Blue Oyster Cult, The Clash Producer Sandy Pearlman Dead at 72: Report

Blue Oyster Cult in 1976
Michael Putland/Getty Images

Blue Oyster Cult photographed on July 30, 1976. 

Veteran rock producer Sandy Pearlman died on Tuesday morning (July 26) at age 72 after a long struggle following a cerebral hemorrhage he suffered in December, according to his longtime friend Robert Duncan. Pearlman was best known for producing nine albums by hard rock icons Blue Öyster Cult -- including their first five releases and a co-producing credit on their iconic hit the No. 12 1976 track "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" -- as well as The Dictators' Go Girl Crazy! and The Clash's first U.S. release, Give 'Em Enough Rope. In addition to working behind the boards, Pearlman also managed BÖC, Romeo Void, The Dictators and, briefly, Dio-era Black Sabbath. He was president of 415 Records and vice president of pioneering 1990s online music service e-music.

Pearlman's friend Duncan, announced the news in a Facebook post, writing, "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." Duncan set up a GoFundMe page in June to help raise money for Pearlman's medical costs after what Duncan said was a hemorrhage that left his friend of five decades "unable to walk, talk or fully comprehend his circumstances and in need of enormously expensive care."

Pearlman, who was born on Aug. 8, 1943, also taught over the years at McGill, Stanford, Harvard, UC Berkeley, the New School and a number of other schools. He's sometimes credited with coining the phrase "heavy metal" while working at early rock magazine Crawdaddy. His work producing, writing for and co-managing BÖC was immortalized in the legendary SNL "More Cowbell" sketch, where Christopher Walken played a fictionalized version of the rock n' roll raconteur. 

Tributes to Pearlman came in from a number of his collaborators and friends, including former Reprise Records president Howie Klein and Dream Syndicate's Steve Wynn.




Check out this classic conversation with Pearlman from 2013.