×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Herb Cohen dies at 77

Label operator introduced Mothers of Invention, Tom Waits

Herb Cohen, the tough, litigious manager and label operator who introduced such notables as the Mothers of Invention and Tom Waits during the ’60s and ’70s, died Tuesday of unknown causes in Napa, Calif. He was 77.

After beginning his professional career as an L.A. club booker and operator, Cohen branched into management in the mid-’60s. His biggest clients were Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention, the outre band that became a top attraction in venues on the Sunset Strip.

After the Mothers released their initial albums on Verve, Cohen and Zappa established their own imprints, Straight, Bizarre and Discreet. The labels issued material by the Mothers and such off-the-wall, Zappa-produced L.A. acts as Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band, groupie unit the G.T.O.’s and itinerant songsmith Wild Man Fischer, as well as singer-songwriter Tim Buckley, hard rock unit Alice Cooper and comic Lenny Bruce. The partners’ association collapsed amid an exchange of lawsuits in 1976.

Cohen also handled beat-styled singer-songwriter Waits, who secured a contract with David Geffen’s Asylum Records in 1972

More Scene

  • Marianne Rendon, Matt Smith, Ondi Timoner

    Robert Mapplethorpe Biopic Team Talks 'Fast and Furious' Filming

    Thursday night’s New York premiere of the Matt Smith-led biopic “Mapplethorpe” took place at Cinépolis Chelsea, just steps from the Chelsea Hotel where the late photographer Robert Mapplethorpe once lived — but director Ondi Timoner had no sense of that legacy when she first encountered him in a very different context. “When I was ten [...]

  • Producer Mel Jones poses at the

    'Dear White People' Producer Talks Hollywood's 'Black Tax'

    “Dear White People” and “Leimert Park” executive producer Mel Jones is extremely familiar with growing up and watching “white men in all types of roles and never [seeing] ourselves as a part of those narratives.” Now, there may be some more opportunities for writers of color to tell their own stories, but, she notes, there [...]

  • Rebel Wilson Isn't It Romantic

    Rebel Wilson on Twitter Gaffe: 'It Was Purely to Lift My Fellow Plus-Size Women Up'

    “I obviously misspoke in that situation,” Rebel Wilson told Variety at the premiere of her latest film “Isn’t It Romantic” Monday, acknowledging the gaffe in which she claimed to be the first-ever plus-sized woman to star in a romantic comedy during an October appearance on “Ellen.” Following the comment, Wilson was met with criticism from Twitter [...]

  • NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 11:

    How Lena Waithe Convinced Halle Berry to Team Up for 'Boomerang' TV Series

    Halle Berry wasn’t immediately sold on the idea of a “Boomerang” reboot. The 1992 romantic comedy, which starred Berry, Eddie Murphy, and Robin Givens, told the tale of cocky ad executive and insatiable ladies’ man Marcus (Murphy) who meets his match in his new boss Jacqueline (Givens) — an exec who treats him the same [...]

  • Rebel Wilson and Miley Cyrus'Isn't it

    Why Liam Hemsworth Wasn't at His 'Isn't It Romantic' Premiere, but Wife Miley Cyrus Was

    Liam Hemsworth had every intention of bringing his wife, Miley Cyrus, to Monday’s premiere of his new romantic comedy “Isn’t It Romantic.” However, the Aussie actor was forced to skip the evening because of some “health things.” That didn’t stop Cyrus from attended the red carpet shindig at the Theater at the Ace Hotel in downtown [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content