Sandy Pearlman, Blue Öyster Cult manager and producer, dies aged 72

He was also a record executive, songwriter, manager, poet and a producer for acts including The Clash and the Dream Syndicate

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Sandy Pearlman, the manager, songwriter, label executive and poet best known for his association with Blue Öyster Cult, has died aged 72.

The news was broken by his friend Robert Duncan on Facebook:

“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.”


Pearlman’s work with Blue Öyster Cult was wide-ranging. He managed them and produced nine albums as well as their 1976 hit, “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper“. He was immortalised in the Saturday Night Live sketch, “More cowbell”, where Christopher Walken played a fictionalized version of the producer.

He also produced The Dictators’ Go Girl Crazy!, The Clash’s album, Give ‘Em Enough Rope and Dream Syndicate‘s The Medicine Show.

Pearlman also managed several bands including Ronnie James Dio-era Black Sabbath, from 1979 – 1983. He was president of 415 Records and vice president of pioneering 1990s online music service e-music.


Pearlman was born on August 8, 1943. He also worked at early music magazine Crawdaddy, where he is often credited with coining the phrase ‘heavy metal’.

The September 2016 issue of Uncut is now on sale in the UK – featuring our cover story on Tom Waits, plus Tom Petty, Teenage Fanclub, Pink Floyd, Aaron Neville, Bat For Lashes, De La Soul, Chet Baker, Cass McCombs, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Ryley Walker, Kendrick Lamar, Lord Buckley, Sex Pistols, Brexit and more plus 40 pages of reviews and our free 15-track CD

Uncut: the spiritual home of great rock music.


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