LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) –- Gerry Tolman, a veteran and versatile music business manager who worked with the legendary rock 'n roll group Crosby, Stills & Nash for over twenty years, has died. Tolman was killed instantly in a motor vehicle accident near his Los Angeles area home the morning of December 31, reported a Tolman family spokesperson. He was 52 years old.
A press release reports that Tolman had managed artists under the aegis of his personal management entertainment firm Management Network, Inc. since 1985. In addition to collectively managing Crosby, Stills & Nash (whom he first started working with when he was with their previous management company), Mr. Tolman also managed the solo careers of group members Stephen Stills – since '85 – and, since 1989, Graham Nash.
Nash, reached at his home in Hawaii, said, "My heart is broken about the untimely death of my dear friend. I am so sad. He was a great, sensitive, caring and funny man. I will miss him for the rest of my life."
Speaking from his home in central California, David Crosby commented, "Gerry was a good friend and he worked diligently and did a great job at managing Crosby, Stills & Nash. He was a part of this family for many years. We'll miss him. My heart goes out to his family."
Stephen Stills added, "Gerry was my rock, my protector and my best friend. He helped me do my art without being distracted by the slings and arrows of our crazy and wonderful business. I doubt I will meet his like again. I offer my condolences to his family and his friends, who number in the hundreds. I believe that ultimately, this will pull us all together."
A lifelong southern Californian born in Santa Monica, Tolman caught the music bug playing guitar in bands while attending Los Angeles' Loyola High School. Film was another interest, and by the time he graduated from University of Southern California with a degree in Telecommunications, Tolman had already started his own film production company, creating industrial and educational shorts — work that led to his music management success. As a senior at USC, Tolman was invited to Colorado's Caribou Ranch Recording Studios, where CBS Records tapped him to make a promotional film on Stephen Stills and his band. Soon afterwards he became their tour manager, a role he also undertook for the Stills/Young band, Crosby, Stills & Nash and the Chris Hillman Band.
Gerry Tolman's involvement with the music artists he worked with extended beyond the realm of the typical manager. Tolman played guitar with Stephen Stills' band, and over the years wrote, performed and produced with Crosby, Stills & Nash, who recorded his song "Too Much Love To Hide" for their 1982 album "Daylight Again." Tolman's production credits include "Daylight Again," Atlantic's 1991 4-CD box set retrospective "CSN," the band's 2005 Greatest Hits disc (Atlantic/Rhino), the video compilation "Long Time Coming" (produced for CSN's 1997 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame) and the television specials "Daylight Again: Crosby, Stills & Nash at the Universal Amphitheater" and, for PBS, "Crosby, Stills & Nash at the Warfield."
In recent years, Tolman put together the extensive national touring package for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's historic 2000 reunion tour, one of the highest grossing of that year. He also negotiated and produced similar packages for subsequent CSN tours and CSNY's 2002 encore tour. Tolman's diverse projects also included the launch of the extreme sports management entity Motorsports Management International (which he later sold), which developed and managed the careers of many athletes including Winston Cup Champion Tony Stewart.
Gerry Tolman is survived by his parents Tom and Marie Tolman, two brothers, Thomas Tolman and Timothy Tolman, a sister, Traci Marie Mars, and children Jennifer and Jonathan. Information on a memorial service will be announced shortly.
In lieu of flowers, the Tolman family has designated The International House of Blues Foundation, 6255 Sunset Blvd., 18th floor, Los Angeles, CA, 90028 to receive donations in the name of Gerry Tolman.
Musician, Family Found Slain In Virginia Home
RICHMOND (AP) — Former House of Freaks guitarist and frontman Bryan Harvey, his wife, Kathryn, and two young daughters were found slain in their burning home, reportedly bound with tape and with their throats slashed.
Police said Tuesday it did not appear anything was stolen from the home where the bodies of Bryan, Kathryn and their daughters, Stella, 9, and Ruby, 4, were found Sunday afternoon.
Harvey, 49, was a member of a local band called NrG Krysys and was a former guitarist and singer for House of Freaks, which released five albums on three labels between 1987 and 1995.
A family friend said 39-year-old Kathryn Harvey was the half-sister of Steven Culp, who played Rex Van De Kamp on "Desperate Housewives," according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. She was co-owner of a Richmond toy and gift shop.
Police are investigating the case as a homicide and arson, city police spokeswoman Cynthia Price said. Police did not disclose the cause of death but the newspaper, citing police sources, said the family members were bound with tape and had their throats cut.
Investigators said the Harveys had invited friends to the house for a New Year's Day party on Sunday afternoon. A family friend who arrived with his daughter walked inside and was immediately engulfed in smoke.
"I yelled out, and no one answered, so I figured they all must be on a walk or something," said Johnny Hott, a bandmate from House of Freaks. He then shouted for a neighbor to call 911.
Police were trying to determine exactly when the family was slain and what was used to start the fire. They had not identified any suspects or a possible motive, police spokeswoman Kirsten Nelson said Tuesday.
Report: Comedian Mitch Hedberg Died Of OD
NEW YORK (AP) — Comedian Mitch Hedberg died accidentally in March of "multiple drug toxicity," including cocaine and heroin, Spin magazine reports, citing reports filed by the New Jersey medical examiner's office.
The medical examiner's findings were filed in May, according to an article in the January issue of Spin about the convergence of comedy and rock 'n' roll.
