Shirley Halperin
November 05, 2007 AT 11:11 PM EST

Legendary producer Phil Ramone, the man behind career-defining albums by Billy Joel and Paul Simon, is mourning New York City’s dying studio business and plans to petition Mayor Michael Bloomberg to do something about it. “A lot of people are out of work here,” he told us last week while promoting his new book, Making Records: The Scenes Behind The Music. “[People have said] it was the end of an era when Hit Factory closed. Two weeks ago, when Sony Studios shut down, that was not nice. It’s scary. So I’m trying to come up with a reason to go sit with Mayor Bloomberg and talk about how to put the music scene back in New York. There’s no encouragement to develop stuff. It’s kind of a drag.”

Ramone thinks the city should treat the recording industry the same way it does the film industry, by offering tax breaks and other incentives to keep sessions local. “[Bloomberg’s] a business man,” says Ramone with both hope and resignation. “I don’t know what else to do for my hometown except get him to understand.” 

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