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Music Retail Pioneer Gary Arnold Passes

SAN DIEGO, CA (CelebrityAccess) — Gary "Garno" Arnold, a major figure in the world of music retail and merchandising, passed away on Monday, March 27th at his home in Encinitas, California after a battle with cancer. He was 64.

Hailing from Ft. Wayne, IN, Arnold made a name for himself in the fields of marketing music and gaming. His first job in the industry was working retail at a record store. He rose through the ranks at Disc Records in Chicago, then spent a decade with Trans World Entertainment in Albany, NY, before transitioning from retail to the label side of the business when he accepted a position at Disney's newly-minted Hollywood Records.

He also spent almost 20 years in marketing for the entertainment division of the Best Buy retail chain, ending his tenure as Chief Entertainment Officer. While at the electronics retailer, he oversaw the launch of their Redline Entertainment label, releasing audio and video projects for The Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, Prince, Elton John, U2, supergroup Chickenfoot, and others. As well, he lead the retail chain into sponsorship deals for high-profile concert tours for artists such as Fleetwood Mac, Sting and Farm Aid.

Following his semi-retirement, Arnold acted as a Senior Advisor to the BottleRock Festival in Napa, as well as serving on the nominating committee of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, as well as on the Grammy Foundation.

He was survived by his wife Carol, his five children and a grandchild.

Donations can be made in Gary's memory to The Tony Hawk Foundation, Michael Franti's Do it for the Love charity or MusiCares.