The music world is in mourning today after Sandy Pearlman, a legendary producer, lyricist, manager, executive was a herald of developments from heavy metal and punk to the digital distribution of music, passed away on Tuesday in California. He was 72 years-old.
The New York Times reported that Pearlman had suffered a debilitating cerebral hemorrhage in December, and died of pneumonia and other complications.
Best known as the producer, manager and lyricist for BlueÖyster Cult, Pearlman produced and co-produced albums for the band from 1972-1988. He was also a founding vice president of eMusic, an early online music store that started in 1998.
“He was always talking about the future,” Lenny Kaye, Patti Smith’s longtime lead guitarist, said in an interview. “It wasn’t just what he was going to do in the future, but what the culture would require in the future and how it would change.”
In the last few years, Pearlman became a college professor who lectured on how the music business could adapt to the digital era, teaching at McGill University in Montreal and then at the University of Toronto.
Rest in peace, Sandy Pearlman!