Tribute to Former A&M Records President Gil Friesen

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Gil Friesen, best known for his tenure as president of A&M Records and A&M Films, passed away after at battle with leukemia at age 75. He was an avid KCRW listener and supporter, as well as a friend to many of our DJs. DJ and former Music Director Chris Douridas tells this story:

“Gil was a man of distinction. he had a rabid thirst for the new, and a drive to climb the greatest heights – literally. He was an avid outdoors man and a skilled mountain climber.

I will never forget the first time I met him. He had called me out of the blue to have lunch. we were to meet at his favorite Italian restaurant in Brentwood. This was in the 90’s so I was hosting Morning Becomes Eclectic that day and, whatever the fall out from that day’s show was, pushed me to be running late to the lunch.

I swooped in to find him alone at his table, patiently waiting. I was probably 20-25 minutes late. I leaned over him offering an apologetic embrace and – in doing so – knocked his full glass of red wine straight onto his lap.

He couldn’t have been more gracious. From then, every time I saw him – including a very memorable time at one of his famous dinner parties – the story of how we met was a big laugh between us.”