Ariana & Larry Gates
Ariana & Larry Gates
Ariana Gates and her father, Larry. Photo courtesy of Ariana’s Facebook page.

Father, husband, friend and Hit Man bassist Larry Gates has passed away from cancer.  I met him one time, but it wasn’t face to face.  Doc Marcone and I were five minutes from the start of a radio show last March when our scheduled guest chose not to call in. (Note: This is the only time that has happened.  The guy never even apologized.  So in a passive aggressive manner, he doesn’t know he has been banned for life from our airwaves.  Yeah, we showed him.)

Marcone and I spoke of horrible options for about 10 seconds.  Then I looked to my right at our student co-host, Ariana.  “Hey!” I said.  “Your dad!  He’s in a band, right?  Can we get him on?”  

Ariana called him up on the spot.  (As a great dad, he was sitting by his radio, all ready to listen to his daughter co-host the on-air drama of music biz talk.)  She and Larry kibitzed for a few moments and I was handed the phone.  Larry said yes, of course.  With no research and our only safety net a 21-year old Pop Music student, we went on the air.  

Larry was featured in a video three years ago about his cancer and how an organization called RCCS helped cover the finances of his initial recovery.  Watch and learn a little bit more about Larry and RCCS.

You should click HERE on Larry’s website to learn all about the mark he left on the music industry.  

The connections we make with each other while we’re on this planet are amazing.  My greatest memory of Larry is the song below, which he produced and played on back in the 1980s, when I was younger than his daughter is today.  Who would have thought way back then that I would one day interview the man who helped create a commercial that I can still sing the words to more than 30 years later.  (I always knew that I’d teach his daughter.  I just did.)

Larry’s biggest triumph is still to come, and that’s the career of his daughter, Ariana.  She has the vocal talent, personality, and on stage confidence of someone who won’t stop until she has reached her full potential.  Please say a prayer for the Gates family and support Ariana as she moves forward with her own career and journey.


Professor David Philp is Assistant Professor Music Management & Popular Music Studies at William Paterson University. He is the co-host of the only FREE advice college radio-based music & entertainment industry talk show in America, Music Biz 101 & More, which airs live most Wednesday nights and is available as a podcast HERE every night (days too).  Reach him at or find him on LinkedIn HERE.

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