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Ben Edmonds, music journalist and more, passes away at 65

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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Ben Edmonds lived a full life in the music industry, with a long career that included stints as a journalist, band manager, producer and record company executive.

Edmonds died on Friday morning at his home in Detroit at the age of 65, after battling pancreatic cancer that was diagnosed last year.

Jaan Uhelski, who worked with Edmonds at the Oakland County-based Creem magazine, wrote on Facebook that Edmonds, a native of Cape Elizabeth, Maine "often out-dressed the very rock stars he was there to interview" and also "gave a bit of class to the magazine."

Edmonds came to the Detroit area in 1971, after attending Ohio Wesleyan University. He worked for Creem at offices in Walled Lake and Birmingham until the spring of 1975; during that time he also became a confident to the MC5 and helped the Stooges with their 1977 album "Kill City." Edmonds also helped to help manage the Doors after Jim Morrison's death and work at the EMI/Capitol and Arista labels, where he scouted talent and signed bands.

Edmonds was an ardent champion of Detroit's MC5, whose guitarist Wayne Kramer recalled that, "I think Ben had the clearest analysis of what the MC5 really was. He could articulate things about my own band better than I could." Kramer also praised Edmonds "skills and bright visiion of the world and how it works. he was one of our best."

Edmonds wrote for many music publications, including Rolling Stone and Britain's Mojo, and he authored books including "Marvin Gaye: What's Going On and the Last Days of the Motown Sound" and 2012's "Kill City Revisited: Confessions of a Fool For the Stooges," which won Edmonds the second of his two ASCAP Deems Taylor Awards. Edmonds also co-authored Al Kooper's memoir "Backstage Passes: Rock 'N' Roll Life in the Sixties." He also wrote liner notes for historical albums from Gaye, Rod Stewart, Chicago, Mott the Hoople and more.

Edmonds lived with longtime partner Mary Restropo of the Detroit Cobras, and is survived by sisters Katharine Paty of Atlanta and Nancy Paull of Westport, Mass. A private cremation is planned.

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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