Hedberg, 37, died in a hotel room in Livingston, N.J., while on a club tour performing standup. The comedian, who was born with a heart defect, was initially believed to have died from heart failure.
He had struggled with drugs and alcohol, and took a hiatus from performing for several months after a May 2003 arrest in Austin, Texas, for felony possession of heroin.
In the Spin article, Maureen Taran, a comedy manager who knew Hedberg, is quoted as saying that life on the road is difficult for a struggling comedian.
"It's a very lonely existence," Taran says. "If you aren't born with manic-depression, you will have it after being in this business."
A hit on "The Late Show With David Letterman," on which he appeared 10 times, and "The Howard Stern Show," Hedberg once was dubbed "the next Seinfeld" by Time magazine. But TV-series fame eluded him because his unique style of mumbled one-liners didn't lend itself to the sitcom format.
Born in St. Paul, Minn., Hedberg rose through the ranks at Minneapolis' Acme Comedy Co. and caught his big break through a Comedy Central special. He had a role in the film "Almost Famous" — smoking fake pot with Peter Frampton — and appeared on Fox's hit series "That '70s Show."
Hedberg had two popular comedy CDs, "Strategic Grill Locations" and "Mitch All Together."
Character Actor Vincent Schiavelli Dead At 57
ROME, Italy (AP) — Droopy-eyed character actor Vincent Schiavelli, who appeared in scores of movies, including "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and "Ghost," died Monday at his home in Sicily. He was 57.
He died of lung cancer, said Salvatore Glorioso, mayor of Polizzi Generosa, the Sicilian village where Schiavelli resided.
Schiavelli, whose gloomy look made him perfect to play creepy or eccentric characters, made appearances in some 150 film and television productions, according to the Internet Movie Database.
Among the movies: "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," "Amadeus," "Batman Returns," and "The People vs. Larry Flynt." He was selected in 1997 by Vanity Fair as one of America's best character actors.
Schiavelli, who was born and raised in New York, studied acting at New York University's School of the Arts.
He also wrote three cookbooks and many food articles for magazines and newspapers, possibly inheriting his love for cooking from his grandfather, who had been a cook for an Italian baron before moving to the United States, according to IMDb.
"He was a great friend, a great chef and a great talker," Glorioso, who has known Schiavelli for almost four years, said in a telephone interview.
"With a smooth, witty conversation, he would make everything look more colorful. I've lost a brother," he said.
Schiavelli also had worked in Italy, including in 2001 when he directed a theater piece in Sicily based on nine fables.
A funeral service will be held Tuesday in Polizzi Generosa, Glorioso said.
'Wonderful Life' Actress Brunetti Dies
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Argentina Brunetti, a character actress who played the worried wife of Mr. Martini in the classic film "It's a Wonderful Life," has died. She was 98.
Brunetti died in her sleep Tuesday in Rome, said Ben Ohmart, whose Boalsburg, Pa.,-based publishing house, BearManor Media, released Brunetti's autobiography. She had moved to Rome last year to live with her son, Mario, and his family, he said.
Brunetti starred in dozens of films and television shows over a career spanning more than 50 years.
She portrayed Dean Martin's mother in the 1953 comedy "The Caddy," in which Martin sings "That's Amore" to her, and performed with Desi Arnaz in the 1949 film "Holiday in Havana."
Her TV credits include "Hopalong Cassidy," "The Untouchables," "Kojak" and "Everybody Loves Raymond."
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1907, Brunetti followed her Sicilian mother, actress Mimi Aguglia, into the theater. Beginning with a walk-on role at age 3 in the opera "Cavalleria Rusticana," Brunetti performed throughout Europe and South America.
Her Hollywood career began in 1937 with contract work dubbing the voices of Jeanette MacDonald and Norma Shearer into Italian. She earned her first credited role as an Italian immigrant in Frank Capra's 1946 holiday film "It's a Wonderful Life," in which James Stewart's character helps her large family buy a house.
Off screen, Brunetti was a founding member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and wrote a weekly column for foreign language publications in Canada and Italy.
Her autobiography, "In Sicilian Company," which chronicles her family's show business adventures, was released in October. She also hosted a weekly blog, "Argentina Brunetti's Hollywood Stories."
"She not only hoped for a better world, but did many things to make it happen and for this she will be truly missed by family and friends," said a release on her Web site.
“Pop” Hubbard Passes Away At 74
(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — H. Pierce “Pop” Hubbard, husband of industry veteran Barbara “Mother” Hubbard,” has died in Las Cruces, New Mexico, at the age of 74.
Pop opened Hubbard’s Music-N-More store in Las Cruces in 1979, and touched many lives in the local musicians community over the years. He was also an avid Barber Shop singer and a member of the Voz Vaqueros.
Barbara has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to either Las Cruces’ St. Paul’s Methodist Church or the American Lung Association. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers
Warner Theatre Stagehand Joseph ‘Vinnie’ Marchant Dies At 83
(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — A legend in Erie, Pennsylvania, longtime Warner Theatre stagehand Joseph “Vinnie” Marchant died on December 1st at the age of 83, following a short battle with lung cancer.
Marchant worked an incredible 60-plus years at the theater, since joining as a runner at age 12 at its opening in 1931. He served overseas in World War II, then returned to the Warner.
Aside from refereeing youth sports, volunteering at the local Boys and Girls Club and YMCA, Marchant also worked as stagehand at the Louis J. Tullio Arena, and was president of the local International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers