by Amy Simon

It was the eighties, I was in my twenties, it was New York City and I was a struggling actress working in the record business. Back when there was a record business. I got a job as a secretary for RCA Records which was a big mistake according to my high school typing teacher who wrote in my yearbook "loved having you in class Amy, thanks for bringing in all the great music and please do not get a job as a secretary or you will starve". Well, I never should have gotten that job but the day I was interviewed the typing tester was out and the two men - who interviewed me were so busy flirting - they never even asked me about my skills. My first day of work happened to be the same day as the big New York City transit strike. I strapped on my roller skates, cruised through Central Park, down Fifth Avenue over to Sixth Avenue and 44th Street and made it in by 9:30. I was the only employee there on time. I was off to a great start.

I was the local promotion secretary earning a whopping eleven thousand dollars a year. The job of the promotion department is to get airplay. Get our RCA Records on the radio. All the record companies had and have promotion teams who have "relationships" with the radio stations. It's very competitive. I had two bosses - Jack, the pop promotion manager and Sharon, the black or urban promotion manager. My job was to service the radio stations by getting them the product. The product was our records - and I was in charge of the record library. A whole big room just filled with all the product. I ordered it, I maintained it and I doled it out. I was very very popular. Everyone knew me because I was in charge of the record library and was the girl on the roller skates - I was always skating in and out of the building to audition for something. The eighties were a cool time to work in the record business and we shared an office and a sales team with A&M Records. We had the Police, Squeeze, Joe Jackson, Bryan Adams, Hall & Oates, The Eurhythmics, Alabama, Dolly Parton, Diana Ross - just to name a few - plus the entire Elvis Catalogue. On the tenth floor was the state of the art recording studio where Sinatra came in and recorded. John Lennon recorded Double Fantasy just down the street. One day some kid came up to our office sat down next to me and told me he wanted me to give him a bunch of product for some new start-up company on the third floor- it was gonna be the next big thing - MTV. Yup the eighties - albums, neon, cocaine.

I don't remember how the Silent Day came about. But my bosses and their boss decided that I could not stay quiet for a whole day. So they bet me. Money. If I won the bet I would get - I think it was about $150 bucks and if I lost - I had to go to secretarial school for six weeks. The rules were that I could not say a word from 8AM until 11PM. The day came and we set it up that my boss Sharon would come and pick me up at my apartment. Eight A.M. the buzzer rang and she thought I would answer it and say "who is it?" and that would be the end of it. I buzzed her up and she came in, made a few disparaging remarks about my apartment hoping to get me to talk. Ha. Not so easy. Off we went to the office. I immediately got a call from WNEW - a big famous rock station in Manhattan. My boss told them about the bet so they put me on the radio. "We have Amy Simon from RCA Records on the phone and she is being bet that she cannot stay quiet for a whole day. "Amy, are you there? How ya doin'?". I had worked out a whole communication system where I would tap on the phone once for yes and twice for no. I got loads of calls after that - all day. By lunch the wager was up to $350 - the whole sales team got in on it. My boss's boss brought in his baby pictures and Woody Allen records and made me have lunch with him in his office. Still no talking. Got to SIX PM without saying a word but I DID get a fever. I had to lay down for a while. By then the pot was up to about $500 bucks. Then we all went out to dinner. I don't remember much about dinner - it was the eighties and we were partying. Big time. After dinner we all ended up at my little studio apartment - I was the only one in our whole office with an apartment in the city. It was wild. Finally, my boss Jack says "congratulations Amy - it's eleven o'clock! Everyone was cheering. "Yay Amy!" I picked up the phone and called time. "At the tone the time will be ten fifty eight". I waited and called time again - after eleven. Yup. I won the bet. They had no idea what they were dealing with. Of course I did. I knew all along I would win. Never underestimate a poor motivated actress posing as a secretary!

In my twelve years in the music biz, I had a lot of interesting experiences and worked with all kinds of artists from Joey Ramone to Tom Jones and before I got out I got yelled at by Madonna, rode the elevator with Van Halen, shared a bathroom with Ricki Lee Jones, watched John Denver mediate, whistled at John Oates, took Eddie Levert from the OJAYS shopping, turned down a chance to dance on-stage with Prince at Madison Square Garden - thank god 'cuz he ended up humping the girl that got up there - swhoo - that was a close one - I had my ass pinched by Chad - the drummer from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and had Geoff Tate from Queensryche sing "Silent Lucidity" just to me in the back of a limo. And I never slept with a single rock star. Thank god. I have lots of memories from my years in the biz, but my favorite is and will always be The Silent Day.