Gary Smith Obituary Death – Extremely saddened to hear of the passing of one of my closest friends, Gary Smith, who passed away after a brief battle with sickness. I first became acquainted with him in the middle of the 1980s, when his band Lifeboat served as the opening act for my performance at the Living Room in Providence, Rhode Island. In the years that followed, he worked as a record producer in a studio in Boston known as Fort Apache, where he oversaw the production of albums by artists such as Throwing Muses, the Pixies, 10,000 Maniacs, the Chills, Blake Babies, Tanya Donelly, and Juliana Hatfield, amongst others.
Young bands who were attempting to create difficult music had the incredible opportunity to discover in Gary a sympathetic ear and a lot of guidance at this incredible venue known as The Fort. It was there that I recorded the single Accident Waiting to Happen with the Red Stars, and he was the producer of both that and the b-side song “Sulk,” which was composed during the recording session. Mermaid Avenue tracks that only feature Natalie Merchant and myself were recorded at the Fort under Gary’s supervision, as were the two tracks that Natalie and I wrote and recorded together there, ‘Party of God’ and ‘Bread and Circuses.’
All of the Mermaid Avenue tracks were produced by Natalie Merchant and myself. In the latter part of the 1990s, he uprooted his life and settled in a remote area of New Hampshire, where he became instrumental in the revitalization of the community radio station and launched a theater and restaurant under the name Popolo. Additionally, he served in the role of godfather to our son Jack. Gary was the sort of person who could make things happen. Whether he was at Fort Apache or in the little village in New Hampshire where he made his home, Gary was dedicated to the concept of community. Everyone who had the pleasure of his company will remember him fondly.
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