Passings: Marty Thau, Manager of the New York Dolls (1938 - 2014)

David Johansen, Muddy Waters &
Marty Thau (Source: Thau's
Facebook Page)
Marty Thau, whose resume ran from being founder of Red Star Records to managing the New York Dolls to producing Suicide's debut album, died last Thursday, February 13 from complication of renal failure. He was 75.

Thau began his career as an advertising trainee at Billboard and moved to managing Tony Orlando before becoming an industry executive at Cameo-Parkway and, later, Buddah Records. In 1971, he joined Inherit Productions as one of the three partners in the business and, although he was only with them for one year, his tenure saw the release of two Van Morrison albums (Astral Weeks and Moondance), John Cale's Vintage Violence along with albums by Glass Harp, Cass Elliot and Biff Rose.

After six months as head of A&R at Paramount, Thau left to manage the burgeoning career of the New York Dolls. Marty oversaw their initial short career, including the recording of the albums New York Dolls and Too Much Too Soon until their breakup in 1975.

Post-Dolls, Thau started Red Star Records and signed the group Suicide, producing their self-titled debut album with Craig Leon. The label also became a home for such acts as the Fleshtones, the Real Kids and Richard Hell.

Thau also became well known for his knowledge of the business from a punk perspective and both guided and produced early demos for such artists as Blondie and the Ramones.

In his later years, Thau had become active in the independent music scene in his adapted home of Roanoke, VA.  At the time of his death, he was working on an autobiography, Rockin' the Bowery (From the New York Dolls to Suicide). He had also written the book Punked Up! (Red Star Chronicles).

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