Who in this world willing to waste the Beatles ticket for a Toon match (under Keegan’s era) ticket? There is only one who would do and that “crazy but passionate” Geordie lad was Ronnie Lambert aka Busker.
Busker is a local singer/songwriter of pure Geordie songs, one of which has a cult following in St. James’ and on Tyneside. “Home Newcastle” has been played at every home game since it’s release in 1980 and is regarded just about as “anthemic” as Blaydon Races.
He was also the only songwriter to have had a record released on the one-time ever N.U.F.C. label back in 1984 when we gained promotion in Keegan’s last playing season. The song, which was appropriately titled Goin’ Up was adored by the fans but unfortunately not promoted by the “visionless board” at that time.
They opted to promote their other piece of merchandise to capitalise on the promotion fervour, an illustrated book titled “Auf-Wiedersein Kev”. “Home Newcastle” sold over 50,000 copies on it’s first run, and without any paid for promotion i.e. it sold on one T.V. appearance and a few local radio plays.
Ronnie Lambert’s brief music biz biography
1980 – Home Newcastle
Sold 50,000 (got stitched by manager for my money, £100,000). Made a few local t.v. appearances to promote song. He has appeared on ‘Rock on the Tyne’ festival at Gateshead stadium with Elvis Costello, Ian Dury, Rory Gallagher, Dr. Feelgood, Ginger Baker and Lindisfarne infront of a 20,000 crowd.
1982 – River Tyne E.P.
His manager didn’t promote it despite popularity, and nobbled by rival band management to sit on his contract.
1983 – Goin’ Up – on N.U.F.C. label
Busker is the first and only singer to record on this label. Worked closely with Russell Cushing and marketing manager Graham Hogg who were very excited about project – bloody stupid board could have made me a packet.
Sadly, without promotion many fans never got access to it. Tyne-Tees t.v. and local Beeb used song on mini-documentaries on promo season. I got literally hundreds of calls from fans and I was ex-directory….had to change my number.
From ’83 to ’90
String of releases by small company with no promotion budget. You can’t sell anything if people don’t know it’s there, but it kept my face feintly but continuously in Geordie consciousness. Songs included Black and White which didn’t get past new Glaswegian Toon marketing supremo Freddy (Rottweiler, to his freinds) Fletcher.
1990 – Pure Geordie album
Funded by authoress Catherine Cookson – signed with Celtic records which reneged on contract by again not promoting album at the specified time (Gateshead garden festival), resulting in nasty, drawn-out litigation which fizzled out because I lacked the funding. They’ve sold it steadily since, but without paying me a red cent. Boy do I not deserve this ?
1990 – today
Gazza asked me to write him a song, which I confided to above company. A month later he released a song with Lindisfarne, who were contracted to this company who stitched me. Lucky or what?
Wrote Shearer’s Back, took it to small company because Toon’s Freddy Fletcher wasn’t interested. Again same story of no promo – no bono. But I’m still the best, probably the only Geordie, writing ‘quality’ topical, local flavoured songs and my cult classic Home Newcastle is as popular now with a brand new generation of Toon fans.
Haven’t you heard the amount of ringtones on kids’ mobies? I did a guest appearance at Shearer’s bar last winter and was mobbed by young lads and students asking for my autograph on their denims, arms etc. One other guy wanted to get a tattoo over my signature on his arm.
Just finished my new website early November on www.geordiesongs.com and approaching 4,000 hits already and still growing with very limited exposure. Featuring 2 new albums entitled, “Geordieland” and footie album “Goin’ Up” featuring many of my old toon songs with some new.
Go and check out his website and buy the albums to support him so he can create many more Geordie Songs for wor beloved team Newcastle United. Howay the lads!!!