IN MEMORIAM: Jerry Heller, Novella Matveyeva, and Gary D. // Other Notable Musicians’ Deaths

Jerry Heller in 2014

Jerry Heller in 2014

Gerald E. “Jerry” Heller (October 6, 1940 – September 2, 2016) was an American music manager and businessman. He was best known for managing West Coast rap supergroup and gangsta rap pioneers N.W.A and Eazy-E. He rose to prominence in the 1960s and ’70s, importing Elton John and Pink Floyd for their first major American tours, and representing Journey, Marvin Gaye, Van Morrison, War, Eric Burdon, Crosby Stills and Nash, Ike & Tina Turner, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Otis Redding, The Who, Black Sabbath, Humble Pie, Styx, The Grass Roots and The Standells, among many others.

In the mid-1980s he worked with R&B and hip hop acts like Michel’le, World Class Wreckin’ Cru, J.J. Fad, The D.O.C., Egyptian Lover and L.A. Dream Team.

Heller played a role in the emergence of West Coast rap music when he cofounded Ruthless Records with Eazy-E and discovered, signed or managed the likes of N.W.A, The Black Eyed Peas, Above the Law, The D.O.C. and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony.

Straight Outta Compton lawsuit

Heller was portrayed by actor Paul Giamatti in the 2015 N.W.A biopic film, Straight Outta Compton.

In October 2015, Heller filed a lawsuit against several members of N.W.A, NBCUniversal and others involved in the production of Straight Outta Compton. He has also filed lawsuits against rappers Dr. Dre and Ice Cube. The lawsuit claims “the film is littered with false statements that harm the reputation of (Heller) and aim to ridicule and lower him in the opinion of the community and to deter third persons from associating or dealing with him.” Producers for the film, which included Ice Cube and Dr. Dre, filed a countersuit in February 2016 to have portions of the Heller suit thrown out. In June 2016, U.S. District Judge Michael Fitzgerald dismissed nearly all of Heller’s lawsuit, but agreed to allow one key claim to continue.

Heller suffered from a heart attack while driving, resulting in an auto accident. He later died on September 2, 2016 in Thousand Oaks, California.

Read the full bio:

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Novella Matveyeva

Novella Nikolayevna Matveyeva (October 7, 1934 – September 5, 2016) was a Russian bard, poet, writer, screenwriter, dramatist, and literary scientist.

Her first collection of poetry was published in 1961, the same year she was admitted to the Union of Soviet Writers.

From the end of the 1950s on Matveyeva composed songs to her poetry and performed them, accompanying herself on a seven-string guitar.

In 1998 Matveyeva received the Russian State Pushkin Prize in poetry, and in 2002, she received the Russian Federation State Prize in Literature and Arts for her poetry collection Jasmine.

Matveyeva died on 4 September 2016 at the age of 81.

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Gary D.

Gerald Malke (c. 1964 – 2 September 2016), known professionally as Gary D, was a German trance/hardstyle producer and DJ, known for the trance compilation “D.Trance”. From 1996 to 2016, he released five albums.

Early career
Gary D. started out playing as a DJ at the age of 16 in 1980. In his first years, he mostly played Black Music. It wasn’t until 1988 when Gary D. started to get more involved with electronic such as, Techno and House, which in the same year he released his first single “Ecstasy” under alias “Acid Syndrome”. As a DJ, Gary D. performed quite often at a club called ‘Unit Club’ from 1988 up until its closure in 1994. He later moved to another club called ‘Tunnel’, which hosted most of the German and International events like, Mayday, Love Parade, and Energy.

As a trance producer and DJ
In 1991, Gary D. released his first trance EP, “Identity E.P.” with five singles it and was released on Container Records, which he released many singles on the label before being switching to Tunnel & Bonzai Records. Under Bonzai, Gary released two well known Hard Trance anthems, “Kinetic Pressure” and “Overload”.

In late 1995, he and two others from PIAS Recordings Germany came up with an idea to create a trance compilation, which came out to be “D.Trance”, which grew into a big success. Gary D. released more than 40 D. Trance compilations as of 2009. Gary added a third disc, which compiled all the tracks from the first discs into one mix. In 2000, he created “D. Techno” a harder style compilation.

Shift to hardstyle
In 2001, Gary took a different direction with his career, and started to release more techno, and adopted hardstyle kind of music to his DJ sets. From 2003-2005 he played in many gigs in the Netherlands and played in large venues with up to 25,000 people.

Gary D. died of a pulmonary embolism at age 52.

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Other Notable Musicians’ Deaths…

September 2016:

7: Clifford Curry, 79, American beach music and R&B singer; Farhang Sharif, 84–85, Iranian musician and tar player.

5: Fred McFarlane, American songwriter (“Show Me Love”, “Don’t Wanna Go Home”), record producer and musician.

4: Bob Bissonnette, 35, Canadian singer, ice hockey player (Hull Olympiques, Acadie–Bathurst Titan) and baseball team owner (Québec Capitales), helicopter crash; Novella Matveyeva, 81, Russian poet and singer-songwriter.

3: Gary D., 52, German trance producer and DJ, pulmonary embolism (death announced on this date).

2: Jerry Heller, 75, American music manager (N.W.A).

1: Raymond Daveluy, 89, Canadian composer, organist, music educator and arts administrator; Fred Hellerman, 89, American folk singer (The Weavers), guitarist, producer and songwriter; Kacey Jones, 66, American singer-songwriter (“I’m the One Mama Warned You About”), producer and humorist, cancer.


Categories: In Memoriam

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