Terry Tolkin was the Vice President of A&R at Elektra Records from 1992 to 1996. He signed a number of critically acclaimed alternative rock bands, including Luna, Stereolab, Afghan Whigs, Vaganza, Scrawl, Jennyanykind and Nada Surf. In addition to his work at Elektra, Terry ran the independent label No.6 Records, which released singles and albums by acts such as The Tindersticks, Charles Douglas, Unrest, Vegetarian Meat, Jule Brown and Dean Wareham. In the early 1980s he worked for Touch & Go Records where he signed the Butthole Surfers and the Virgin Prunes among other bands. Terry was also known for his work as a DJ and booker at popular New York clubs such as Danceteria, CBGBs, and Limelight. He also worked at the seminal 99 Records store in Greenwich Village, the birthplace of Liquid Liquid and ESG.
In 1979, while writing and charting records for the music industry publication Rockpool Newsletter, Terry coined the term "Alternative Music" to raise awareness of the US and UK post-punk groups he was reviewing. In 1988, Terry conceived and produced the alternative rock tribute album The Bridge: A Tribute To Neil Young," which featured many new and upcoming bands who would later achieve great commercial and critical success, such as the Pixies, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., The Flaming Lips, Soul Asylum, Nick Cave and Psychic TV. Over 80% percent of the profits from The Bridge went directly to The Bridge School, an organization for children suffering from Cerebral Palsy run by Neil Young and his wife Peggi. Young once said of the project, "I love it! We played it on the tour bus all year long!" while Rolling Stone called The Bridge "one of the best conceived and executed" tribute albums of all time. Terry Tolkin currently lives in New Orleans and is writing a book about his experiences in the music industry.