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Blue Öyster Cult producer Sandy Pearlman dies aged 72

The famed US producer, manager, poet and lyricist has died

Producer, manager, songwriter, lyricist, critic and poet Sandy Pearlman has died at his home in Marin County, California. He was aged 72.

Perhaps best known as the visionary behind Blue Öyster Cult, Pearlman developed much of the group’s aesthetic and thematic orientation prior to the foundation of their classic line-up (Eric Bloom, Donald 'Buck Dharma' Roeser, Allen Lanier, Albert Bouchard and Joe Bouchard). Pearlman's epic poem "The Soft Doctrines Of Immaginos" laid out the occult intrigue and byzantine plotting that characterised the band's brainy, laconic brand of heavy metal.

Pearlman also worked in various capacities with Black Sabbath, The Clash, The Dictators, Pavlov's Dog, The Mahavishnu Orchestra and Dream Syndicate.

In December 2015, Pearlman suffered a cerebral haemorrhage that left him unable to walk, talk or fully comprehend his circumstances. The pressing need for expensive healthcare urged friends Roni Hoffman and Robert Duncan to raise funds via GoFundMe.

"My wife, Roni Hoffman, and I are his friends of 50 years. In the absence of close kin, we felt compelled to go to court and become his conservators," explains Duncan in his statement on the GoFundMe page. "We will be withdrawing and administering these funds. We are unpaid, unreimbursed and stand to earn or inherit nothing, which is as it should be. We do it because we admire Sandy as an artist and, more importantly, are grateful for his decades of friendship and generosity.

"[Pearlman] is a pioneer of rock criticism, at Crawdaddy and other seminal publications, a pioneer of heavy metal (a phrase he may have been the first to use, as a rock critic), a pioneer of punk, paisley underground and goth. He is 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. He is a man who has devoted his life to art — making it, making it possible and making it come to life for students and others."

Subscribers can read about Blue Öyster Cult - who tour the UK at the end of July - in Edwin Pouncey's occult rock primer in The Wire 390 via the online archive