Michael Goldstein, 79, of SoHo Weekly News

Michael Goldstein. Illustration by Harry Pincus

BY LINCOLN ANDERSON | Michael Goldstein, a top music publicist who founded the SoHo Weekly News, died May 19 at his Broome St. home. He was 79.

According to The New York Times, his daughter Jocelyn Goldstein gave the cause as pancreatic cancer.

A Shaker Heights, Ohio, native, Goldstein moved to New York after college. He eventually started a P.R. business, representing top acts, notably Jimi Hendrix, Sly and the Family Stone, Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead.

Seeking a break from the rock-’n’-roll grind, he launched the SoHo Weekly News in 1973 as a challenge to the Village Voice. It soon grew to 100 pages, the Times obituary on Goldstein noted — yet, it folded in 1982. Goldstein later sold collections on the Home Shopping Network.

While still in art school, Harry Pincus started doing illustrations for Goldstein’s paper.

“Michael and his newspaper were crucial in creating an identity for what was then a dark and deserted corner of Manhattan,” Pincus said. “The Soho News defined and united this warren of raw spaces and urban pioneers.

“Now that this area has become a high-end shopping mall and a nest for real estate sharks, it’s important to remember that Soho was once ‘So What?’ and that artists and pioneers scratched out a creative community here.

“Michael hired some refugees from the East Village Other and built a beautiful garden on the roof of his building,” Pincus recalled. “A few years ago, the landlords destroyed the garden, and they may have destroyed Michael in the process.”

The Times noted that the rock star Lenny Kravitz used to live in Goldstein’s building, and the two became friends.

“Mr. Kravitz liked to hold his news media interviews on the roof sitting under Mr. Goldstein’s peach trees,” the paper noted.

“I asked him a few weeks ago if he was afraid of death,” Pincus said of Goldstein, “and he looked into my eyes and said, ‘I’ve never been afraid of anything.’”

Besides his daughter Jocelyn, the Times reported that Michael Goldstein is survived by his wife, Nancy (Arnold) Goldstein; two other daughters, Marissa and Gillian Goldstein; a granddaughter, Roxanne; and two brothers, Gerald and Dr. J. Richard Goldstein.

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