Pat Egan of Metal Label Relapse Records Dies

5:10 PM PST 02/19/2013 by Ryan Downey, Billboard

An industry veteran and Relapse's director of retail sales and marketing, Egan worked with such bands as Mastodon, High On Fire and Tombs.

Pat Egan of Relapse Records, a longtime veteran of the heavy metal music business, passed over the weekend. The director of retail sales and marketing for the metal indie had been hospitalized due to complications from pneumonia.

In social media posts and in statements to Billboard, members of the metal community fondly remembered Egan's humor and his passion for the bands on Relapse, which over the years has included acts like Baroness, Mastodon, High On Fire and Tombs.

"He was a very positive dude and a heavy metal lifer," former Relapse/current Action PR! publicist Carl Schultz told Billboard.biz. "The man was so metal that he'd commute from his home in New York to Relapse's home base in Philadelphia to be a part of it all."

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Season of Mist's Gordon Conrad, who worked at Relapse for 15 years, shared similar sentiments. "Pat Egan was a gentle giant; a jovial, kind-hearted guy who could provoke with a wink and a nod and was always ready with a kind word or help for a friend," he told Billboard. "Those of us who knew him can truly say we are better for it. The independent music world has lost a true fan and stalwart of our community."

Egan was an industry veteran who worked at Energy Records and Pavement Records, among others. He got his start as a clerk at Looney Tunes in Long Island, where he eventually became the store's manager and worked in sales at Koch Records from 1999 to 2002, before joining Relapse.

"I’ve known Pat for over 20 years and shared many good times with him," said eOne VP of Metal Scott Givens. "He was one of the most hardworking and straight-shooting record guys I have ever worked with. He was a true friend of indie retail who will be greatly missed."

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The Dillinger Escape Plan guitarist Ben Weinman called Egan, "One of the most passionate and positive people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. For someone who worked in this often thankless music business for as long as he did, Pat always loved what he did and always expressed that to everyone around him. Pat was someone who tied people together and we will all miss him immensely."

Relapse VP/Label Manager Reynold "Rennie" Jaffe was among those who posted moving tributes on Facebook. "Beyond being a coworker of mine for the better part of a decade, Pat was one of my best friends," he wrote. "Pat would make you pull your hair out with his famously relentless ball-busting. But that was always somehow okay, because never have I met a bigger heart. That sounds cliché to write in a moment like this, but with this guy it was really true. The last time I saw Pat he dragged two two-foot-tall porcelain Disney princess dolls to a Pig Destroyer show for me to give my daughter -- not the most brutal of grind accoutrements, but somehow that really sums Pat up in this moment for me."

"A lot of you know him as Relapse’s salesman, the face of the label to retail," he added. "But he was also one of the sweetest guys I’ve ever met in an industry not always known for warmth. I’ll miss your all-day-long IM’s Pat. I’m shedding more than a few tears for you right now."

He is survived by his wife, Melinda and daughter, Katie.

Services will be held Friday, February 22 at New York's Lindenhurst Funeral home. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations toward his daughter’s college fund, care of:

Melinda Egan
577 Outlook Ave.
West Babylon, New York 11704

Twitter: @billboardbiz

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