The Warmhearted Supermensch Explores How One Manager Made People Famous


Legend has it that after not cutting it as a probation officer, Shep Gordon dropped some acid and stumbled into Hollywood, whereupon Janis Joplin punched him in the face and Jimi Hendrix said to him, “Are you Jewish? You should be a manager,” and then Gordon showed them a drawer full of weed and then he was a manager.

Later, Gordon got a chicken killed by Alice Cooper in Toronto and put him in a python-intensive London stunt that one newscaster supposed might become “a landmark in the decline of the British Empire.” But don’t get the wrong idea. Gordon’s actually the nicest guy, says Mike Myers, who has framed a documentary around that premise with improbably absorbing results.

Playfully re-enacting some bits of the legend, Myers reveals the lasting effects of Gordon’s gift for making people famous — it was he who gave us the phenomenon of the celebrity chef. “I’ve met more famous people through Shep Gordon than through all my other friends combined,” says Sammy Hagar, in what seems like the definitive Supermensch sound bite.

But, as Gordon himself says, “Fame has no intrinsic value.” Consider that he also has been famously successful with the ladies — unless you count success as finding one to have a baby with, as he says he wants to do. The time Gordon woke up in the hospital, the holder of his hand was his personal assistant, who now tearfully recalls how sad that made her feel for him. Meanwhile, his romance with Sharon Stone didn’t last, but at least it led to him meeting the Dalai Lama.

Spry, if sprawling, Supermensch warmheartedly affirms the Gordonian style of karmic contemplation.