 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.

We would imagine. Allegedly.

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.

RichardToo much, too soon.
JudyLooking 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.

JudyWould 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.

JudyIf 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.

A bit like that Beatles cover, except more iconic.
JudyCan 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.

JudyPerfect, you'll make a million billion pounds.
RichardHow 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.

RichardSo 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.

JudySo 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.

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Ellie Gibson


Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.


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