18 Aug 11
Where’s Eric! is sad to report that Rich Fitzgerald passed away on Monday, 15 August 2011 after a long and brave battle with cancer. A veteran record industry executive, he worked with Eric Clapton from the 1970s, first at RSO Records, then Warner Brothers Records and later, Reprise. Rich spent the last several years working directly with Eric, right up until his death. The last project he worked on, Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton Play the Blues, is due to be released next month on CD and DVD.
Rich played a big role in the success not only of EC, but the Bee Gees, Andy Gibb, Yvonne Elliman, and the Saturday Night Fever, Grease and Fame soundtracks while he was head of national promotion for RSO Records in the 70s and early 80s. He then moved on to Network Records and Geffen before joining Warner Brothers in 1983 as VP / Promotion. Four years later, he moved over to sister-label Reprise where he continued to work with Eric. Over the course of his career, Rich worked with a huge roster of artists including Madonna, Prince, Green Day, Neil Young, Chicago, Paul Simon, ZZ Top, The Pretenders, Enya, and Fleetwood Mac just to name a few. Rich started out with Capitol Records in Seattle, Washington.
His wife, Mary, shared this message with friends: "I am sorry to say that our lovely Rich passed away yesterday afternoon (8/15). As you know, we were able to bring him home with hospice, so he was able to go peacefully, wearing his Jimi Tee, listening to his favorite music, and lay in the arms of our children, Hunter and Sloane, and myself. "
Rich was an all-around great guy, passionate about music and the artists he worked with, and admired by the radio and record industry at large. His legacy will live on as he was an outstanding mentor to so many people.
He’ll be sorely missed by the entire Where’s Eric! and EC Teams.