Longtime agent/manager Gordon, whose clients and confidants have ranged from Teddy Pendergrass to Roger Vergé, tells all.
It’s not all golf and heart attacks in the glitzy world of showbiz, to say nothing of sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll, though all those things certainly figure in close proximity in Gordon’s memoir. Tellingly, the story begins with sex and drugs all rolled up in a singular person, when the naïve kid arrives in Hollywood from New York and, having dropped acid, busts up what he thinks is a rape only to be told not at all gently by Janis Joplin that the rough and tumble out by the pool is deliberate. Enter Jimi Hendrix and Bobby Neuwirth and Frank Zappa and a succession of Los Angeles machers who take a shine to the kid and point him toward the lucrative world of artist management. The sentimental education came with plenty of raps on the knuckles, as when Gordon briefly managed an up-and-coming English band called Pink Floyd only to lose the quartet over an unpaid gig, at which Jerry Wexler schooled him: “The three most important things a manager does are, number one, get the money. Number two, always remember to get the money. Number three, never forget to always remember to get the money.” Money is a theme and a minor obsession here, but some sunlight creeps through that wall of green: Don Ho turns out to be a nice guy, Alice Cooper and Groucho Marx unlikely bedfellows, Timothy Leary may not be the fellow you’d want to leave alone with your food but a mensch. For his part, Gordon, who certainly has tales to tell, comes off as a blowhard on one page and a meditative beachcomber on the next even as his indifferently written narrative careens between dressing rooms and green rooms, rockers and foodies.
On the B-list, as showbiz memoirs go, but entertaining enough.