Passings: Producer and Manager Sandy Pearlman (1943 - 2016)

by VVN Music

Producer and manager Sandy Pearlman, who worked with artists like Blue Oyster Cult, the Clash and the Dictators, has died in the aftermath of a cerebral hemorrhage that he suffered in December. He was 72.

His friend, Robert Duncan, wrote on Facebook:
Sandy Pearlman, poet, writer, songwriter, producer, manager, professor, polymath, visionary, passed peacefully, surrounded by love, at 12:30 am, July 26, 2016, in Marin County, California. A celebration of his exceptional life will be announced later.
Pearlman grew up in the Rockaway Beach area of New York and attended SUNY Stony Brook followed by Brandeis University where he received his advanced degree. While there, he wrote a series of poems called Imaginos and, in 1967, put together a band to perform songs using those poems for lyrics. That band, which started as Soft White Underbelly, became Blue Oyster Cult.

Pearlman managed the band and produced nine of their albums starting with their 1972 self-titled debut and running through 1988's Imaginos, their last album on Columbia and the set that finally brought Pearlman's vision to life. Sandy also produced the Blue Oyster Cult classic Don't Fear the Reaper.

Sandy also worked close with Columbia on other projects including producing the Clash's second album, Give 'Em Some Rope. Among his other productions over the years were Between Nothingness and Eternity by the Mahavishnu Orchestra, two albums by Pavlov's Dogs, three for the Dictators and 1984's Medicine Show by Dream Syndicate.

As a manager, he handled Blue Oyster Cult through much of their career, Black Sabbath (1979 to 1983), the Dictators, Romeo Void, Aldo Nova and others.

Earlier in his career, Pearlman was one of the original rock critics at Crawdaddy! magazine, working with Paul Williams, Jon Landau and Richard Meltzer. It was while writing for the publication that he is sometimes credited with coining the phrase "heavy metal". He also was a label owner (Popular Metaphysics) and a founding vice president of the on-line subscription service eMusic.

In 2009, Sandy became a member of the National Recording Preservation Board at the Library of Congress. As an educator, he was the Schulich Distinguished Chair of music at McGill University in Montreal and a visiting professor at Harvard, Stanford, UC Berkley and UC Santa Barbara.

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