Gary Kurfirst Dies
Gary Kurfirst, longtime manager of The Ramones, Talking Heads and many other iconic artists, died Jan. 13,
Kurfirst, 60, also managed Mick Jones’ Big Audio Dynamite, Eurythmics, Jane’s Addiction, B-52’s and Live, and produced “Stop Making Sense,” “True Stories” and “Siesta.”
Kurfirst opened the Village Theatre, later known as the Fillmore East, in New York in 1967, where he promoted the East Coast debuts of Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, The Who, Janis Joplin, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page’s Yardbirds.
At 20 years old, he created the New York Rock Festival, a model for Woodstock one year later, that featured Joplin, The Doors and The Who.
Kurfirst managed Mountain from 1967 to 1975 and launched Radioactive Records in 1990. He formed Kurfirst-Blackwell Entertainment with his longtime friend Chris Blackwell in 2002. The company manages Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club, Big Audio Dynamite, Live, Los Amigos Invisibles and Yerba Buena, among others.
“He never failed to take care of business for us,” Talking Heads stalwarts Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth said in a statement. “He protected us. … We were very close friends and we will miss him terribly.”
Cause of death was not known at press time.