In his directorial debut, Mike Myers documents the astounding career of Hollywood insider, the loveable Shep Gordon, who fell into music management by chance after moving to LA straight out of college, and befriending Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix. Shep managed rock stars such as Pink Floyd, Luther Vandross, Teddy Pendergrass and Alice Cooper, and later went on to manage chefs such as Emeril Lagasse, ushering in the era of celebrity chefs on television. Stuffed with fantastic archive footage the film traces Shep's transformation from the 1970's hedonist to today's practicing Buddhist yearning for a family of his own. Written by
Intrimate and entertaining portrait of one of the 'good guys'
"Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon" (2014 release; 85 min.) is a documentary (written, produced and directed by Mike 'Austin Powers' Myers) about the life and times of Shep Gordon, one of the legendary managers in the entertainment industry. As the movie opens, and after some general introductory comments from people like Michael Douglas, Sylvester Stallone, Alice Cooper and others, Gordon tells in his own words how it all got started, back in 1968 when he really wanted to become a probation officers, and even took and passed the California Probation Officer exam. But when it became clear he didn't fit in with the others at the CA juvenile facility he was assigned to, he dropped out and drove to LA where he checked into the Hollywood Landmark Hotel, and promptly befriended Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. It was Hendrix who 'pushed' Gordon into managing ("You a Jewish boy?" "Yea" "You should become a manager." "Okay", ha!). Gordon's first important client was Alice Cooper, then still toiling into obscurity, but not for much longer. Gordon was 21 at the time, if you can believe it. To tell you more would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.
Couple of comments: first and foremost, even if Shep Gordon may not be known to you at all, you are in for a finger lickin' good time with this documentary. The man was arguably one of the most connected people in the Hollywood entertainment scene, and apparently one of the most respected and beloved. Besides managing many stars in the music and movie business, Gordon practically single-handedly started the 'celebrity chef' scene when he befriends French chef Roger Verge and later agrees to manage him and many other chefs. Second, given the 40+ year relationship and bond between Gordon and Alice Cooper, we get to see quite a bit of the Cooper saga with fascinating insights on how Cooper was able to break through, with the ideas from Gordon playing a crucial role (and hence it's a nice compliment/contrast to the recent "Super Duper Alice Cooper" documentary). Third, the documentary does not shy away from the personal side: while we see Gordon having relationships with Sharon Stone and other well-known women, in the end we see Gordon alone. Says his assistant: when he wakes up after the surgery and sees me beside the bed, it's clear that he wishes it was not me, his paid personal assistant, whom he'd be staring at", wow.
This is not a 'dirty laundry' type of documentary, so if you think you'll be hearing/seeing a lot of gossip on the artists managed by Gordon, you will be sorely disappointed. If on the other hand you are interested in getting a portrait on one of the most successful managers in the Hollywood entertainment business, then this is for you. I enjoyed this from start to finish. Quite a nice debut for first-time director Mike Myers. "Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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