Meningitis claims top A and R man
Sad and shocking news has devastated the metal community this week. Father, husband, friend, and colleague Brandon Stratton passed away on March 25th after being diagnosed with severe, fast onset meningitis. A GoFundMe campaign to assist his family can be found HERE.
Andrew Sample, a close friend and colleague, writes “The Rock N’ Metal community lost a brother and true music fan this last week. Brandon Stratton, former head of A&R of Liquor & Poker Music (a subsidiary of Century Media Records), passed away in Las Vegas, NV at the young age of 40. Stratton, known affectionately by his friends and co-workers as ‘The Rawker,’ helped bring the Liquor & Poker name to prominence by spearheading North American releases from such known artists as Hanoi Rocks, The Hellacopters, Nebula, Fu Manchu, Backyard Babies, The Black Halos, Crash Kelly, Fireball Ministry, Crucified Barbara, The Thieves and others. He lived and breathed rock and metal music, and was loved by all of the artists and industry people with whom he came into contact. Stratton left the music industry years ago to pursue two other passions: his family and the culinary arts. Stratton, his wife Michelle, and their two sons Ryder and Johnny, relocated from Austin, TX to Las Vegas very recently as he was pursuing a new career venture. His passing was abrupt and shocking to everyone, and his family are now left with medical bills and an uncertain future. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Michelle and the boys in the wake of their husband and father’s tragic passing. R.I.P. Brandon ‘The Rawker’ Stratton. I’ll miss you, my brother from another mother.”
Stratton’s Facebook page has become a memorial with comments from artists like Scott Reeder (Kyuss, The Obsessed, Fireball Ministry, Sun and Sail Club), who wrote “Thank you, Brandon, for believing in me and my self-indulgent music, and for getting it out there. I thought I would reach the day of never-ending much sooner than you, my friend – I hope your journey is pleasant wherever you are. Much love.”
Sean Kelly (Crash Kelly, Helix, Nelly Furtado) posted “Heartbroken to hear of the passing of my brother Brandon Stratton…the faith that Brandon had in me when he signed Crash Kelly to Liquor & Poker/Century Media Records and the dedication and love he put into spreading the word helped me realize so many dreams, and allowed me to build a career following my passion. We lived the Rock n Roll dream together, so many long nights and amazing conversations. One of the things that bonded us was a strong sense of family, and you would be hard pressed to find a better family man than Brandon. Michelle Stratton, I am so deeply sorry for you and the kids…Brandon’s pride in his family permeated all of our recent conversations. I loved this man, and will never forget him… . Long Live The Rawker!!!”
Colleague and fellow A&R man Phil Hinkle wrote “For my fallen friend and comrade in metal, Brandon Stratton. You are missed. Always. Horns high, brother \m/.”
His wife Michelle posted “With the finality of Brandon’s life upon us, I sit in a moment of sheer panic. How can I keep these boys safe? Where are we going to live? Everyone ‘s generous donations have been so amazing. Seeing all the people that have been impacted by his life and their concern for his family…I have no words. Thank you all so very much doesn’t even seem to come close enough. But the painful reality of the future is weighing heavy on me…I am humbled and so very grateful for all of you and your generosity.”
All donations can be directed to the family via the GoFundMe page HERE.