Jerry Heller, the early manager for N.W.A who worked with Eazy-E throughout the late rapper’s career and was an instrumental figure in the rise of Eazy’s Ruthless Records, died Sept. 2 at the age of 75. Here, Irving Azoff, chairman/CEO of Azoff Madison Square Garden Entertainment, remembers the man he knew for 45 years.
I’ve known Jerry Heller since 1971, when I first bought a Lee Michaels show from him in Des Moines, Iowa. In those days, there were some big-name agents around him — Frank Barsalona, Danny Weiner, Herb Spar — and he was great. He respected artists and their talent and would kill for them. That’s what I learned from him.