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