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They Call Me Supermensch: A Backstage Pass to the Amazing Worlds of Film, Food, and Rock’n’Roll

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  680 ratings  ·  69 reviews

An eye-popping peek into entertainment industry from the magnetic force who has worked with an impeccable roster of stars throughout his storied career.

In the course of his legendary career as a manager, agent, and producer, Shep Gordon has worked with, and befriended, some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry, from Alice Cooper to Bette Davis, Raquel Welch t

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Kindle Edition, 299 pages
Published September 20th 2016 by Anthony Bourdain/Ecco (first published May 5th 2015)
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Average rating 4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  680 ratings  ·  69 reviews


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Start your review of They Call Me Supermensch: A Backstage Pass to the Amazing Worlds of Film, Food, and Rock’n’Roll
April Cote
Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An entertaining and fun read. Highly recommended for those who love to hear the juicy behind the scenes stories about the rich and famous.
Branden Morrell
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Keeping this one on my shelf as a reminder- you too can become a super-connected, wealthy beyond your means, Hollywood power agent if you trust in others and always honor the coupon system
Zak
Sep 14, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Anthony Bourdain, and anyone interested in how Hollywood and the music business works
In 1968, wiry-haired twenty-seven-year-old Shep Gordon, a Jewish kid from Long Island, arrived at a fleabag motel in Hollywood with a few bucks, his only ambition to sell pot and LSD. There he met Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, and Jimi Hendrix, who told Gordon he needed a legit cover if he was going to sling drugs, and introduced him to a young band in need of a manager: Alice Cooper.

They Call Me Supermensch is the entertaining true story of how “Little Shep from Oceanside” came to be one of the
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Todd Martin
Dec 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
I’ve never heard of Shep Gordon, but was a big Alice Cooper fan as a kid (in fact the first album by a single artist I ever bought was “Killer” … mainly because it had a picture of a snake on the cover). It turned out to be a good record and Alice Cooper remained one of my favorite bands until he lost me somewhere around “Welcome to My Nightmare”. Despite the fact that I’ve long since moved on musically, I still have a soft spot for Alice and his showmanship to this day.

With that as a background
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David
Apr 18, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
breezy, readable, gossipy story of his life as a manager of stars of music, film, and celebrity chefdom, starting with Alice Cooper.

He dates Sharon Stone, met Groucho Marx through Alice Cooper, helped Teddy Pendergrass make his comeback after accident, gets treated to dinner by Salvador Dali [who pays not with money but by signing his napkin], has a brick wall built at the concert venue each night to keep Luther Vandross from having to see or hear Anita Baker when they were touring together, and
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Tim Cerniglia
Oct 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Tim by: The Art of Charm (podcast)
Shelves: favorites
This man has an inspiring story drenched in Rock 'n' Roll connections. A Long Island native and a serial entrepreneur with a passion for food and service. Shep has shaped Rock and Roll culture, food culture and entertainment business. "Food isn’t just food, after all. Food is culture, food is art, food is recreation, food is a trophy in your house, food is a way to have a social life. Music is a luxury. Food is the core of life. It’s more than something you shove in your mouth three times a day. ...more
Brian
Dec 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An incredible life where chance encounters and a bold personality combine to make history. Shep Gordon is the most famous person you have never heard of unless you are a celebrity yourself.
Carl
Dec 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Mr. Gordon is an entertainment manager who got his start handling Alice Cooper, and is also known for representing famous chefs. In this auto-biography, he emphasizes his notion of treating people well, striving for win-win deals, and paying back kindness.

The book is very engaging and it was great fun to read. But I have one complaint, something that nagged at me about this book until I finally figured out exactly what it is.

