It is with a heavy heart that MetalTalk are reporting the passing of Roland Hyams on Tuesday, 3 May 2022. Roland was the owner and operator of Work Hard P.R. and was possibly the last of the old school music PR’s working in the business.
Words: Robert Adams
Think of any major rock band from the last 40 years, and the chances are that Roland represented them at some point.
He gave me my first job in the music business back in the mid-’90s as a music P.R. with his then titled Rock Hard PR. Amongst our clients back then were Iron Maiden, W.A.S.P., The Almighty, Big Country, The Stranglers, Helloween, Glenn Hughes, Bad Religion and Bruce Dickinson.
Roland had been in the music PR business since the mid-’70s and had many a story to tell. It’s fair to say that Roland knew just about everyone in the business, from managers, promoters, band members, journalists and editors. He had a larger than life persona and a wicked sense of humour. His huge grin and bawdy laugh was an ever-present feature of anywhere Roland was.
His tales of the business were legendary and usually self depreciatingly funny. His tale of the time he briefly represented the great Frank Zappa will surely go down in music business folklore.
It’s also fair to say that he lived his life to the fullest and with gusto. He was even sacked from representing Ozzy Osbourne back in the ’80s for being madder than Ozzy himself. Now that takes some doing.
I’ll be forever grateful to Roland for giving this young Scottish music fan a chance to see behind the music business curtain and learn the PR trade from the best in the business.
I’m certain that Roland and the late, great music journalist Malcolm Dome will be deep in conversation in Heaven’s rock bar, with Roland trying to sell a 4-page feature to Malcolm in Heaven’s premier rock magazine.
Everyone here at MetalTalk would like to pass on our heartfelt condolences to Roland’s wife, Lorraine and their friends and family.
The music business has lost one of its last remaining larger than life characters and will be a much sadder place indeed.
RIP Roland Hyams. 31 December 1958 – 3 May 2022
He was my friend, step dad to my daughter and then an amazingly kind and generous grandad. He was a loveable man – kind, tolerant and never dull for one nano-second – one of a kind. Miss him so much.
I covered Guilfest as a photographer and features writer for seven years when Roland was in charge of Press and PR.
What a character – usually ensconced in a corner of the Press tent while his team of helpers attemped to control the photographers – rather like herding cats.
Roland was always lively, engaging and great fun – a source of numerous unprintable stories rounded off with a laugh that had been marinaded in all the excesses of a rock and roll lifestyle.
We shall miss him.
Bob – Lodestone Publishing Limited
S0 SAD. MISSED THE NEWS OF HIS DEPARTURE. GAVE HIM HIS FIRST JOB IN PR BEFORE HE JOINED ALAN EDWARDS AND THEN SET UP AS HIS OWN MAN. ALWAYS THAT CHEEKY GRIN AND TOTAL COMMITMENT TO HIS ACTS. REMEMBER SENDING HIM ON HIS FIRST JOB WITH OZZY IN THE EIGHTIES WHEN HE JOINED KA PUBLICITY AND HE RETURNED MINUS AN EYE BROW. I WARNED HIM NOT TO FALL ASLEEP WITH “THE BASTARD” IN THE STUDIO OR ACCEPT A DRINK WITH OUT THE TOP ON BUT HE LEARNT FAST AFTER BEING THROWN IN THE DEEP END. WE REMAINED FRIENDLY AND IN TOUCH OVER THE YEARS. NEVER REGRETED STANDING UP FOR HIM ON A LEGAL MATTER BEFORE HE JOINED US. HE WAS A GENUINE ENTHUSIAST AND GAVE OF HIS BEST TO ALL. i WILL MISS HIM. MY SINCERE CONDOLENCES TO FAMILY AND FRIENDS. KA.