“Supermensch” Shep Gordon on Creating the “Celebrity Chef”

“Supermensch” Shep Gordon on Creating the “Celebrity Chef”

Shep Gordon is the visionary Hollywood manager, agent and producer responsible for building some of the biggest careers in entertainment, and has been named one of the “100 most influential people” by Rolling Stone magazine. The subject of the acclaimed Mike Myers-produced documentary Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon, Shep came to Los Angeles in 1968 and landed in the heart of rock and roll, instantly (and by sheer coincidence) falling in with Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and, a short time later, Alice Cooper, whom he continues to manage today. (more…)

Observations from the set of “The Voice”

the-voice-setUnless you’ve been living under a rock for the past several years (or just don’t watch network TV), you’ve probably heard about or watched the wildly popular TV show, “The Voice” on NBC; where aspiring singers compete for a recording contract with the help of four successful artists as coaches. Having been an A&R exec at EMI Music in my past, my role was to scout, sign and develop artists for the label — so I’m intimately familiar with the process that these aspiring artists are going through in an attempt to become a star in the music industry For awhile, we had “American Idol” and “The Voice” on air at the same time — but since Idol wound down, “The Voice” has reigned supreme in this category. The current celeb coaches are Blake Shelton, Alicia Keys, Gwen Stefani and Adam Levine.

Recently I was invited to take a tour of the set and watch a taping of the show as a member of the studio audience. I’ll admit right upfront that I’m a bit jaded as I’m in the industry, and it wasn’t my first taping of a show; whereas nearly everyone else participating was a tourist where this was a first time event and a really big deal for them.

Having been a talent producer as well for decades, honestly I couldn’t stop myself from wearing my ‘behind the scenes’ glasses. (more…)

Ken Kragen, Legendary Organizer of “We Are the World” with Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie

Ken Kragen, Legendary Organizer of “We Are the World” with Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie

Ken Kragen Shares His Best Tips on Career and Cause Marketing

A graduate of Harvard Business School Ken Kragen’s illustrious career transcends the music and entertainment industries where he has spent many successful years and managed some of the world’s most important entertainers, including Kenny Rogers, Lionel Richie, Trisha Yearwood, Olivia Newton John, The Bee Gees, Burt Reynolds, The Smothers Brothers and many others. (more…)

Get Out of Your Own Way — Allow Things to Flow Easier

letting-go-balloonsHave you ever noticed how we can make things more difficult than they need to be? Either by overthinking something, making it more complicated than it needs to be, getting worked up in a way that doesn’t serve us, or otherwise being fixed on things having to be a certain way in our lives? That’s how we sabotage the good things that want to come our way. We can actually stop our good from getting to us because we don’t allow it in when it shows up on our front doorstep! Conversely, when we take time to ‘pause’ and reflect on a situation (and what we most want to have happen), when we trust our hearts over our heads to make the choice that will serve us best, and trust that the Universe is doing its best to deliver us what we say we want — things can flow to us more readily and with much less struggle and strife. (more…)

Slow Down to Speed Up

450px-slow_down_sign_reed_college_portland_oregon_2013Many of us move, work and live at breakneck speeds, often to our detriment. We create or participate in accidents, we make mistakes, we create stress in ourselves and others, we create tension and illness in our bodies, and we simply don’t do our best work in that state. It’s true that my favorite business magazine ironically is “Fast Company”, but I’m also a fan of the Slow Food movement which started over 30 years ago now.

The truth is we do have enough time and we can get everything done (more…)

The Power of Collaboration

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

One of my mentors, Alan Weiss, is about to come out with a terrific new book called “Lifestorming” co-authored with Marshall Goldsmith who is himself one of the most sought after executive coaches on the planet. This veteran author duo have collectively published nearly 100 books on human behavior. Neither needs the other, but they opted to come together to create something of value to their shared audience. This collaboration between two very successful juggernauts in the business world should produce a pretty powerful result given what each of them has achieved on his own. We’ll find out when the book comes out on May 1st!

I’ve always been a big believer in the power of collaboration — to harness and leverage the gifts of two (or more) talented individuals to create an outcome that’s even more valuable and impactful than if each was crafting something on their own.

