NEIL COOPER, FOUNDER OF ROIR, DIES AT 71
Neil Cooper established a career in the music industry working for the majors: both at MCA and the Famous Artists agency. Cooper's legend, however, was created by skillfully dodging the majors with Reach Out International Records, or ROIR for short. ROIR began as a cassette-only label in 1981, with a release from James Chance and the Contortions. Cassettes of live recordings didn't typically violate recording label contracts, and through Cooper's guidance and persistance, ROIR became one of the most important independent record labels. Over the last 20 years, the label has released numerous tapes including some from Glenn Branca, Television, Suicide, the New York Dolls, Einsturzende Neubauten, Greater Than One, The MC5, Mad Professor, Lee "Scratch" Perry and Bad Brains. The label continues under the direction of his son, Lucas, who releases music on CD and keeps the cassette releases in print. Cooper died on August 13th at his home in Manhattan.