EXPIRED: 05/05/10 – Bob Mercer, 65, lived next to Abbey Road Studios, and while working at EMI Records in London signed to the roster artists such as Queen, Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, Olivia Newton-John and Marc Bolan. He was friends with John Lennon and even managed Paul McCartney for a time. When he popped in to see how Pink Floyd were doing in their recordings for the Wish You Were Here album, David Gilmour and Roger Waters turned him on to a 17 year old Kate Bush. He signed the young singer on the spot.
So how could the man who had the insight to sign the Sex Pistols, and in doing so pave the way for Punk Rock’s commercial upheaval of the music industry, cap his career by helping Jimmy Buffet launch Margaritaville Records and create the blasé, albeit enormously successful, ‘Now That’s What I Call Music!’ series?
The hit single compilation albums have sold over 77 million units in the USA since they debuted in 1998 and even more when the series originated in Britain 15 years earlier.
At the time of his death, Mercer was working on a ‘Now That’s What I Call Music!’ TV show with “American Idol” creator Simon Fuller.