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

In 1968, wiry-haired 27-year-old Shep Gordon, a Jewish kid from Long Island, arrived at a fleabag motel in Hollywood with just 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, before introducing him to a young band in need of a manager: Alice Cooper.

They Call Me Supermensch is the entertaining tale of how "Little Shep from Oceanside" came to be one of the biggest behind-the-scenes names in Hollywood, managing the careers of Alice Cooper, Luther Vandross, Raquel Welch, Teddy Pendergrass, the Gypsy Kings and Emeril Lagasse, among others. The memoir, written in a soft-hearted, self-effacing style, tells story after story of Gordon's dealings with celebrities who've made history, often to reveal that the mastermind behind their most defining moments was Shep himself. The chicken that Alice Cooper supposedly killed onstage, cementing his shock-rocker persona? That was Shep's doing. The celebrity chef phenomenon? Also Shep. Along the way are run-ins with Groucho Marx, Salvador Dalí and the Dalai Lama.

Gordon's memoir, published by Anthony Bourdain's imprint, is a close companion to Mike Myers's 2014 documentary, Supermensch. And while the memoir reveals more of the author's thoughts and context, Gordon's winsome persona is at times undercut by boastfulness and his own admitted difficulty with emotional engagement--but hey, it's his memoir, he did do all those things, and damned if he isn't a true mensch! --Zak Nelson, writer and bookseller

Powered by: Xtenit