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Gary Gersh Remembers His Disciple Craig Aaronson, A&R Legend Behind Mastodon and More

Craig Aaronson
Courtesy of the Aaronson Family

A&R veteran Craig Aaronson died Oct. 29 after a long battle with cancer. He was 49. During an extensive career at Warner Bros., Capitol and Grand Royal, Aaronson worked with My Chemical RomanceAvenged SevenfoldTaking Back SundayMastodonAt the Drive-In and Wiz Khalifa, among others.

I met Craig Aaronson when he worked in the mail room at Geffen Records. He was young and passionate, which turned out to be his calling card. He badgered me every single day to work with me in A&R and finally, I relented. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. He told me a few weeks ago that he was so thankful for the chance I had given him and for caring enough to teach him throughout our many years together. He said he only ever wanted to make me happy in all areas of his life, and I wept.

I did not know that this conversation would be our last. The week prior to his passing, I went to thank him for showing me that passion in life is enough. I am a better man for having this streaking light of craziness touch my life, and I wish I could be there when he calls Jimi Hendrix "dude."

This article first appeared in the Nov. 15 issue of Billboard.

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