Bob Rice, Founder and CEO of Four Bars Intertainment, passed away on June 7th, 2023. He was 79 years old.
Bob’s passion was music and marketing. He started working in the music business at age 15 as a concert promoter in Cleveland, Ohio, the birthplace of rock ‘n’roll, and at 16 he ran his own record label and publishing company. After ten years as a successful entrepreneur and with several hit records to his credit, Bob moved to California to join GRT Corporation as Vice President of Sales, Marketing, and Promotion. GRT owned 30 record labels and had equity in another 80 record labels. While at the company, Bob was awarded over 30 Gold and Platinum record awards, featuring artists such as Three Dog Night, Steppenwolf, and Tower of Power.
In the video games industry, Bob created and executive-produced the world’s first rock ‘n’ roll video game entitled Journey Escape (Data Age, 1982) for the Atari 2600 console that featured the then #1 rock group in the world, Journey.
After a 30-year run with GRT Corporation, Bob moved into the film industry to work with his late sister, Hollywood music contractor Patti Zimitti. Their clients included Danny Elfman, Elliott Goldenthal, and Michael Kamen.
In 1992, Bob founded Four Bars Intertainment which represented the award-winning A-list composers of music for video games. Among the composers he represented over the years were Inon Zur (Fallout), Tom Salta (Ghost Recon), Steve Ouimette (Guitar Hero), Cris Velasco (God of War), Sascha Dikiciyan (Borderlands), and Jack Wall (Mass Effect). Bob was known throughout the industry as a trailblazing agent for championing video game music as both a creative and commercial art form. His mantra was always to provide his game studio clients ‘Great music delivered on time and within budget.’
Tributes from his long-time clients and colleagues:
“Today I lost a great friend and mentor, and the world of music for media lost a remarkable giant. Bob Rice was a courageous visionary in the video games world and relentless power in the music industry who had the deepest understanding of what it means to be a composer, and what it takes to be a real human being. Bob never stopped hustling and never gave up hope. His life lessons were always priceless, and his teaching elevated whoever was open and ready to learn. It was enough just to hear his deep voice and you knew there was a real power behind you. Every conversation we had during these 25 years of friendship and partnership always turned into a mentoring session. And I was always thirsty to hear more, to learn more, to be worthy of his belief in me. The heartaches and the soul are crushed, but I DO know that his being will live with us forever. His legacy will never be forgotten. His huge belief and contribution to music for games was what built our current world. Bob WAS and always will be the very essence of music for games. He envisioned this world and made it real. We will always be in his debt. I love you my friend, may you rest in peace.”
– Inon Zur, Composer
“Bob Rice was such a powerful force in my life and career. He went well beyond the role of an agent. He was a dear friend, mentor, advisor, and one who gave me strength in the most challenging times of my career. I will deeply cherish the many years we shared together and the many pearls of wisdom he imparted to me.”
– Tom Salta, Composer / Producer
“Bob was one of a kind and the last of an era. Not only did he help launch my video game career, he also introduced me to many people in this business that have become great friends and partners over the years. He was personable, funny, witty, and always made you feel he was on your team. Because he was.“
– Steve Ouimette, Composer / Musician
“Bob was and always will be an absolute legend, a genius, a pioneer, a mentor, a master story-teller like no other, and best of all, a great friend who was always thoughtful, sincere, brave, passionate, creative, charming, and compassionate. There has never been anyone like him, and he made a deep impression on those lucky enough to meet and know him. We love you, Bob. You will live on and always be in our hearts, minds, and souls forever.”
– Tommy Tallarico, Composer and Founder of the Game Audio Network Guild & Creator of Video Games Live.
In 2013, Bob Rice retired and sold his company to the composer agency, COOL Music Group.
He is survived by his daughter, Lisa Rice.