Jac Holzman

Founder and CEO of Elektra Records 1952-1973.

Jac's post-Elektra life included, being appointed senior vice president and chief technologist for WCI in 1973. Holzman guided the company into home video and the first interactive cable television system, QUBE. Until 1982, he was a director of Pioneer Electronics Japan, helping that company and Warner adopt the compact disc and Laserdisc®. Holzman was a member of the board of Atari, one of the first video game companies, which was acquired by WCI in 1976.

In 1979 Holzman became the nexus between ex-Monkee Michael Nesmith and John Lack of Warner Cable. He persuaded Lack to meet with Nesmith, who had been nursing an idea for a program he called PopClips—later to morph into the sensation that became MTV. Holzman had been the first to produce a video and the first to introduce the Doors’ first album twelve years earlier (1967), and he thought that Nesmith’s notion of building a TV structure around that idea made real sense.

In 1982, following the death of Panavision’s founder and president Robert Gottschalk, Holzman took charge of Panavision, a wholly owned subsidiary of Warner Communications, and turned that financially troubled company around.

In 1986, he formed FirstMedia, a closely held investment firm specializing in communications. This led to the acquisition of Cinema Products Corporation, the largest non-camera maker of precision equipment for the motion picture industry, whose most famous and revolutionary product was the Oscar-winning Steadicam camera stabilization system.

In 1991, through FirstMedia, Holzman acquired the Discovery, Trend, and Musicraft jazz labels from the estate of Albert Marx and refashioned them into a fully contemporary label, Discovery Records, which was acquired by Warner Music Group in 1993.

In 2004, Edgar Bronfman, Jr. brought Holzman back to Warner Music Group, reuniting him with the company that he had helped to found with Ahmet Ertegun and Mo Ostin. His first project was the creation of an online label, Cordless Recordings, introduced in late 2005.

In 2008 Holzman received the NARAS Trustee Grammy for Lifetime Achievement.

In 2011 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, receiving the Ahmet Ertegun Award.

2013 found Holzman at the forefront yet again, producing a first-of-its-kind iPad app about The Doors for Rhino Records.

Holzman is the father of Adam Holzman, a jazz-rock keyboardist who played with Miles Davis; Jaclyn Easton, writer and internet entrepreneur; and Marin Sander-Holzman, editor and filmmaker.

Gavan Daws

Gavan and Jac have been friends for more than fifty years. Daws first heard of Elektra Records when he was hanging out in beatnik coffee houses, on the cusp of hippiedom. The mature and responsible Daws still has a shelf of vintage Elektra LPs in the living room of the home he shares with his wife in Honolulu. He has written fifteen books, published worldwide. His documentary films have won awards internationally. His other work includes song lyrics, an opera libretto, and a stage play with music and choreography.