The island of Ibiza has reacted with sadness and shock to the news on Tuesday, that Big Entertainment co founder, Gary Salzman, had died in New York due to complications linked to the Covid 19 Virus. He is the first big name in the dance music industry to succumb to the virus which continues to play havoc in Ibiza, with a number of respected industry heads already starting to doubt if the 2020 season can proceed in its traditional format, as the Spanish Government looks to further extend its lockdown until after Easter. The passing of Mr Salzman, who was Todd Terrys manager back when House was King back in the late 80’s and 90’s, was lamented by those that knew his “unique” personality. He was well know and respected in Ibiza, and these words written by ex Subliminal Records and Pacha music director, Steve Hulme, are a fitting tribute to an industry icon;
“There are many people in the dance industry that can retrace their first business steps back to the early 90s, even the late 80s – when House Music Ruled – when we moved out of the fields and the empty warehouses and into clubs and re-visioned venues. I got involved from 91-92 – The biggest American names at that time were artists like Masters At Work, David Morales, Tony Humphries, Frankie Knuckles, Roger Sanchez and Todd “Is God” Terry. I worked with all of them for many years, and became friends with some of them too, particularly Roger Sanchez and Todd Terry, who I worked intermittently with on various events through the years, be it in Leeds, London, Midem Cannes, Popkom Cologne, WMC Miami, NYC, Ibiza or wherever – I also made Mix CDs with those two talents as well.
Why am I writing this? – well it was a certain time and moment in House Music – and there was one guy who was right at the top of the food chain back then, that was Todd Terry’s Manager: Mr Gary Salzman – A larger than life, ball breaker in business, a real character that could have come straight out of central casting in his role. A charismatic Jewish New Yorker who always made you work your ass off to get a good deal out of him. I met him in 92, when I booked Todd to play The Leeds Corn Exchange – back then it was strange for a manager to come along, but this guy Gary Salzman was attending – I had Paul Oakenfold on the same line up and he asked me if I’d met Gary before, I hadn’t, and so asked what he was like, Paul said “He’s great, its just that he thinks he’s more famous than Todd”, and laughed as if to say “good luck”.
When Gary arrived he didn’t disappoint, loud, demanding, re-arranging everything he could, a royal pain in the ass – but also a complete gentleman too – we worked together for years thereafter. When I lived in NYC he would call me out of the blue – “Stevie, I’ve got two tickets for the Knicks tonight, if you can get over to the office they’re yours buddy”, he’d do the same with Yankees tickets, but I think he might have been a Mets fan – he had no reason to call like that, we weren’t in daily business together, we were in occasional business deals with one another – but he knew I was a fan of the Knicks, and the Yankees, he knew I’d appreciate them, and so he was happy to hook me up – that’s what I call a good guy.
I havent seen Gary in the flesh these last few years – and now it seems I never will again. I was told that Gary Salzman passed away today – his death connected to Covid-19 – the exact details I dont know – he is gonna be missed by all that knew him.
Gary really was one of those guys who people would describe as “a unique individual”
RIP Gary – “Let The Music Play”
(2+2 is always 4, whichever way you cut it)
Words by Steve Hulme via Facebook