1 April 2023
If you heard the sound of the winds swirling at a maddening pace, as there were trains thundering through town, the air being sucked out of the atmosphere as if you had to gasp for a breath and the deafeningly loud thud that shook the entire music industry, that was because, on Saturday, a true legendary giant fell and was taken from us all.
His taste had no boundaries, which is a reason I loved him and admired him as a talent purveyor and a true friend. More often than not, I found myself at the same places in the same countries as him since we were both on a quest to find the NEXT big thing and we both used our ears and our hearts and not charts or data to tell us what we good. Ask Rusty A Egan who the only two people from the US frequented him and the crew at the Trident Studios offices there were.
He was a true hero of mine and you knew that he made a difference in our world of music because all you had to do was say the name of his label and everyone knew of it and its entire roster without question.
He discovered talent that was of landmark caliber and made them into household names that brought millions of listeners such great pleasure and wonderful lifetime and childhood experiences they still can recant to this day.
The Pretenders, Talking Heads, Madonna, Blancmange, the legendary Ramones, the Saints, Soft Cel and so many more that I would need a wikipedia page to articulate on and it would be a very long read.
He made stars out of UK bands that no one had ever heard of and once they signed to his wonderful Record label, SIRE Records, would race up the charts, one by one, like rocket fuel infused, jet propelled bottle rockets until they hit there destinations of their magic number, ONE!.
The Smiths, Dead Boys, the Undertones, Echo & the Bunnymen, Ministry, Yazoo and Depeche Mode, were all recipients of his magic touch and wonderful heart and ears of gold.
He did not sign artists, he signed legends that were yet to become who they eventually would be and under his careful crafting and tutelage, would bring the world to a new and better place we are all grateful to him for. He was a great record man, a fierce competitor and the man who snatched Madonna from me and my Pavillion CBS Records Label because I could not guarantee that CBS Associated would allow me to sign her. A story better told at a latter date.
So tonight when you hear songs from the early days of the 80's and beyond, that touched your heart and made you laugh and cry, take a moment to reflect on a man and his label with the most amazing repertoire of our modern time in the contemporary music world that took the obscure and made it mainstream and who name SIRE Records, demanded that you listen to everything that came out on it for fear of missing a new and exciting hit!
Today is a sad day for me and one where I say farewell to a friend I hung out with along with together with my best friend Denis McNamara the PD of WLIR which broke his bands and helped him ruled the Airwaves because of it!
There will never be another man like him and if you were lucky enough to have it happen in your lifetime on your watch when a man like Seymour Stein comes into the world, you were blessed and saw in real time what the creation of great music and great music taste was all about.
So take your "AI" and "data" and put it in the cold clinical trash can and room that it deserves to live in since it took a living breathing and thinking man with God Given Ears to change the face of the world and touch the hearts of those people who lived to love each and every SIRE Release of which I was one of them myself.
Seymour Stein, the man with Brass in pants and Pocket, dead of cancer at the age of 80!
God Bless you Seymour, and your daughter Mandy you leave behind. You are a light that will never burn out or extinguished, like the proverbial eternal flame and will always be there as a reminder of who you were and what you accomplished and will always be special to me! RIP