Sandy Pearlman, a pioneering rock critic who later produced and managed Blue Oyster Cult and worked with The Clash, Patti Smith and other punk artists, has died.
Longtime friend Robert Duncan said Pearlman died Tuesday in Novato Community Hospital in Novato, Calif. He was 72 and had been in poor health since suffering a cerebral hemorrhage last year. Duncan said Pearlman had no immediate survivors.
A New York City native and a graduate of State University of New York at Stony Brook, Pearlman wrote for one of the first rock magazines, Crawdaddy, in the 1960s and through Stony Brook met the musicians who became Blue Oyster Cult. (Originally called Soft White Underbelly). He booked early shows for the five-man group, arranged a meeting with then-Columbia Records executive Clive Davis that led to a record deal and produced several of their albums. Blue Oyster Cult sold millions of records and Pearlman was among the producers of the band's classic hit "(Don't Fear) the Reaper."
He also worked with a variety of punk and heavy metal acts, from Smith and Black Sabbath to the Dictators and Romeo Void, and in 1978 produced one of punk's most influential albums, the Clash's Give 'Em Enough Rope.
More recently, he was a tour promoter, head of the alternative label 415 Records and a member of the Library of Congress' preservation board. He was also an executive with one of the first companies to sell music online, eMusic.com, and taught music at McGill University in Montreal.
After news of his passing spread, friends of Pearlman such as photographer Hugh Brown shared stories on social media.
Kevin L. Jones contributed to this report.