Coronavirus Claims Music Industry Executives Neil Lasher, Gary Salzman

Neil Lasher (l) and Gary Salzman (r) have both died following coronavirus complications.

Neil Lasher (l) and Gary Salzman (r) have both died following coronavirus complications.

Music industry executives Neil Lasher and Gary Salzman have passed away due to complications from the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Numerous industry professionals confirmed the tragic developments with Digital Music News. Neil Lasher, a former consultant at Sony/ATV Music Publishing and, more recently, an addiction intervention specialist, had spent approximately two weeks in the hospital and nine days on a ventilator before succumbing to COVID-19. Additionally, Big Management co-founder Gary Salzman had battled the novel coronavirus for some time before passing.

A radio veteran and former promotion executive at EMI, Chrysalis, and Polydor, among others, Lasher enjoyed a long and immensely successful career in the music industry. He was also known for his generosity and, specifically, his involvement with the Caron Foundation, an addiction-treatment organization. Lasher served as a drug counselor at Caron, and he helped the Pennsylvania non-profit to raise funds annually.

Gary Salzman, a Brooklyn native, partnered with Joe Koppie and formed Big Management in the late 1980s. The full-service artist-focused company provides mixing and mastering, publishing, marketing, advertising, and other forms of support for musicians and DJs.

With a deep rolodex and major label connections, Salzman utilized Big Management to help DJ David Guetta, Cher, Randy Jackson, and other internationally renowned professionals attract fans and navigate today’s complex music landscape.

On social media, many who worked with Lasher and Salzman offered kind words and support.

Commemorating the life of Salzman, Randy Jackson wrote: “Rest in peace to my amazing, long time friend.” He also called Salzman a “legend,” and implored fans to “please stay inside, wash your hands, and be careful!”

Additionally, Troy Berry and Ed Gordon published moving statements about Salzman. A multitude of fans, artists, and industry figures too supported Neil Lasher on social media.

Last week, the music community parted with “Ain’t No Sunshine” writer and singer Bill Withers and Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki, who perished from natural causes, as well as “Stacy’s Mom” creator Adam Schlesinger, jazz guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, and Grammy-winning country artists Joe Diffie, who died from COVID-19 complications.