Tony Peluso, lead guitarist for the Carpenters and a Motown and Latin music producer, died June 5 in Los Angeles of heart disease. He was 60.
Peluso was with the band for 12 years, beginning with single “Goodbye to Love” in 1972, touring the world with siblings Richard and Karen Carpenter and recording many albums.
After Karen Carpenter’s death in 1983, Peluso segued to producing and engineering records. Partnered for a decade with the head of A&R at Motown Records, he co-produced dozens of records for artists such as Smokey Robinson, the Temptations, the Four Tops and Michael Jackson. During the ’80s and ’90s, Peluso produced and or engineered albums for artists such as Kenny Loggins, Seals & Crofts, Apollonia, Player, Animotion, Stephanie Mills, the Fixx, Dave Koz and Boyz II Men with Selena.
In 1992, Peluso began his association with two-time Academy Award winner Gustavo Santaolalla. Together, they pioneered the Latin genre known as Roc en Espanol, selling millions of records worldwide and garnering many Grammy Awards. Peluso continued to delve into the Latin rock world working with Latin pop musicians Ricky Martin, Molotov and Cafe Tacuba. In 2005, Santaolalla brought Peluso on board for the production of the soundtrack to “Brokeback Mountain.” Peluso continued working with up and coming Latino singers and musicians under his death.
His career brought him numerous gold and platinum records representing sales in excess of 150 million units, as well as four Grammy Awards.
He is survived by two sons.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. June 26 at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, 18405 Superior St., Northridge.