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John Carter, RIP

JOHN CARTER, better known as just Carter by his friends and colleagues in the music business, died on Tuesday in Palm Springs, where he and his wife had been living, following a long battle with cancer. Raised in  Colorado, Carter came to Hollywood after writing the hit “Incense and Peppermints” for the Strawberry Alarm Clock. Thus began a long and varied career in the music business, starting as a regional promo rep for Atlantic in San Francisco in the early ’70s.Shifting to A&R, he had a fruitful, decade-long run at Capitol, signing and working with Sammy Hagar, Tina Turner and the Motels. In ’84, he moved a few blocks west to A&M, and thereafter to the Chrysalis label, Atlantic again and Island, where he signed Melissa Etheridge, before becoming a manager with clients including the Eels. Carter was also admired for his taste in art, evidenced by his extensive collection and the classic mid-century homes in which he chose to live. “I've been at the crossroads where the opportunity to rise in the corporate side of things has presented itself, and without fail I've always chosen the creative path,” he explained in an interview with Michael Laskow during his tenure at Island. “A lot of my good friends have been, or still are record company presidents. I certainly envy their bank accounts, but not necessarily their lifestyle.” (5/11a)

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