Sting was among the artists who paid tribute to former A&M Records executive Bob Garcia, who died at his California home on April 26 at 81 of natural causes.

Born in Rhode Island in 1938, Garcia was an opera singer before enlisting in the U.S. Army in the mid-‘60s. He later became a fashion journalist in the ‘60s before turning to music reviews, which led to a role with A&M writing artist biographies in 1968. He was promoted to director of publicity, working with the Police, Procol Harum, Joe Jackson and others, and developed the label’s artist relations program. He left the company in 1997 and launched his own music consultancy, with clients including Neil Young.

“‘Uncle Bob,’ we used to call him,” Sting said in a statement (via Variety). “We were always assured of a warm welcome. … You could talk film, theater, books and music with Bob, and behind the humor of those twinkling eyes, you had a sense that he’d seen and heard everything and yet, like a true sage, had reserved judgment. He could be laconic and cryptic just as he could be compassionate and fulsome, but always equally amused by both the blandishments and trials of ‘the life,’ and nothing seemed to faze him.”

A&M co-founder Herb Alpert said Garcia "worked at A&M Records for many years and, without exception, was liked by all. Artists and employees admired his quirkiness and original personality that didn’t change with the times. I personally appreciated his keen observations on music, and life as he saw it. I loved Bob.”

 

In Memoriam: 2020 Deaths