Lisa Roy, a beloved audio production and communications executive, peacefully died Dec. 31 at her home in Marina Del Rey, Calif. Her brother broke the news on Facebook. Her age was unknown.
Roy got her start in the music industry as co-founder of Ground Control Studios, a multi-room facility on Los Angeles’ west side. From there, she launched Rock & Roy Entertainment in 1999.
The consulting firm matched creators and technology with clients ranging from AT&T and Dell to Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Danny Elfman and Ben Folds. She also worked on a number of special events, including the MTV Video Music Awards, the annual Audio Engineering Society convention, the Latin Grammy Awards, the Pensado Awards and more.
Additionally, she handled artist relations for a number of instrument manufacturers and pro-audio companies, including Audio-Technica, Iron Mountain Entertainment Services and Roland/BOSS.
She and business associate Robert Clyne co-directed the technical public relations initiatives for the Grammy Awards, in addition to year-round representation for the Producers & Engineers Wing of the Recording Academy. Known for her effervescent personality, Clyne said of Roy, “The glass was always half full for Lisa. In fact, I think if you asked her, she would say, ‘The glass is half full and I think it’s filled with Dom Perignon.”
During her career, the Montreal native also contributed to management of Billy Bob Thornton’s music projects and served as president of Three Fingers Records.
Legendary bassist Leland Sklar posted an emotional YouTube tribute to Roy shortly after her passing. “On New Year’s Eve, we lost one of the best people I’ve ever known in my entire career,” he said. Roy worked closely with The Immediate Family, Sklar’s super group with other famed session musicians including Waddy Wachtel, Russ Kunkel and Danny Kortchmar.
Sklar, who had known Roy for 35 years, noted her gift for connecting people. “She’s one of these people, any time you were thinking about a project or anything, you contact Lisa and, man, she would pull that sh– together,” he said. “She just knew how to do it all. She dressed hipper than anybody you ever saw in your life. She was magnetic.” One of her last projects was helping to ensure a documentary on The Immediate Family got made.
A fierce advocate of musicians and pro audio executives, she could often be seen talking in the most technical of terms, while always the most fashionable person in the room.
“In the audio community, she glittered like a superstar. She brought style and femininity to the world of gray machines and music producing gadgets,” says Paula Salvatore, Universal Music Group’s vp of client relations and studio marketing and a close friend of Roy’s.
“She made it cool to be charming, glamorous and technical,” Salvatore continues. “We laughed, imagining her leading an all-women technical audio panel, with scripted advanced technical jargon of course, to impress the most brilliant of audio engineers. She appreciated her friends, colleagues and knew how to succeed with exuberance and a smile.”
She was preceded in death by her husband, recording engineer Csaba Petocz. She is survived by her partner Kortchmar and her sister, brother, niece and nephews. A celebration of her life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made in Roy’s name to MusiCares, the ASPCA or Humane Society.