RIP Gary Stewart (not the country singer, also deceased)

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RIP Gary Stewart (not the country singer, also deceased)

Postby Muskrat » 13 Apr 2019, 02:29

Most of you don't know his name -- but should, and probably have something to thank him for, even if you don't know it. A victim of long-time depression, he committed suicide the other night. I've known him for years; it'd be difficult to be in the record biz in L.A. and not, to some degree.

From Variety

Gary Stewart, a veteran of Rhino Records and Apple Music and a widely known figure on the Los Angeles rock scene for more than 40 years, has died, the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office confirmed to Variety. He was 62. The Santa Monica Police Department confirmed that he died by suicide.

A Los Angeles native, Stewart worked behind the counter from the mid-‘70s at Rhino Records’ store on Westwood Boulevard, a music hub not unlike the one depicted in the book and film “High Fidelity.” He was an archetypal “record store guy” who loved little more than “turning people on” to music or films that he thought they would love. That quality remained with Stewart until the end of his life.

Stewart soon moved to Rhino’s fast-growing record company, where he was one of the first people hired by founders Harold Bronson and Richard Foos, and ultimately rose to the position of Senior VP of A&R for Rhino Entertainment. During his tenure at the label, Rhino, which was ultimately purchased by Warner Music, became the most prominent reissue label in the U.S. Stewart was a key force behind the company’s cross-licensed boxed sets; he also oversaw Rhino’s reissue campaign devoted to Elvis Costello. He spearheaded Rhino’s move into contemporary music, signing such acts as singer-songwriter Cindy Lee Berryhill.



From his friend, Jeff Gold:

"Just so everyone knows, Gary knew how much he was loved. He may have brushed it aside when told so, but he knew it. A few months ago at lunch we had a very frank discussion—he was depressed, lamenting not having a job, relationship, having spent too much of his Apple money and not knowing what the next chapter of his life was. He was obviously suffering, but didn’t sound remotely without hope. I emphasized to him how unique and employable he was, knowing an impossibly lot about music, and having come from Apple, and that there would be many companies that would want to know about their inner workings. We spent a long time brainstorming ideas for a new job (he took notes), and he referred to his next chapter in subsequent email as Gary 4.0. I invited him to write something for my blog which he wanted to do and was working on. I told him again and again how beloved he was and how much good karma he had. He also told me that he owned his house and had enough money for at least 10 or 15 years, and that he was cutting back on going out and spending to make it last. He was fully engaged in finding solutions to his issues, and wrote me the next day "And yes, I know just how ok I am-and how much, on every level, I've got-I always have really.” A week or so later he wrote apologized for not getting the blog post to me sooner, saying he was working on it and ’that’s on top of two networking calls/meetings a day-with exercise and meditating thrown in for good measure.

I followed up with him regularly; he went on a meditation retreat (which he didn’t love that much, but was doing more meditating on his own), and he was definitely getting mental health care, He alluded to a medical thing, but told me it wasn’t serious, and that he was fine.

Last week we had dinner, went to see the Rolling Stones Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus film in a theater, and sat in the lobby for an hour or so afterward talking. He was again upfront about what was going on, and seem to be somewhat better, and said he was. We talked about ketamine being approved for depression, and I think he was going to ask his therapist about it. I am pretty sure he told me he was seeing his psychiatrist the next day and was going to discuss changing his anti depressant, but I’m not positive about that. We discussed and I sent him a link to an Israeli film on a study where PTSD survivors were dramatically helped with MDMA/ecstasy. He wrote me an email this Monday telling me he really enjoyed it, and how it gave him a deeper understanding into a similar therapy a friend of his had tried.

I’m writing this to let his friends know that Gary knew he was depressed, had reached out to me, and I’m sure to others, was talking about it, trying to find a solution, and getting mental health care. In no way did I think he was suicidal, but obviously I was wrong. But he was doing his best to try to help himself. Gary was always working on himself, trying to be a better person, of service to his friends and humanity at large.

I loved Gary and always will. In my modern Buddhist worldview, reincarnation isn’t about being reborn into a new body. It’s about how the departed continue to live on in those they loved, taught, or touched in some way, and how their energy is carried forward by those they leave behind. I can’t think of anyone who put more great energy into the world, and so Gary will be reincarnated in each of us.

