Synopses & Reviews
A giant of the music industry grants an all-access pass to the world of rock and roll, with mesmerizing stories of thirty-five years spent working with legends from Led Zeppelin, to Stevie Nicks, to Nirvana.
Danny Goldberg has been a hugely influential figure in the world of rock and roll. He did PR for Led Zeppelin; he managed the career of Nirvana; he ran Atlantic Records, Mercury Records, and Warner Bros. Records; he launched Stevie Nicksas solo career. In Bumping into Geniuses, Goldberg shares his stories about performers who represent a broad and powerful portion of the psychic real estate of the rock and roll kingdom: Patti Smith, Warren Zevon, Bruce Springsteen, KISS, