Tim Carr, Veteran A&R Exec, Dies at 57
The music industry fixture was the cousin of journalist David Carr and worked with Beastie Boys, Megadeth and David Byrne during stints with Capitol, Warner Bros. and DreamWorks.
Tim Carr, an A&R exec who worked with the Beastie Boys, Megadeth, Babes in Toyland, David Byrne, Lush, Ash and others during stints with Capitol, Warner Bros. and DreamWorks, was found dead Wednesday in Thailand, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Thailand’s Pattaya 103fm.com. He was 57.
Carr was reportedly found in his apartment with a deep stab wound in his chest amid signs of a disturbance and evidence of drug use, including prescription drugs. Police reportedly termed the circumstances of his death suspicious and are investigating. Thailand’s Pattaya One said Carr’s body was found by the owner of the apartment, and that other residents in the building had not seen anyone enter or leave “for some time.”
Carr had lived in Thailand for the last eight years and was recently working on a film about a rock band; he also recently worked with Thai rock singer Sek Loso.
He was the cousin of New York Times columnist David Carr, who tweeted "My cousin Tim Carr, writer, maker of scenes, signer of Beasties and Babes in Toyland, dead at 57" along with a link to an obituary and the hashtag "#NoneLikeHim"
Carr’s music career began in his native Minneapolis in the late 1970s, where he produced a local music festival and worked as a music critic for the Minneapolis Tribune and other publications. He moved to New York in the early 1980s and was a familiar figure on the postpunk scene, staging events at venues like the Kitchen and Walker Arts Space.
During his A&R career in the 1980s and 1990s, he signed the Beastie Boys to Capitol -- leading to their influential run of albums that began with 1989’s Paul’s Boutique -- and Megadeth. At Warner he signed Babes in Toyland, Lush and Ash, among others, and worked with David Byrne and Cibo Matto.
A memorial page was set up by his friends on Facebook.
Among many tributes on Facebook, actor/singer Ann Magnuson wrote: "Very distressed to learn of the untimely death of my old pal Tim Carr. He got me my first performance art gigs at The Kitchen and The Walker Art Center. Tim was completely 'IN THE KNOW' and possessed a keen intelligence, twinkling charm, a sly wit and a gigantic heart.”
Butch Vig wrote: “He was one of the kindest, funniest and smartest people I ever met. We would talk for hours about, politics, films, food, culture and of course music. He will be missed!”
Babes in Toyland’s Maureen Herman wrote in part: “Tim was our A&R guy at Warner/Reprise. But he was so much more than that to all of us personally and professionally. His vivid excitement for unique art -- in all its forms -- led to him bringing worlds together that without him would never have met. I remember when Babes in Toyland opened for Laurie Anderson in Frankfurt, because of Tim. Cindy Sherman did the artwork for two of our record covers, because of Tim. He fought to let us keep our core true -- championing our interests when we wanted to produce our music video ourselves -- and it turned out to be the lowest budget video ever to make it on MTV at that time, because of Tim. Some bands derided their A&R reps, thought of them as out of touch, or slimy, or disingenuous. We were always very proud of who represented us -- you could not have a more loyal, spirited, visionary and powerful person in your corner than Tim. He was my friend, and I will always remember his mischievous smile."