Thursday, July 28, 2016

Sandy Pearlman R.I.P.

Sandy Pearlman, perhaps best known as Blue Öyster Cult's manager and the producer of many of their records, died on July 26 2016 at the age of 72. He had suffered a cerebral haemorrhage  in December 2015.

Sandy Pearlman was born Samuel Pearlman in Queens, New York. He graduated from the State University of New York at Stony Brook with a Bachelor of Arts in 1966. In 1966  Michael Horowitz introduced Sandy Pearlman to Paul Williams, creator of rock music magazine Crawdaddy. Sandy Pearlman became one of the magazine's critics and hence one of the pioneers of rock music criticism.

It was in 1967 that Sandy Pearlman became the manager of a band consisting of  guitarist Donald Roeser (later called "Buck Dharma"), drummer Albert Bouchard, keyboardist Allen Lanier, singer Les Braunstein, and bassist Andrew Winters. Mr. Pearlman dubbed the band "Soft White Underbelly". He got them gigs around New York City and eventually a meeting with Columbia Records president Clive Davis that resulted in a recording contract. It was as Soft White Underbelly that they recorded their first album in 1968. Unfortunately, the album would be shelved in 1969 after Les Braunstein left the band. Eric Bloom then became the lead vocalist of the band, soon renamed Blue Öyster Cult.

Sandy Pearlman not only served as the band's manager, but also wrote or co-wrote some of the band's songs, including  "I'm on the Lamb but I Ain't No Sheep"  from their self-titled first album and "R. U. Ready 2 Rock" from Spectres. Blue Öyster Cult's 1988 concept album Imaginos was based largely on the poetry of Sandy Pearlman. He produced the majority of the Band's albums between 1972 and 1988. Mr. Pearlman remained the manager of Blue Öyster Cult until 1995.

Sandy Pearlman also served as the manager of several other bands, including The Dictators, Romeo Void, Aldo Nova, Black Sabbath from 1979 to 1983, and yet others. He also produced albums for several other bands, including Pavlov's Dog, The Dictators, Dream Syndicate, and Cosmic Free Way. Among the albums Mr. Pearlman produced was The Clash's second studio album, Give 'Em Enough Rope.

Sandy Pearlman became president of the record label 415 Records in 1989 and soon changed its name to Popular Metaphysics. Unfortunately, the label only lasted a couple of years. In the Nineties he became the founding vice president of eMusic, an online music store that was a pioneer in selling music MP3s. In 2009 he was named a member at large of the National Recording Preservation Board of the Library of Congress.

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