Sandy Pearlman, Producer of the Clash and the Dictators, Dies
Robert Duncan, a longtime friend, 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."
A month ago, Duncan created a GoFundMe page to help cover Pearlman's medical costs after he had suffered a cerebral hemorrhage in December 2015 that "left him unable to walk, talk or fully comprehend his circumstances and in need of enormously expensive care." Duncan noted that Pearlman's healthcare coverage was set to expire on July 7. Less than $12,000 of their goal of $100,000 had been raised.
Born in New York on Aug. 8, 1943, Pearlman was one of the first wave of rock critics, writing for the groundbreaking magazine Crawdaddy! in 1967. Around that time, he was also looking for a heavy rock band to set music to a collection of poems he had written while in college. He found a Long Island-based group called Soft White Underbelly, and, with partner Murray Krugman, became their manager. By the time they signed with Columbia, they had changed their name to Blue Oyster Cult.
Pearlman produced or co-produced (often with Krugman) most of Blue Oyster Cult's albums between their 1972 and 1988 and also wrote lyrics to many of their songs. This included all the tracks on 1988's Imaginos, which finally saw those poems given a musical setting.
But he wasn't restricted to brainy heavy metal. Pearlman produced the first three records by the seminal New York punk band the Dictators, Go Girl Crazy! (1975), Manifest Destiny (1977) and Bloodbrothers (1978). He also helped introduce the U.S. to the Clash via 1978's Give 'Em Enough Rope -- a modified version of their debut wouldn't arrive in America until 1979.
Even after his association with Blue Oyster Cullt ended in the mid-'90s, Pearlman continued to work in the music industry as a label head, studio owner and executive for several internet music companies, including emusic.com. He also taught music production and frequently lectured on the music business at seminars and conferences.
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