Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Jerry Weintraub

I recently listened to the audiobook version of Jerry Weintraub's autobiographical "When I Stop Talking, You'll Know I'm Dead: Useful Stories From a Persuasive Man." It's read by the author so that makes it more entertaining. I'd heard about the book when Weintraub appeared as a guest on NPR's Wait Wait Don't Tell Me radio show.

The book is full of stories from his time managing or promoting many very famous celebrities, including: Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, John Denver, Armand Hammer, Bobby Fischer, Led Zeppelin, Moody Blues, Neil Diamond, The Carpenters, and more.

Weintraub went on to produce TV and movies, including the Ocean's 11 franchise (he even appears in those movies) and the Karate Kid franchise. He has been close friends with several US Presidents, including George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter.

I thought the book was very interesting and entertaining. I probably won't listen to it again and I plan to give it to a friend. On the negative side, I think it showcases the unbridled arrogance in Weintraub's personality. ABC has an excerpt posted here.

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