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MARC BENESCH 1953-2003
Veteran Promotion Executive
Succumbs to Cancer
What’s traditionally made the music business so special for us is the type of person who is drawn to it. Meeting these people and becoming their friends has been among the greatest privileges of being part of this magazine.

But even among this very special population, there were some people who stood out by virtue of qualities so unique and exemplary that we were organically drawn to them, ultimately forging a familial bond.

Marc Benesch is one of those people. His death last Saturday at the age of 50, after a long battle with cancer, is a heartbreaking loss for his wife Donna, his daughter Megan, his family members and all who knew him, but it can never take away the monumental spirit and overwhelming love of life he brought us…and now leaves us with.

If you knew Marc, you also know there are no words to appropriately describe him. He was different. And he was thrilled to be different. Marc loved working in the music business. It oozed out of him. Maybe that’s one of the reasons artists loved him so much. But even more than that love (and that’s a lot), Marc just loved being around people. All people. No matter how successful he became—and he was very successful—his demeanor never changed. He treated people the same. Everyone was welcome in his unique world.

Marc’s music-industry career was as colorful as his character. After serving in the Vietnam war, he joined Columbia Records as a Cleveland local promo rep before moving to New York, where he rose to become head of promotion. He worked with such artists as the Rolling Stones, Billy Joel, Pink Floyd and the Beastie Boys. Following his work at Columbia, where he broke countless acts, most notably New Kids on the Block, Marc joined New Kids manager Dick Scott, helping guide the boy band to remarkable commercial success.

Soon after that, Jimmy Iovine and Ted Field made him the first head of Promotion at Interscope. Working with such artists as Nine Inch Nails, 2Pac, Dr. Dre, the Wallflowers and Gerardo, Marc helped build the company into the powerhouse it is today.

Marc left Interscope and became a much-sought-after marketing consultant who specialized in the breaking of rap acts. Bryan Turner persuaded him to leave his successful consultancy to come to work with him at Priority. There, as GM, he oversaw the development of the Master P explosion. After Priority, he became Sr. VP Promotion at TVT Records.

In November 2001, Marc rejoined Ted Field to head up the Promotion department at ArtistDirect.

As a result of this monumental industry meander, the list of executives Marc taught and influenced reads like a who’s-who of the music business and includes Brenda Romano, Burt Baumgartner and Jerry Blair, among others.

As remarkable as Marc’s career was, it was his personality and spirit that really defined him. He marched to a radically different drummer but made it clear that everyone was invited to march with him. We are honored to be among the many who did. The amount we now miss him in death is equaled only by the immense amount of life he gave us.

Services will be at noon on Tuesday, Feb. 4th, at Tanack Chapel, at Mt. Sinai, Forest Lawn Memorial Park, 6300 Forest Lawn Dr., Los Angeles 90068. 800-204-3131

A HOLLY, JOLLY
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