We awoke to some very sad news early this morning via the Plain Dealer: Steve Popovich, founder of Cleveland International Records dies at age 68. Steve was a very special man, a great manager and businessman, a music enthusiast and a long time friend. He had a way of turning nearly everything he touched into gold and if he believed in you, the city, state and world would soon follow.
The link below details some of the acts and notable projects Popovich took on in his lifetime and it’s impressive to say the least. Here, we just want to note a few thoughts and express our deepest sympathy to Popovich’s family and friends.
Steve Popovich played an integral part in the Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson story and played a very important role in our lives as we were writing Ronson’s biography. I can remember Weird and I visiting him on countless occasions at his office above the Cleveland Agora and leaving there feeling encouraged and empowered by his infectious attitude about music. He often visited us at our record store in Parma raving about his latest music discoveries and kept in touch with us long after he left the Cleveland area. Steve was hardcore and he always seemed to be at the right place at the right time. I was absolutely thrilled to run into him at the Charlie Louvin show at the Beachland Ballroom a few years ago and even happier still to know he made it to the Mott The Hoople reunion gigs in October of 2009 in London. We last spoke on the phone about eight months ago and even then he was quizzing me about retail sales, the industry, local and national music. The guy ate, drank and slept it and he truly was, one of a kind.
Steve Popovich you will forever be missed but your spirit will rock on, here in Cleveland and around the world. Rest in Peace Popo ~ we love ya.