Bender Music Group's Jon Bergen dies

Worked with Hanson, Kiss, Warren G

Jon Bergen, a music industry veteran and co-owner of Bender Music Group, died Aug. 15 in a car accident. He was 37.

Bergen got his start at Mercury Records, working with artists such as Hanson and Kiss, before moving to Restless Records, where he worked with acts including Warren G in development and marketing. He later was West Coast director of sales and marketing at BMG, where he did distribution for Beyond Records, promoting Blondie, the Go-Go's, Veruca Salt, Lucy Pearl and Motley Crue.

He also was the national sales director for Sony-distributed Gold Circle Records, promoting product for Meredith Brooks, Pat Benatar and Jon Waite.

Bergen then formed Bender Music Group with partner Bo Caldwell, running the business out of Phoenix, Bergen's hometown. Bender works with acts doing online marketing and promotion campaigns, Internet radio/podcast promotion, Web design and maintenance and graphic design. The company clients have included Warner Brothers Records Nashville, Sandra Bernhard, Young MC and Rhino Records.

"Not only was he an astute businessman and a great friend, but his love of life was infectious," Caldwell said.

Bergen served on the board of the Arizona Music Entertainment Hall of Fame and was a guest speaker for the National Association of Record Industry Professionals and music schools throughout the country.

Bergen is survived by his father, Norman Bergen of Springfield, Mo.; his brother, Michael Bergen of New York; and sisters Lynne Gross and Lisa Bergen, both of California.