When we began planning our 2nd Annual Music Issue, we thought about how it could best represent the spirit of San Antonio music. We knew it would contain our reader-selected music awards, and rather than simply calling them the Current Music Awards, we wanted them to honor someone who single-handedly captured the irreverent, earthy, unpretentious, high-spirited, funky Tex-Mex-punk-rock-beer-blast qualities that have been found in the best SA music over the years.
The honoree was an obvious choice: Ram Ayala. Though the late Taco Land owner didn’t play an instrument and never wrote a song (to our knowledge, anyway), he did more than anyone to create a scene that welcomed this city’s various rebels, outcasts, and mavericks. No music critique could ever match the concision of Ayala’s “Von Ormy no good”; no call to arms could be clearer than “Don’t be a pussy”; and no invitation to celebrate was harder to resist than “Kiss the baby.” For those reasons, and many more, we’ve named our music awards the Rammys.
— Gilbert Garcia
Step 1: Get your workspace together. I cleared off the kitchen table (and covered it with a cheap plastic sheet) and gathered my materials and tools: Sculpey modeling clay, picture-frame wire (for creating armatures) and — most important of all — a photo of Ram for reference.
Step 2: Get your hands dirty. Start with a ball of clay and knead it around so it’s soft and pliable. Human heads are roughly egg-shaped (some more so than others), so start with a basic eggy shape and then add clay as needed to create features. Once the head was mostly in proportion, I added the neck and base.
Step 3: Details. Ram wouldn’t be Ram without his signature Ray-Bans (or signature mustache). It might not be the most anatomically accurate likeness, but the main elements — and hopefully a bit of his personality — are in place.
Step 4: Wake and bake. A 275-degree oven and more than four hours is what it took to turn clay Ram ...
Step 5: Almost there. ... into baked-clay Ram! After he cooled overnight, he was ready to go gold.
Step 6: Spray it, don’t say it. Gold leafing was the original plan for achieving that Oscar-statue look, but easy-to-use metallic gold spray paint did the job beautifully. Turn to page 30 to see the finished Rammy, and find out who the winners are!