Renowned producer Hal Willner dies of symptoms consistent with COVID-19 | News | LIVING LIFE FEARLESS

Renowned producer Hal Willner dies of symptoms consistent with COVID-19

At the time of his untimely passing, Willner was 64 years of age

It seems coronavirus has taken yet another great name in the music world. While the cause of death was not formally confirmed, as Rolling Stone (RS) reports, “a source close to Willner tells Rolling Stone he was suffering from symptoms consistent with the coronavirus.”

Willner, to many music fans known as the true artist of tribute albums, was also a renowned producer of big-name artists like Lou Reed, Marianne Faithfull (also hospitalized due to coronavirus), The Neville Brothers, Sonic Youth, and others. Willner was also a longtime staffer of Saturday Night Live. As Rolling Stone adds, Willner was also instrumental in launching the career of Jeff Buckley “when he invited Buckley to a 1991 tribute concert in New York for Buckley’s father Tim — an event that introduced the younger Buckley to the New York music community.”

Tributes to Willner poured in from quite a few names in the music business. Sting told RS that “there was no one else like Hal in the music business — curator, archivist, alchemist, thaumaturge, magus, mentor and magician, and all of this tempered by the dry and mischievous humor that infused all of his work and his passion.”

Nick Cave said that Willner was “A Combination of Genius, Wonder and Near-Chaos,” while Vernon Reid of Living Colour called him “one of a small handful of the great archivers, & contextualizers of REAL Americana.”

“We love you, Hal — thank you for everything,” was a fitting post from Cat Power upon the news of Willner’s death.

Rock & Roll Globe site posted a Spotify playlist with a selection of Willner’s productions.

CULTURE (counter, pop, and otherwise) and the people who shape it.


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