In Memoriam: Harry Sandler, 73

by Frank Hammel
in News

MT. VERNON, NY - Harry Sandler, a revered tour manager for top acts and well-known photographer, died Sept. 2 after a short battle with cancer. He was 73. Sandler, who lived with music promoter Debra Rathwell in Mt. Vernon, NY, was tour manager for The Eagles, Van Halen and Bruce Springsteen, among others. Along with his role as tour manager and longtime associate with Irving Azoff, he was also a renowned photographer, first for rock acts and later for landscapes, and he focused on that since semi-retiring from the live music business in 2008.

Sandler, born in Tallahassee, FL in 1944, grew up in Atlantic City, NJ and the Bronx, harbored three passions early in life: Coney Island, the Yankees and photography. His father gave him his first Polaroid camera at the age of 8, and after coming of age, he became know for photos he took for Rolling Stone and Circus magazines.

Sandler spent most of his adult working life in entertainment, taking on various roles over the years such as film and video producer as well as tour management. He has worked with many top acts including Barbra Streisand, John Mellencamp, Billy Joel, Jewel, Van Halen and Stevie Nicks, among others.

Sandler had a reputation for being gracious and supportive of all he worked with.  “The good promoters loved him and the bad ones hated him,” said production manager and Parnelli board member Steve Gudis. “He was honest, and made his bands financially successful.  Organization was his strength.  He was also a kind man, and helped us with budgets for Farm Aid when I worked for John Mellencamp."

After semi-retiring in 2008, he spent his time traveling and capturing images in remote locations such as Australia, Ireland, Scotland, England and Iceland, and also many of the national parks in the U.S.

Harry Sandler’s works can be viewed at