Feel free to share this as you wish."
Last edited by Muskrat on 14 Apr 2019, 19:19, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: RIP Gary Stewart

Postby never/ever » 13 Apr 2019, 03:34

That is sad. Gary seems like the kind of guy I want to be.

RIP.
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Re: RIP Gary Stewart

Postby kath » 13 Apr 2019, 03:46

"I loved Gary and always will. In my modern Buddhist worldview, reincarnation isn’t about being reborn into a new body. It’s about how the departed continue to live on in those they loved, taught, or touched in some way, and how their energy is carried forward by those they leave behind. I can’t think of anyone who put more great energy into the world, and so Gary will be reincarnated in each of us."


this is wisdom, truth and love.

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Re: RIP Gary Stewart

Postby TG » 13 Apr 2019, 04:57

Gary’s been my good friend since 1976. The most decent, honest, moral human I’ve ever known. I miss him terribly already. Rest In Peace.
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Re: RIP Gary Stewart

Postby The Fish » 13 Apr 2019, 05:37

Sad news. One of my favourite GS tracks...

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Re: RIP Gary Stewart

Postby Still Baron » 13 Apr 2019, 06:04

They’re talking about a different Gary Stewart, Fish. That one’s been dead for 15 years or so.

Respect to Rhino Gary Stewart and peace to those of you who knew him.
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Re: RIP Gary Stewart

Postby The Fish » 13 Apr 2019, 06:13

Read the thread! I knew the other Gary was long time gone too. It's early morning here. Haven't woken up yet obviously. Oh well any excuse to post a Gary Stewart youtube.
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Re: RIP Gary Stewart

Postby The Fish » 13 Apr 2019, 06:17

With all due comiserations to friends and family of this one of course. No threadcrapping intended.
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Re: RIP Gary Stewart

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 13 Apr 2019, 07:39

I can’t say that we were close. But I knew him for more than 35 years - and he was always warm.

I could go on for pages here about all of the truly above-and-beyond kindnesses he did for people that we had in common. The examples seem almost endless. What a lovely human being. I can’t even get my mind around the idea that he’s gone.
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Re: RIP Gary Stewart

Postby Muskrat » 14 Apr 2019, 19:19

From Elvis Costello's Facebook page
This morning's brief promise of Spring was punctured by the news of the passing of Gary Stewart.

It is rare enough to find people of insight, kindness and loyalty but Gary had all these qualities in abundance. Friends have called or written all today trying to make sense of the impossible and the inexplicable.

As the vocation of criticism has become more fragmented, spiteful and distracted, so people with Gary's gift for advocacy needed to be valued. His appreciation of our work was immensely generous and deeply informed by personal emotion. With his help, I was encouraged to tell a broader tale as we compiled my catalogue for release on Rhino Records, augmenting the original albums with every outtake, sketch and mistake that I could find, all annotated until I'd run out of paper and ink.

Our work together was clearly superior to both prior and subsequent editions.

It is equally rare to find a music website with genuine passion and curiosity as the one Gary helped found; Trunkworthy - giving contributors space to both celebrate and disagree but offering the reader a chance to make one after another invaluable discovery.

When Gary took up curation duties at Apple, he sent me a series of playlists using an existing template from best known to rarest choices. I could not have disagreed with any of his selections, even though we both knew that on another day, half of the songs might have had different titles and that's the way it should be.

As an illustration of Gary's generosity, when the Imposters and I brought our "Imperial Bedroom & Other Chambers" tour to the Greek Theatre, Gary didn't seek a place on the guest list to which he would have always been welcome but rather bought a stash of tickets to give to friends as that record had meant a lot to him and he wanted his pals to hear what we were up to with the songs after all these years. I even had to decline his offer of hosting a reception after the set, as I knew I had to sing the next night and talking into the small hours would be unwise. I know that when we return to the Greek in July, the band and I will pour a chaste glass and raise a toast to our friend.

This generosity extended beyond mere music business tributaries and blind alleys and into a sense of community and the desire and need to be of service. I know I am not alone in being grateful for having known and worked with Gary and send my deepest condolences to his family and all his many friends.
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