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Gary Arnold


1952 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Gary Arnold Obituary
May 31, 1952 - March 27, 2017 Gary Arnold, age 64, died March 27 at his home in Encinitas, California, after a valiant battle with cancer. Preceded in death by parents Carl and Norma June Arnold. Survived by his wife Carol Boothby Arnold, their children Nick Arnold of Los Angeles and Chloe Arnold of Encinitas, as well as Gary's daughter Amy Arnold of Clifton Park, New York, and sons Jax Arnold and Josh Arnold of Minneapolis, MN, and granddaughter Ava Willingham of Clifton Park. Born in Ft. Wayne, IN, Gary rose to positions of prominence in retail and marketing in the music, film and gaming sectors. His first love was always music, and he began his career working in a record store as a teenager. He rose through the ranks at Disc Records in Chicago, then spent a decade with Trans World Entertainment in Albany, NY, before switching to the label side of the business, taking a job in marketing at Disney's newly created Hollywood Records. He later spent nearly 2 decades in marketing for the entertainment division of the Best Buy retail chain, ending his tenure as Chief Entertainment Officer. While at Best Buy, he created the Redline Entertainment label, releasing audio and video projects for The Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, Prince, Elton John, U2, supergroup Chickenfoot, and others. Redline also introduced action sports videos to the mass market, beginning with Tony Hawk DVDs, followed by numerous surf, ski, and BMX releases. Gary established Best Buy as a sponsor on concert tours for Fleetwood Mac, Janet Jackson, Ozzfest, Farm Aid, Sting in Central Park, The Police reunion tour, and others. In semi-retirement, Gary served as Senior Advisor to the BottleRock Festival in Napa, a position he enjoyed immensely, working with the partners at Latitude 38 Entertainment. Aside from music, Gary's other great passion was gardening. He was famous for his impressive heirloom tomato crops. He and his wife Carol would often marvel at their good fortune, saying "You can't get here from there." They met at a low point in Gary's life, but he turned things around and died 24 years sober, eternally grateful to the 12-step programs which saved his life. Known to many friends as "Garno," Gary would say he was a kid from nowhere who grew up to work with his heroes, including The Who, Queen, The Beatles, The Police, Page and Plant, and more. He served on the nominating committee of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, on the Grammy Foundation, and for many years on the board of the Tony Hawk Foundation. There will be no funeral services. His ashes will be scattered at sea. (A favorite Garno-ism: "Arnolds come from the sea!") A joyful celebration of Gary's life will be held in Los Angeles at a future date. Donations can be made in Gary's memory to The Tony Hawk Foundation (www.tonyhawkfoundation.org), Michael Franti's Do it for the Love charity (www.doitforthelove.org) or MusiCares (www.grammy.org/musicares).
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Mar. 29 to Apr. 2, 2017
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