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40 years ago, an NYC gunman had one request: ‘Desperado’

Forty years ago, on the morning of March 20, 1980, Morty Gilbert was sitting in his Midtown office at Elektra Asylum Records when a stranger arrived in his doorway. The man was wearing a down jacket and jeans. He carried a briefcase. “He looked very average,” Gilbert, the record company’s then-sales manager, recalled. “He seemed to be OK.” The man asked Gilbert if he could hear “Desperado” by The Eagles, one of the company’s artists, on the radio. Gilbert told him it wasn’t up to him. He’d have to call a radio station. “I didn’t really give it much thought,” Gilbert, now 88, said. “People did [show up at the office] occasionally in those days.” The man left Gilbert’s office, but his desire for a littl ...
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