Tower Records Legend Russell Solomon Dies Watching Television

  • 06 March 2018

Music store entrepreneur Russell Solomon passed away over the weekend at the age of 92, while peacefully watching the Academy Awards on television and enjoying a glass of whiskey with his family. It was sudden and unexpected, given that he had virtually no health problems to speak of at the time.

Image caption Russ Solomon and Colin Hanks at 'All Things Must Pass' premiere

The Tower Records founder died at his Sacramento home on Sunday (March 4th 2018), with his cause of death thought to be a heart attack. According to his son and former chief executive of Tower Michael Solomon, he had made a disparaging remark about somebody's Oscars outfit before asking for a top-up. When his wife returned, he had passed.

'Ironically, he was giving his opinion of what someone was wearing that he thought was ugly, then asked (his wife) Patti to refill his whiskey',

Michael said that the death was 'unexpected' despite his father's advanced years, and he was 'basically quite healthy'. He describes Russ as a 'charismatic, common-sense entrepreneur' and admitted: 'He was sort of a Pied Piper. People followed him and adored him. They wanted to do what he wanted.'

Russ is best known for being the founder of Tower Records in 1960; a pioneering music megastore that was explored in the 2015 documentary 'All Things Must Pass' directed by Colin Hanks. The company went bust in 2006, thanks to the rise in digital music and film sales as well as Russell's own eagerness to expand across the globe.

He remained a visionary long after Tower Records' liquidation, and had been busy with his portrait photography business and various exhibitions at the time of his death. There is no funeral of memorial currently planned, though the family are thought to be hosting a private party for his many friends to pay their respects.

Russ Solomon is survived by his wife of eight years Patti Drosinsm and his two sons Michael and David from his first marriage to Doris Solomon.