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In Remembrance: Bob Goldstone

Jul 7, 2016

On Sunday, July 3, an integral part of the Nashville music community passed away after a hit-and-run bicycle accident near his home. Bob Goldstone was Vice President of Sales and co-founder of Thirty Tigers, the driving force behind many of our favorite artists — from Jason Isbell to Patty Griffin to the Avett Brothers. Bob's passion and compassion made indelible marks on all who knew him, especially his fellow Tigers, some of whom remember him here.
 

Bob was much more than a colleague to many of us. He was a friend. If you were having a bad day, Bob’s office was where you’d want to be. He taught me a lot about life that I will never forget. Just a few weeks back, I was having a bad day and found myself in his office, venting. Bob's response was, “Is it really that bad or are you just being hard on yourself?” It was the latter. He had a knack for getting people out of their heads so they could see things clearly. I think we’ll all be asking ourselves "What Bob would do?" when we wind up in a jam for many, many years to come. — Matt Bury

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Bob Goldstone was undoubtedly one of the most genuine, loving, insightful, and generous people I've ever had the privilege of knowing. Whether you knew him for years or just happened to interact with him for a few minutes in passing, he always made the time to deeply invest in his relationships and establish solid, meaningful bonds with every single person who crossed his path.

Bob was unbelievably passionate about life and unique in just about every way. He had a deep, spiritual connection to both art and nature. He was constantly "meditating on the cosmic impulses of the universe," and encouraging us to do the same.

Bob made each person who met him feel special and valued. He was always there to support you, in every way, and he taught me that the coolest person you can be is always simply yourself.

Simply put, there was no one quite like Bob Goldstone. I loved him like a brother and will continue to hear his voice guiding me for the rest of my life. — Thomas Flood

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As I sit here trying to think of something that's supposed to sum up the life of an immeasurable man in a few lines, I keep coming back to Bob's capacity to love. Whether helping to change a tail light, recommending new music, or just having a drink and a laugh, Bob made everyone's day a little bit brighter. 

Bob was the light I looked forward to seeing every day. He had a way of defusing any situation and making everyone in the room feel a little more comfortable, happy to be there, and happy to be around Bob. That's the kind of man he was; the kind of man who embodied joy and warmth, who made sure everyone felt loved, heard, and appreciated. Bob made us feel like family, and words cannot express how deeply he will be missed.

No words will describe the impact this man had on my life or the lessons I've learned from his example, but ultimately Bob was my buddy. He will be missed more than he could possibly know. 

I love you, Bob. Stay groovy. — Robert Knotts

* * *

Bob always said that we were partners and a team. I would sit in his office, several hours each day, and we talked about everything. Shipping problems … we'd solve it together. Vinyl might not get done on time … we'd figure it out together. Best Neil Young album … debatable.

When I would complain about incompetence, he'd laugh and say, "Man, you got attitude. I'm gonna put this record on for you to chill out." Chillin' me out and acting as the best mentor I could ever ask for was only a small fraction of what he did for me. He was my friend. I'll always cherish the drinks we got together, the dinners we shared, the pot we smoked, and oh the stories … so many stories. He always had one and it came with a smile and an infectious laugh. He was so genuine, it was disarming. He said part of being a team was that we had to stay in step with each other — one doesn't work without the other.

Recently, he could tell I was upset about something and he called me into his office and said, "You don't have to talk about it, but I'm sensitive and I can't sit here and look out at you, so what's up?" I cried and gave him a hug after and he said, "I love you, home slice. You know that." He was always just what I needed, and to think he was the one that called me up once every couple of weeks to tell me he was thankful for me …

I loved him dearly. He was the coolest, nicest, most loving person I will ever know. — Morgan Perry

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It's so hard to believe that we lost Bob Goldstone. He was a friend, co-worker, and mentor. He and I are music fans first. We could talk about records forever. A few days ago, I gave him a marbled vinyl copy of Dave Mason's Alone Together with cutout gatefold that I found at Earl Scruggs' estate sale. I'm listening to it in his office now. He made sure we made art the priority, when we worked together on album releases. I'm thinking that a Bob Goldstone Music Appreciation Society might be in order. I'm praying for his family constantly. — Logan Rogers

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Bob was a beautiful, fun-loving, and abundantly caring man. When I started at Thirty Tigers, he was so pumped that I was joining him as his right-hand man. He was calm, cool, and always on my side. He told me not to be so eager and to slow down when I needed to. He told me he knew I had great intentions, that I was smart, and I would do great things. I don’t even know if he told me those last two things directly, but that’s how he made me feel. He believed in me (and believed in everyone, really). We liked to sit and listen to test pressings together — he considered that responsibility a privilege. He lit up like a Christmas tree when my son JW would come to visit, and JW loved to say hi to Bob in his office. He always told me to smile when he walked by my desk; he was so good at that himself.

God, thanks for the life of my friend, BG. He made mine better, and I'll miss him dearly. — Zach Bevill

* * *

Walking up the steps of old 1604 8th Avenue South on my first day of work at Thirty Tigers over three years ago, the very first thing I saw was an office window. In that window was a gigantic poster of the cover of Miles Davis’ album Kind of Blue. That was Bob Goldstone’s office. I thought to myself “good sign.”

You have to understand something: Thirty Tigers is an incredibly fast-paced, lean, powerful machine. The staff there puts in the type of hours you’d equate to a doctor in residency. We spent most of our days and the majority of our nights together. That was my life for the last three years. We were TIGHT. Some of that crew has been working together for over a decade. It’s more than a job over there; it’s a ship on a holy fucking mission — and Bob was firmly positioned at the front of the helm. He was the greatest champion of up-and-coming artists that are now household names: The Avett Brothers, Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson, St. Paul and the Broken Bones … just a few of the bands that went from obscurity to stardom under his loyal watch.

Many of my former colleagues have mentioned this, but Bob set me straight on many occasions. When I bought my new (to me) car, I complained about something and said that I was surely getting screwed over by the dealership. He quickly and sternly told me to STOP. Call the dealer. Figure it out. They will do you right. You see, the root of all that reaction was because I didn’t have trust in my heart … but Bob did. His heart was filled with goodness and light and great vibes, and with all that, comes clarity and self-awareness. He knew what was up, and he wasn’t going to let you get away with a bad attitude. The people who call you out on your shit do that because they give a damn. Those are the people who love you, who want you to be your best self. Sometimes it was hard to hear, but I always walked away thinking he cared enough to say something.

There isn’t one person in that organization that asked me “How are you doing?” more … and with earnest. I think, many times, he did so because he sensed the answer was maybe not good, and he’d close his office door and listen to me. The constant advice was, “It’s all going to work out.” He had faith in the organization and the process … and he just plain had encompassing faith. And faith is infectious. It helped me get through many tough decisions and choices.

I left Thirty Tigers for a new career opportunity at the end of last year. It was the right choice and a wonderful opportunity for me, but the hardest transition was walking into a new office with new people. It’s like the first day of kindergarten in a new town. I dearly missed my old co-workers. The person I kept running into after I left the company the most was Bob, always boisterous and joyus. The last time I saw Bob was at City Winery about a month ago. Big hug … talk of my new job … how happy I looked. “I am so happy for you.” And he meant it.

Back to the beginning … that first day of work. I will forever think of Bob when I hear “So What” from Kind of Blue. That iconic poster in his window. And how many times did I hear that song radiate from his office? It seemed like his song, and the sirens call for me to come and sit in his chair and say hello, or confess, or vent. I know when I hear it now, I will forever think of him — the person who cared enough to set me straight, to ask me how I was doing, and to be of such generous heart to always put the happiness of others at the top of his list.

BMLB (Be More Like Bob)

— Katy Kirby

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