June 20, 2014 at 1:00 am

Tom Long

Review: 'Legend of Shep Gordon' tribute to a man who made many rich

Shep Gordon in 'Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon.' (A&E)

“Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon” is essentially a grandiose version of the sort of video tribute a very popular person might receive on a special birthday.

What we have here is a large and diverse group of wealthy and famous people praising the wealthy, if somewhat less famous, person who made many of them rich.

That would be Shep Gordon, the longtime entertainment manager who, according to Michael Douglas, Alice Cooper, Emeril Lagasse, Sylvester Stallone, Willie Nelson, Mick Fleetwood and many others (including, obviously, director Mike Myers), is the swellest guy on Earth.

OK, maybe he did do a lot of drugs and act sexist back in the day — but that was the ’70s! And maybe he has had an inordinate number of female companions (Sharon Stone!). But hey, who wouldn’t, given the opportunities?

The beginnings of Gordon’s story are colorful. He was a discouraged would-be social worker in the late ’60s who checked into a L.A. motel where he met Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. They suggested he become a band manager and pointed him toward a scraggly group and guy named Alice Cooper.

Here Gordon’s genius became evident. He brought the band to Detroit to build a following, nurtured its ever-more-outrageous ways and the rest is legend. Then Gordon began taking on other, often unlikely clients, such as Canadian singer Anne Murray.

He gets interested in cooking, meets some chefs and essentially begins the cult of celebrity chefs. Then he moves on to the Dalai Lama. It’s that kind of life.

Gordon even does charitable work. Sure, he seems a bit lonely at times, but he seems to find solace in his Hawaiian paradise.

All of which is nice, but it may leave you asking: Why did I just watch that old guy’s birthday tape?

'Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon'


Rated R for language, some sexual references, nudity and drug use

Running time: 85 minutes


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