Tim Carr, local music critic and A&R rep, dead at 57

Categories: Obituary
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The music community in the Twin Cities and beyond lost a friend in Tim Carr. The Hopkins-bred music writer and A&R representative who went on to sign the Beastie Boys to Capitol Records was found dead in his Thailand apartment. He was 57.

According to Pattaya103.com, he was reportedly found with a long knife wound across his chest, and circumstances were deemed suspicious by local police. Update: Carr's family disputes these claims, noting "we've indeed heard reports from Tim's property manager and a friend who has viewed the remains, that conflict with what was published in the Thai tabloids."  Carr had resided in Pattaya for eight years, and was working on a movie about a rock band, according to Jon Bream at the Star Tribune.
His significant local ties include writing music criticism for the Minneapolis Tribune and other publications, and he worked at the Walker Art Center in the performing-arts department. In the late '70s, he brought together Devo, Suicide Commandos, Richard Lloyd, and more at the University of Minnesota for the notorious M-80: The No, New Now Wave Festival.

Carr's A&R ties while working in New York and Los Angeles at Capitol, Warner Bros., and Dreamworks included the Beastie Boys signing. He detailed his early days with the Beasties extensively in Dan LeRoy's excellent Paul's Boutique 33 1/3 book, which can be read here. He also inked Megadeth, and worked with Babes in Toyland, Information Society, Ash, Galaxy 500, Cibo Matto, and David Byrne. In Thailand, he helped rock band Loso get an international foothold.

"Our A&R guy was not wanting us to change our sound or anything, which was rare," Babes in Toyland's Kat Bjelland recently told the Current. "We had a good one, Tim Carr. He signed the Beastie Boys to Capitol, and was really pro-musicians." Carr is also credited with introducing the band to Cindy Sherman.

A memorial site has been set up here, and a memorial service in Minneapolis is being arranged. View a copy of his obituary and more here. We will update as we find more information.

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5 comments
j5zygmhf
j5zygmhf

Actually, I agree that Pattaya in general is not my ideal place to live, but I knew Tim Carr very well and he was a good guy.   As a western woman living in Thailand, Tim was one of the few expat guys that I could hang out with on a regular basis.  We talked pretty much everyday when I was there.  His love of music, his business acumen, his kindness and sense of humor were unbeatable.  He was a very good guy, maybe too generous for his own good.  I'll miss him.

Ned Kelly
Ned Kelly

(And perhaps I'm drawing too many inferences from the location of his death and so forth, but ... Well, just visit the region and run the stabbed in a hotel room in Pattaya scenario by some of the old hands. It's a little off.)

Ned Kelly
Ned Kelly

As an expat living in Phnom Penh who sees an awful lot of the neighboring Thai-style expats, some of whom are cool, and some who come over and act like asses ... I can tell you that, unfortunately, this kind of crash and burn thing is pretty common all over SE Asia (at least where the drugs and prostitutes are readily available.) For every person whose passing is noted like his there are legions more who go down there only to die in the same fashion and with nobody even claiming their remains. I don't know if he was murdered or not but getting stabbed in Pattaya is a pretty seedy scenario overall, it is particularly infamous for debauchery and sexpats. (I teach here and have real credentials and stuff, we're not all weirdos and burn-outs here, but they are here as well, sad that he ended up that way.)

j5zygmhf
j5zygmhf

Actually, I agree that Pattaya in general is not my ideal place to live, but I knew Tim Carr very well and he was a good guy.   As a western woman living in Thailand, I lived in Bangkok for 5 years, Tim was one of the few expat guys that I could hang out with on a regular basis.  We talked pretty much everyday when I was there.  His love of music, his business acumen , his kindness and sense of humor were unbeatable.  He was a very good guy, maybe too generous for his own good.  I'll miss him.

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