The founder of Bronze Records and Uriah Heep producer and manager Gerry Bron has died at the age of 79.
Bronze Records was home to acts including Heep, Motörhead, Colosseum, The Damned, Manfred Mann's Earth Band, Girlschool, Bronz and Hawkwind. Motörhead experienced their most successful commercial period with Bronze, recording their classic albums 'Overkill', Bomber' and 'Ace Of Spades' whilst signed to the label.
Gerry worked closely with Uriah Heep for many years. He gave the band their name, managed their affairs and produced their 1970 debut album 'Very 'Eavy, Very 'Umble', then every subsequent release until 1980s 'Conquest'.
Heep frontman Mick Box once said of him: "He was very, very open minded about everything. If you wanted to try something and it was in the realms of what he considered to be sensible, he'd try it and sometimes to great effect, or sometimes you'd try it and he would develop it."
Mick said on Facebook today: "Gerry was a big part of the Heep legacy in the early days, and our thoughts are with his family!"
Gerry's son Richard tweeted: "Very sadly my father passed away yesterday morning very unexpectedly. Rest in peace Dad – we all love you."
Born Gerald L Bron on March 1st 1933, Gerry was the brother of the actress Eleanor Bron who starred in such films as Alfie and Help!. It was she who inspired Paul McCartney to write the song 'Eleanor Rigby'.
Gerry Bron's early production work included Manfred Mann and even Gene Pitney's 'Something Got A Hold Of My Heart'. He later managed the Bonzo Dog Band.
It was with Uriah Heep that Gerry Bron became synonymous with, producing and becoming their manager and guiding them to become one of the most successful rock bands in the seventies. In 1971 he set up his own Bronze Record Label based in Chalk Farm, London, taking Uriah Heep from the Vertigo label to his own to release the 'Demons And Wizards' album. Every Heep album until 'Head First' in 1983 was on the Bronze label.
Also signed to the label were notable acts such as Juicy Lucy, Colosseum, Osibisa, Manfred Mann's Earth Band, The Damned, Girlschool, Bronz and Hawkwind but one of his major achievements was signing Motörhead. The band released their first single 'Louie Louie' on the Bronze label in September 1978. Motörhead would also score a UK number 1 album with 'No Sleep 'Til Hammersmith' which went straight in at the top spot in June 1981.
In recent years Gerry was involved in many music projects and released records for songwriter and musician Paddy Milner and Rockford Christmas, a record which inspired the audiobook 'Rockfield's Rock Opera' in 2009.
Our thoughts go out to Gerry's family at this time.