John Lennon and Paul McCartney are another great example of this; there would have been no Beatles (or arguably they wouldn’t have been nearly as successful) if those two hadn’t come together — pun intended. (more…)

Embracing Serendipity: Seizing Opportunities as they Arise

forest-path-238887_960_720Have you ever stopped to notice how things are always working in our favor? It may be time to start doing so. A chance encounter turns into the creation of a new friend or collaborator, a flight delay turns into creating a client, and a flash of intuition can even save our life by avoiding an accident or some other mishap. Maybe you’ve experienced some of this for yourself, and almost certainly you’ve heard of others who have.

In my own case, a dramatic example is that I avoided getting on Flight 93 on 9-11 (the one that crashed over PA) simply because I had a very strong intuition that led me to abort my trip to NYC to participate in producing a big Michael Jackson event — and I’d been booked on that flight to return home afterwards. (more…)

Honoring the 48-year “Marriage” of Shep Gordon and Alice Cooper

pollstar-live-17-keynote-image-with-captionEarlier this month the annual Pollstar Live event took place in LA; if you’re not familiar with it, this is the largest gathering of concert industry professionals in the world. It’s a chance for colleagues to come together and exchange best practices, get current on the latest goings-on and network with each other. I’ve been co-producing the annual Awards Show that caps it off for over 15 years. The Keynote at Pollstar Live is typically one of the highlights of the whole event and this year was no exception. It was Shep Gordon (aka “SuperMensch”) and his longest client, Alice Cooper, coming together to share stories about their 48 years of working together.  (more…)

Talking with Uber Drivers

driver-and-dashboardYou know how when we used to take cabs and you’d never make eye contact with the driver let alone have a conversation with them. I’m not sure what’s changed in the transition to Uber, but I’ve noticed that in virtually every ride I’ve taken via Uber, I find myself having fascinating conversations with the drivers. Maybe it’s just me, but the ones I’ve had rides with inevitably have surprisingly interesting stories and backgrounds. It’s easy enough to hide behind your smartphone and detach, but I’ve come to enjoy engaging with my driver more often than not.  (more…)

Add Accountability to Adopt New (Improved!) Habits

habitsThis is a time of year when many decide to shift habits with the best of intentions, but unfortunately good intentions alone won’t do the job. Ingrained habits need more than a nudge to bust through in favor of replacing them with those that will support us with where we want to go. One powerful tool that will help you go the distance is accountability. The acronym SMART comes to mind — Specific, Measurable, Action, Relevant, and Time-based; and all that is true. A way to manage all of that is by creating a simple accountability matrix that you review and track daily; it only takes a few minutes. (more…)

A Conversation with Beth Harrington, Producer, Director, Writer

beth-harringtonI met Beth Harrington at the Portland Creative conference last year where we were both honored to be speakers, and we clicked immediately. I knew she would make a great guest for my podcast, and last week I had the pleasure of interviewing her on All Access Radio.

Beth is an independent producer, director, writer, singer, and guitarist. Her love for American history, music and culture has led to a series of award-winning and critically acclaimed films including her most recent film, The Winding Stream, The Carters, The Cashes and the Course of Country Music. (more…)

Beth Harrington, Independent Producer, Director and Writer


Beth Harrington is an independent producer, director and writer, whose fervor for American history, music and culture has led to a series of award-winning and critically acclaimed films. Beth’s most recent works, The Winding Stream – The Carters, The Cashes and The Course of Country Music and the Grammy-nominated Welcome to the Club – The Women of Rockabilly, reflect her long-standing love of music. (more…)

Resolutions — Time for a Different Approach?

new-year_resolutions_listEach year at this time many of us sit down to make a list of resolutions for the new year. And then that list gets filed somewhere, not to be re-visited, and we go about our lives throughout the year mostly status quo. By February the gym returns to its normal flow of truly committed fitness mavens vs those who are merely well intentioned. The thing is, resolutions require new habits to be adopted; taken on with commitment and consistency. And that takes a little rigor and grit, especially during the first 30 days — after which science shows the new habit has taken hold. So this year, what can you do to ensure that by the end of the year your intentions are in alignment with your results? (more…)

Wrapping up the Year

tieing-ribbon-boxEach year about this time, as we wind down the year and get ready for the next one, many start to think in terms of goals and resolutions for the New Year. What you’d like to have happen next year that didn’t happen this year. And that’s fine, but I’d like to offer a few thoughts to consider. (more…)