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Blag, Steal & Borrow: The Crazy Story of How Chart History Was Made

Ever wondered about the perils of the music industry and exactly what it takes for an unsigned band to break in to charts? Well wonder no more, as a new book from maverick music manager Gary Raymond ‘Blag, Steal & Borrow’ explains exactly that, and it’s one hell of a journey!



This fantastic new book tells the story of Gary Raymond’s experiences managing the three-piece Essex-based rock band Koopa, and helping them to become first unsigned band in history to make it into the UK Top 40.


The book not only reveals how, with the help of Ditto Music and a lot of ingenuity, Koopa broke into the charts without the backing of a major label, but also the relentless madness that surrounded Gary, both during his very curious upbringing and as he navigated the famously fickle and tumultuous music industry.


You’ll read about chart history being made, performing for the Russian Mafia, fighting with bands at festivals and persuading a label to sign a band with ever seeing them play – and that’s just the musical side of the story.


Other tales include buying drugs from the FBI and sharing a bed with a famous darts player, as well as childhood memories like growing up in a zoo, narrowly avoiding kidnap and an unfortunate incident in a kebab shop. It’s all completely mad, but unashamedly honest and 100% true!


"It's a book that will make you cry, laugh out loud, and wonder how anyone really 'makes it' in the music industry these days. But most of all it's a story about three crazy dudes from Essex on a rollercoaster of a journey and their manager desperately trying to make some sense of all the madness."
Neil Jones, Arts Editor, Essex Standard


After working with Koopa and Gary Raymond back in 2007 and distributing their music to the major stores when they made it into the UK charts, these guys will always have a place in our hearts here at Ditto Music. And reading the full story from Gary’s point of view all these years later was an absolute joy.


We’d recommended this book to anyone with an interest in the inner workings and general insanity of the music industry, as well as those who simply share our love for crazy and hilarious stories, as this tale has plenty!


Blag Steal & Borrow by Gary Raymond is out now.

You can order the Kindle version here or the paperback version here.