Mr. Gordon, a lifelong cannabis user, talks quite nonchalantly about hi
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Melissa
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
There were moments that I wondered if Mr. Gordon was name-dropping, but when a person lives in the world of celebrity for decades, it would be difficult to write a memoir without doing so. It is, quite simply, his life. The book circles back, again and again, to gratitude. It's a wonderful thing to encounter from someone who has moved in these circles. And, as a result of this, Mr. Gordon and his longest-term client are now the list of Famous People I'd Like to Invite to a Cookout.
Cindy
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If I feel the need to roll my eyes once during a book, it automatically loses a star. The fun stories in this book, and Shep's ability to tell a good story, kept this book at 4 stars. The one time I rolled my eyes was when he claimed to have been the one with the idea to make chefs into celebrities. He seems to have forgotten Julia Child who became a celebrity by appearing on television, writing books, and being seen with other celebrities...all the formula that Shep claims to have invented. His ...more
Lisa
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
#8 of 120 books pledged to read during 2019.

I had seen the documentary on Shep Gordon which Mike Myers out together a couple of years ago, and was already familiar with him because of the 50 years he has managed Alice Cooper, in large part thanks to Bob Greene's excellent book "Billion Dollar Baby" published in 1974 which I've had for many years. Gordon branched out and started managing actors and was largely responsible for popularizing the idea of "celebrity chefs", starting with Emeril Lagas
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Sergio GRANDE
Oct 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Some biogs are page-turners; they read like a novel that you can't put down (to witness: Don Simpson's, Keith Richards', Hugh Masekela's, Neil French's, Steve Jobs' -who, incidentally, makes a serendipitous appearance in Mr. Gordon's honeymoon). This is one of those books.

Mr. Gordon's narrative is relaxed and unpretentious. You feel like you're having a conversation with a self-effacing, fun guy in his kitchen who lights up a joint and prepares a meal for you while you're waiting for the other g
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Andrew Christison
Sep 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
As I found myself telling my wife stories of celebrity encounters, marketing genius, and the creation of fame for so many from the book, by Shep, she called it "Celebrity gossip for men," and that sounds about right. Although most pieces of the book are covered extremely briefly, Shep does an incredible job of telling his life story through his unique perspective, making you wish that you could spend some time asking probing questions about nearly every one. From hanging with Janis Joplin and Ji ...more
Irene Mallory
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved it

Such a wonderful and insightful read. I'm so happy to have come across this book on amazon, because God knows how long it would've taken me to learn about this amazing guy Shep Gordon on my own and his huge impact on so many things that we now consider a given.
I started this one after reading the Slash's autobiography and, oh my, both are just great and, in my opinion, complement each other really well. Both give some great insight on the workings of the U.S. rock music industry in the
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Ember
Sep 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I hiiiiighly recommend this book. Shep Gordon delves into the incredible moments that have made his career and life that were featured in quick succession in Mike Myers's documentary about him ("Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon") with greater depth, and his signature humility. Anyone who aspires to be of any kind of service in this world would be hard pressed to keep from being inspired and in awe of Gordon and all he has accomplished, and the tales he has to tell are sure to make your jaw ...more
Susie
The guy has led an interesting life and he did reimagine the rock concert experience. It just wasn't all that introspective. I watched the documentary after reading the book and learned absolutely nothing new. It sounds like he is a nice guy, good and fair to do business with, probably has trouble maintaining relationships with women because his mother wasn't the kindest, and he has a lot of famous friends without him being particularly famous. He must be very generous, but I didn't find him all ...more
Ivan
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
FIRST LINE REVIEW: "One night in 1968 I was driving in Los Angeles, looking for a place to stay, after just quitting the job that had brought me from New York to California." And the journey that will bring him from unemployed loafer to creator of celebrities begins. What a great journey it is, too! Inspiring, educational and just plain fun! This is the guy who helped create Alice Cooper, who helped Groucho live his last year's happily, who relaunched Raquel Welch and who created what we now kno ...more
Cory Huff
Oct 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-goal
Very engrossing stories about a man whose personal life I would not emulate, but who is a brilliant business manager for musicians, chefs, and other creatives.

