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LOU MAGLIA,
1943-2015

Lou Maglia, the colorful exec who led Elektra, Island and Zoo Entertainment, his venture with BMG, passed away on Monday of a heart attack while in recovery from exploratory surgery following the discovery of two large masses in his chest. He was 72. Lou had been living a laidback life in Warwick Neck, R.I., after cleaning up his act in 2008.

“The energy that went into my first 65 years was a creative energy based on ‘sex, drugs and rock and roll’ and I thought it was an incredible energy,” he wrote at the time. “But the energy that I have experienced in the first year of my next 65 years is light years beyond the imaginable.”

Maglia touched the lives of many in the business over the years, a number of whom are pictured above in a 1991 photo taken at Hollywood’s Club Lingerie during the release party for Matthew Sweet’s Girlfriend in 1991.

Maglia recalled his first encounter with Chris Blackwell when he was hired to head Island's U.S. operation in early 1986: "I sat with the guy for 15 minutes and really liked what he believed in. Then we flew directly to Jamaica for a week and rode around his various estates and just hung out and talked, but never about business. After that, he just turned the company over to me and left--I didn't hear from him again for three months."

Longtime A&R exec Tom Zutaut, a Maglia protégé, remembered his mentor on Facebook. “I am in a state of shock, it was only on April 9 that I read Lou's post about his beautiful journey with alternative healing and things seemed to be going so well for him… My heart goes out to his daughter Roselle, whom he adored and loved from the day she was born. I was there...Although Roselle probably doesn't remember, I spent a lot of time watching her earliest years in Laurel Canyon with her mom and dad, invaluable time learning and growing myself. They were my only family in the big city I had just moved to. Lou is the godfather who took me in as a green 19-year-old kid in Chicago selling records, putting up displays in thriving record store windows in the Loop, brought me to L.A. and taught me how to survive in the bigger Hollywood sandbox. Most of my greatest memories are overnighting in his Laurel Canyon house on a cold winter night with a fire burning listening to his stories and learning like a sponge how to be successful in the music biz. He was the greatest mentor any of us could have and I'm sure many of you on his page here got your starts with Lou's nurturing! God Bless Lou, I owe my entire career to the Elektra lego blocks you gave me! I miss you already.”

Wrote Hugo Burnham, Gang of Four drummer turned A&R man at Imago, another BMG label: “What a shitty day. Lou Maglia has left us all. He was a 'Piece of Shit' in the very best, most fun, truly amazing way. He gave me time, hope, support, money...and a kick in the ass when I needed them all. It was a blast knowing him and working around and for him. (My heart goes out to Roselle.) Bravo Lou! Great, great innings!!"

Kris Haines, Lou's assistant at Zoo, posted this tribute: "A quote from Bob Dait: People live short lives, people live long lives, but it's people who live wide lives who live the best—and Lou's life was as wide as Montana. You touched so many people while you were here. I love you and miss you. My heart is broken."

Without exception, everybody who worked—and played—with Lou loved him. That doesn't happen a lot in this business. —Bud Scoppa

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