Full Circle Tangents: The Legend of Shep Gordon
I don’t typically stay home on a Friday night but after a long day of travel, more accurately a harrowing day of snowy mountain driving coupled with very little sleep, I was fully content to stay in for the night a catch a flick. A movie I’ve wanted to re-watch for some time: “Supermensch, The Legend of Shep Gordon”. Weird title, right? Here’s a trailer for the movie that was directed by Mike Myers or if you prefer books you can get his memoir on modern-day papyrus.
Shep has an amazing story and the list of bands and artists he’s managed during the Classic Rock era is truly incredible and includes: Alice Cooper, Janis Joplin, Teddy Pendergrass, and even Pink Floyd (for 8 days) among many others. He had zero managerial experience when he stumbled into LA and this is a “fake it til you make it” story and he made it. Public speaker Scott Stratten will say success is four-fold: Effort, Timing, Skill and Luck.
Shep had some amazing luck arriving at a Los Angeles hotel under unceremonious circumstances. For those interested in the movie, I won’t spoil the story but this quip encapsulates the tone of the early part of the movie and the riotous times that followed.
“Shep’s long, fruitful relationship was forged on lies: In their first meeting, Shep said he was a manager; Alice said he was a singer” as shared in this article from Oprah.
Tangent: Later in the movie the story transitions to life after Rock and Roll and the parade of celebrities Shep calls friends is as stunning as is his willingness to use his celebrity and influence to serve others in need. Shep calls his calling in of favors for others “Using Coupons” and he’s helped save a family by providing them housing and schooling and he founded the celebrity chef concept through his relationships and appreciation for chefs. Emeril Lagasse, Roger Verge….this list goes on. He even helped get Groucho Marx’s finances back in order.
I’m inspired to be successful for many reasons – many are self-serving but my past was deeply rooted in philanthropy and I’m driven to succeed because I want to change lives both through my work and through building a powerful network of visionaries and leaders so I have those same coupons to distribute. I love what Shep has done with his celebrity and if I ever get to this some (any) level of celebrity I’m certain to use my influence to help others.
Full Circle: From an outsider’s perspective Shep had and has it all. Fame, fortune, relationships with stars and a beachfront home on in Maui. What’s eluded him is the simplest of things: a child. Granted, no one that has children will say raising a child is simple and that’s not the point. We always want we don’t have and the grass (and Shep’s smoked a ton) is always greener on the other side. You’re lucky, you have a lot. If you’re reading this blog you have electricity (>1 Billion people don’t) and internet access (45% of the world doesn’t). We take these amenities for granted and and that is very normal. Your brain habituates to your world and doesn’t like to let you get complacent and so it drives you to seek new goals, tasks and accomplishments all to help you survive and, ahem, procreate. You can celebrate and appreciate what you have right now, here in the present, while still looking to for greener grass ahead. Let me show you and your audience or team how. It’s fun, it’s easy, it’s transformative! #pinkyswear
And give the movie a watch and share your thoughts!
Anthony Poponi is a comic, improv artist, brain chemistry nerd and community-minded advocate and owner of Humore.us. He’s brings his love of connection and laughter to audiences as keynote, emcee, workshop host or moderator and his mission is to increase laughter and connectivity to combat the human health crises of isolation and disconnection.