Obituary

Pat Lucas, EMI Publishing Exec and Friend to Filmmakers, Dies at 77

Pat Lucas
Courtesy Photo

Pat Lucas

Quentin Tarantino called Lucas the "genuine hero of Reservoir Dogs" for licensing "Stuck in the Middle With You" to him for a song.

Sony Music Publishing has announced the passing of former executive Pat Lucas after a long fight with cancer. Best known for her years at EMI Music Publishing (which was acquired by Sony Music Publishing), Lucas oversaw the creation of the first-ever film & television department for a music publisher.

The executive, who died on Monday (Aug. 12) at age 77, has been called a champion for filmmakers, with Quentin Tarantino going so far as to call her the "genuine hero of Reservoir Dogs," his 1992 directorial debut, according to an interview with Deadline. Lucas licensed the use of "Stuck in the Middle with You" by Stealers Wheel to Tarantino when the director admits he had "no money... but [he] needed that song."

Graciously, Lucas granted the synchronization license of the 1973 classic rock staple for a fraction of the cost, believing Tarantino and his then-small budget picture could become one of the greats.

Sony Music Publishing chairman and CEO Jon Platt remembers Lucas as one with a "fearless passion for music" that "helped to shape the future of publishing." "She will be greatly missed," he said.

Born in The Bronx, New York on March 17, 1944, Lucas began her career in the music industry by working at a newspaper in the Village, interviewing local musicians. Soon after, she moved to Vancouver where she had her son Joshu, who survives her along with her sister, Joan, and brother-in-law, Michael.

Eventually, the future publishing executive settled down in Los Angeles where she worked at companies like ATV, CBS Records, SBK and EMI Music Publishing over the course of her career.

When she was not working, Lucas was known for being a passionate writer. By the time of her death, she had penned countless poems, two manuscripts and a musical with  the late Allen Toussaint.