REMEMBERING KRAS: MARVIN KATZ

In another remembrance of the late Bob Krasnow, attorney Marvin Katz recalls his professional and personal friendship with the late, widely esteemed exec.

I first spoke to Bob back in 1981 when I received a telephone call from him inquiring about Kraftwerk, whom I represented. Bob heard that the group was out of contract with Capitol in the U.S. as their deal with EMI had expired. At the time, Bob was at Warner Bros. Records. I told Bob that I would let the group know of his interest and get back to him. Typical of Bob, he immediately suggested that he wanted to meet the group and myself as soon as possible. As our call was sometime in early January, Bob told me that we should all meet in Dusseldorf, Germany, where the group was based, following MIDEM. The first time I ever met Bob in person was on a snowy and very cold day in Dusseldorf. Bob, myself and the two founding members of Kraftwerk met and Bob indicated without hesitation that he wanted Kraftwerk signed to WB. Upon my return to NYC, I negotiated an agreement with WB and Kraftwerk released their first WB album in May,1981.

Shortly thereafter, Bob moved to NYC. Once in NYC, Bob and I became very close on both a personal and professional basis.

In 1982, Bob requested I represent him in his employment agreement with WB Records. Approximately six months later, Bob was asked by David Horowitz of Warner Communications to become Chairman of Elektra, and I represented him in that deal as well. In 1983, my law firm began to represent Elektra, which continued until 1996.

The best thing about Bob was that he treated both me and my family as part of his family. Once in NYC, Bob and Sandy, along with my wife Bette and I, shared many great dinners (Coco Pazzo and Il Cantinori were favorites) and trips together, including Hawaii, where Bob wanted us to visit the Pearl Harbor Memorial, as he was an ex-Navy man. Bob also invited us on several occasions to the magnificent Warner house in Acapulco, where a number of Bob's friends were likewise invited, including Chuck and Rebecca Kaye and Tommy and Gill Lipuma. Bob, Sandy, Mitchell and Debbie and our family also spent considerable time together in Washington, CT, where we both had houses. In Connecticut, Bob was the happiest either in his kitchen cooking a great meal with wonderful wines, olive oil and cheeses or at his one-of-a-kind, custom-built barbeque pit. Bob was and still is a big part of my life. It’s hard to believe he’s no longer with us. I will always remember Bob as an extremely talented music man as well as a caring and giving person.

As I write this piece on December 18, 2016, I thought it appropriate to mention that I still have the note Bob gave me along with a beautiful Blancpain watch back on December 18, 1991. The note read, "Giving a watch to a lawyer is truly a waste of time, so instead I am giving this to my friend. Happy New Year, Bob."

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