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JIM SWINDEL, R.I.P.

We are saddened to hear of the death of beloved industry veteran Jim Swindel, who died late Saturday surrounded by family in Burlingame, Calif. He was 69.

His wife Randi announced his death on Facebook, noting “Thank you all for your love and support over these past months; it has meant the world to us.”

Swindel was the President of Qwest Records in the early '90s, SVP and GM of Virgin from 1987 to 1992 and SVP at Arista in the late 1990s. (You can see him at the 2016 Arista reunion shindig here.)

Before starting his own children’s entertainment company Marvelous Media in 2006, Swindel held executive positions at Gibson Guitar and Artist Direct.

Early in his career, he was VP Marketing and Sales at Island Records and Marketing Manager at  A&M Records.

And as so many who worked with him have attested, he was a mensch.

Multiple tributes poured in on social media. Hugo Burnham wrote, “We just lost one of the very, very best. The music, the laughs, the golf, the bootleg Cuban cigars, the laughs, the meals, the laughs...signing Michael Been together, making fun music, sharing the privilege and joy of working for Quincy Jones for three fabulous years. The insanely expensive hotels we shared. A mutual love and friendship with Hooky...and so much more.

“Fly like an eagle, Jim Swindel. You big, funny, tall, lovely bastard. You were my favourite. My heart aches tonight.” 

Vinnie Birbiglia noted,  “I'm heartbroken, as Jim was one of the nicest guys I had the pleasure of working with. If you worked with Jim, you know how great he was.

“When Josie and I were married in 1999, the night before the last NARM convention was held in Vegas, Jim made everyone laugh. If you attended the ceremony, it was a once-in-a-lifetime event.

“Now Jim and Josie are together looking down. RIP my friend!”

With Phil Q, Jeff Ayeroff, Jordan Harris, Michael Plen and Team Virgin at the WEA convention.

With Qwest ruler Quincy Jones

Jim, Randi, Joe and Megan Swindel with Tower Records founder Russ Solomon. 

"I met Jim in 1979. I was managing Tower Fresno," Randi recalled after Solomon's passing. "I remember him walking through the door, tan and wearing shorts and flip flops, his messenger bag full of A&M promos. 7 years later, Jim was upstairs at Island, I was at 4th & Broadway, and Russ had 'The Condo' above that. Joey had just been born, and we asked Russ to be his godfather. I retired from my dream job soon after. Here we are almost 30 years later."

Swindel with an array of Arista alumni at the 2016 reunion.

 

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