Enlightening look into how Alice Cooper, Luther Vandross, Emeril Lagasse, and many lesser known artists became superstars.

Talent alone does not create a career. Fame corrupts. Drugs kill people and ruin lives. Helping others brings good things for everyone involved.
Leigh
Jan 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
He's a man of his generation (read: a little bit of a pig) but there's something truly touching and endearing and wonderful about the way he approaches life. And yes, it's easy to be magnanimous when you're a millionaire, and yes, he name drops a lot, but my sense from the book is that his philosophy is genuine and allows him to be open to so much. I had seen the documentary and heard the interview with Marc Maron and still found a lot to appreciate about this book.
Pcoppersmith
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
This biography, by the manager of Alice Cooper, amongst other acts, was a delight to read. Shep has a positive philosophy that permeates throughout the book. His stories are amazing, bordering on ridiculous if it wasn't all true. Its also short, coming just under 300 pages with the words have large print. Reads like the author has met you in a bar, or on a an airplane and just tells you about his life.

Would recommend.
Andrew
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: funny
Most people have never heard of Shep Gordon. Shep has been a major figure for Alice Cooper, Emeril Lagasse, Terry Pendergrass, Ratan Tata and many other hollywood & famous chefs. This book gets into the details of being a manager and running a successful business partnerships. Shep treats his clients with humility and class. This book is excellent and Shep delivers with many interesting stories.
The book starts of slow and really picks up pace with the Pendergrass story.
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Barbara Wise
Dec 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I can honestly say I did not know who Shep Gordon was until I heard him promoting his book on the radio. I was instantly intrigued and immediately got his book. What a guy! His life is unbelievable! His was involved with so many careers, start-ups and success stories. He is now on my list of people I would love to chat with over dinner. A must read for uplifting inspiration.
Kate Woods Walker
Pretty standard showbiz memoir--I remember seeing the author during the initial book tour, talking on all the standard talk shows. So when a cut-rate ebook deal came along, I said "Why not?". It's a fine way to pass a rainy afternoon, but nothing to put on a must-read list. Nice cover. Not much in way of shocking revelations or titillating detail.
Marissa
Jan 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
I had no idea that Shep pretty much gave us the celebrity chef as we know it today. The Alice Cooper stories were a lot of fun, too (I somehow never knew that Alice Cooper was originally the whole band's name, but then they split and Vince became Alice in his solo career). He's led quite an interesting life, this guy.
Hijacking Of
Mar 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Somewhat self-serving. Gordon seems to like the personal pronoun "I"

He seems to believe that because he states an opinion, that simple statement validates the veracity of his words. Just because he says something does not make it true.

No doubt he is very good at creating value and promotion of ideas and concepts, but his Supermensch ego could stand to be trimmed a little

Bella Sarah
Sep 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had no idea who Shep Gordon was until I discovered him in an AoC podcast. I was fascinated by him and started looking around for all articles about him. He had some many changes...from rockers, to chefs and Dalai Lama. A lot to talk about :)
Troy
Nov 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book, it really is a book on how to be a mensch. The book is also spiritual and a life lesson. You learn what connection the Dali Lama, Alice Cooper, and Anne Murray. You would have to read the book to find out what that connection is.
Scott Wozniak
This is mostly a set of wild, raucous, sometimes vulgar stories of being an agent to superstars--beginning with Alice Cooper. It's interesting and disturbing, but not extremely so for either. It's not a teaching book, though.
BMR, LCSW
Nov 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book, quick read.

As a fan of many artists Shep worked with, it was so fascinating to see stories of how a career is built from the ground up (or was, since the entertainment businesses are so different now).

For showbiz fans only.
Andrew
Nov 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
He is a Mensch!

Loved the book. Smooth easy reading of a life well lived. And Gordon is a great story teller who has great stories to tell. I saw the Mike Myers documentary and hear Gordon on Marc Maron. Can' t get enough of this kind of stuff. Recommended.
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