Mike Myers’ directorial debut aired on A&E, and tells the tale of Shep Gordon, a music manager mensch with an uber appetite for drugs and debauchery who helped blaze a trail for rocker Alice Cooper in the 70s. He was the the guy whose job it was to “make sure you got the money, and remembered never to forget to get the money”.
Their paths crossed in the 90s when Myers was shooting Wayne’s World and trying to get Cooper songs cleared for the movie. They became fast friends and what we’re left with is pure hagiography – a no warts portrait of an admittedly fun guy, Shep. And this about a man who became Teddy Pendergrass’ manager after a bet over who could ingest the most narcotics and still be left standing (especially tragic given what happened to the soul singer later).
Hollywood A-listers like Sly and Michael Douglas tell us what a nice man Gordon is and we find out he’s adopted four kids – but we don’t find out why he only survived being Pink Floyd’s manager for nine days (we can surmise it’s because Roger Waters is a colossal ass?) Poison’s Bret Michaels once said on CNN that the music business is the “sleaziest business in the world and…there are 50 ways to get screwed from just one incident”. It’s amazing then that Myers could not track down a single musician offering a contrarian stance. As the Telegraph put it, the film: “betrays no interest in what we actually want to know: where the bodies might be buried.”
Still, there’s no denying the incredible life he’s led and there are at times lively anecdotes about the origins of the plane engine trouble scene in Almost Famous, how Gordon co-adopted a cat with Cary Grant once shtuped Sharon Stone and hung out with the Hollywood Vampires, a hard-drinking barfly collective whose members included among others John Lennon, Keith Moon and Bernie Taupin.
*** (out of 5)