On January 17, 2023, the music industry was rocked by the devastating news that Gary Smith, one of Fort Apache Studios’ most beloved record producers, had passed away.
How did Gary Smith die? What is the cause of his death?
On January 17, 2023, the music world was struck with grief when Tanya Donnelly announced on Twitter that Gary Smith had died following a short illness.
So much to say (but I can’t today)
I loveyou G pic.twitter.com/aAhs3rsKLx
— Tanya Donnelly (@TanyaDonnelly) January 17, 2023
Gary Smith was well-known in the industry not only as an American entrepreneur, but also as an award-winning record producer and executive manager. At Fort Apache Studios, where he has been employed since the 1980s, he is highly regarded for his work recording albums for alternative rock artists. He became a respected figure among many in the business thanks to his exceptional talent, cementing his legacy as one of the greatest producers in music history.
Who was Gary Smith?
As a native of Rhode Island, Smith has had an undeniable influence on the world of alternative music. His early involvement with Throwing Muses provided the band with untold benefits in terms of constructive feedback and advice. In 1986, Smith’s offer to move to Boston proved lucrative, as alternative music had already begun to develop there. Following their successful gig at The Rat with the Pixies as their opening act, Smith went on to help write their debut album later in the spring of 1987. As a result of his work, “The Purple Tape” was recorded in the punk studio digs of Fort Apache, located in a rather dangerous neighborhood. Since settling there, Smith has created hundreds of wonderful songs that are now included in Fort Apache’s impressive canon
Career of Gary Smith
Gary Smith was an influential figure in the music industry; During his career, Smith produced a variety of musicians, including Tanya Donnelly of Throwing Muses and Juliana Hatfield of the Blake Babies, as well as Juliana Hatfield of Scrawl and Billy Bragg’s 10,000 Maniacs. Additionally, one of the tracks is from the Come On Pilgrim EP, which was released by Pixies on 4AD and Rough Trade Records. In addition to being a popular producer, Smith also runs multiple companies under the Fort Apache moniker such as Historia Properties, Fort Apache Studios (formerly Windham Studios) along with an artist management company that represents Tanya Donnelly and Natalie Merchant and his own blog Fort Apache titled “Pump”. Smith lived in New Hampshire, but his studio was across the street from him in Vermont. Although Gary Smith has passed away, obituary and funeral details will be released by the family shortly.
Tributes are pouring in on the death of Gary Smith
Our condolences for this loss. We had a number of special times in nearby Bellow's Falls VT when Billy came to play or just hang out, once inside (when Jack was still fairly young), once on the train platform (the space station went overhead, but we wished on it anyway) and again at the restaurant when Glyn Johns was visiting. Good conversations and lovely memories. May Gary's memory also be a comfort.
Tributes have flooded my thread here in Boston, he impacted so many great musicians in a positive and profound way.
Sorry to hear this sad news. I saw Lifeboat in the 80s & it was a memorable show. Still have their great EP & listen to it often.
Prayers and thoughts of good mojo for everyone I'm sorry Tanya Gail
Gary Smith was a brilliant guy who truly loved good music and knew where to find it. His input for alternative music in Boston was just invaluable.