The Clash producer Sandy Pearlman dies, aged 72

Former manager and producer for Blue Öyster Cult passes away

Sandy Pearlman, record executive, manager and producer to Blue Öyster Cult and The Clash, has died, aged 72.

According to a Facebook post by his friend Robert Duncan, Pearlman, known for producing the Clash’s album ‘Give ‘Em Enough Rope’ and producing songs like ‘(Don’t Fear) The Reaper’ for Blue Öyster Cult, passed away peacefully at 12:30 am on July 26.

Pearlman had suffered a cerebral haemorrhage in December 2015, with Duncan setting up a GoFundMe page to raise money for medical fees. Duncan claimed that Pearlman was one of the first rock critics to use the term ‘heavy metal’, as well as a ‘poet, producer, songwriter, manager, label owner, member of the Library of Congress preservation board, professor of music and philosophy at McGill and University of Toronto.’

As well as managing bands like Black Sabbath and new wave band Romeo Void, Pearlman was the founding vice-president of online music subscription site, which was one of the first sites to sell music in the MP3 format in 1998, as well as, the first online music recommendation site.

The song ‘(Don’t Fear) The Reaper’ was famously parodied by Saturday Night Live in their ‘More Cowbell’ sketch in 2000, with Pearlman even being portrayed by Christopher Walken. In response, Pearlman said to Reality Check TV, “See, I don’t really like cowbell that much, and it’s not actually that loud. It’s the radio compressors that make it loud. Actually I needed less cowbell.”