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“Because he was truly erudite, he could draw dazzling lines from visual art to music to movies or books — figuring out a way, for example, to get photographer Cindy Sherman to create an album cover image for Minneapolis trio Babes in Toyland to give the group artistic cred while also managing to convince Warner Bros. that this noisy, uncompromising band could actually get on the radio — and to make sure the label paid for all this, too.”
The artists loved his boldness and commitment.
The Beastie Boys made their masterpiece “Paul’s Boutique” in 1989 after Carr signed them to Capitol. “As a band we will always be indebted to Tim because he invested his fierce passion in music in us and stood up for us by taking a chance on us when others would not,” said Mike D.
Carr moved through complex, seemingly disparate worlds. “Tim was always so on top of everything,” said composer/performer Laurie Anderson, whom Carr represented for a bit. “But he always seemed to understand people’s motivations and goals as well as what they were actually doing and making. ”
Sometimes it was just about the friendships.
When he visited Los Angeles, Carr usually stayed with Beth Halper, a former colleague at DreamWorks, and her husband, Butch Vig, the famed producer (Nirvana, Sonic Youth, Smashing Pumpkins) and hitmaking co-founder of Garbage.
Vig recalled the long conversations they would have: “He always made me feel much smarter than I am, because he was able to draw things out of me, engage my brain sometimes in ways I never thought possible. He had a genuine curiosity and enthusiasm for things outside the norm. He was also one of the kindest and most gentle men I’ve ever met.”
Carr’s family is planning a service Wednesday in Thailand and a memorial May 18 in Hopkins at St. Gabriel Catholic Church (formerly St. John the Evangelist), 6 Interlachen Rd. Visitation will be at noon, service at 1 p.m. Memorials are preferred to Walker Art Center.
Hill is left with the image of Carr at his most ambitious, after the 2006 Thai rock opera.
“At the end, Tim came out with the cast and took a bow,” Hill recalled. “I’d never seen him happier or looking so sharp. This time he had on a sleek Thai-made suit, not the satiny Yankees jacket he wore in New York when I first met him. That conspiratorial smile was the same though, along with that mischievous glint in his eye and his unflagging entrepreneurial spirit.”
Twitter: @JonBream • 612-673-1719