Gil Friesen, longtime president of A&M Records, has died in Los Angeles, friends say. He was 75.
Jann Wenner, publisher of Rolling Stone magazine, said Friesen was battling leukemia when he died at his home Thursday.
A&M records was a leading independent record label from the 1960s through the 1980s and home to stars from the era such as Carole King, Peter Frampton, Sting and Janet Jackson.
“It had a real reputation for style, class and integrity,” Wenner said. “It was a happening place to be, and Gil led that.”
Musician Herb Alpert, who co-founded A&M in 1962, called Friesen a “visionary.”
“His door was always open to people looking for [new] thoughts and ideas,” Alpert told the Los Angeles Times. “He was always there to say things that maybe you didn’t think of before.”
The newspaper said Friesen also earned a reputation in the sometimes cutthroat music industry of being someone who would give up-and-coming musicians a fair shake in financial matters.
“He was one of the good guys,” said Chris Hillman, a founder of the 1960s group The Byrds who recorded for A&M with the Flying Burrito Brothers.
Copyright 2012 by United Press International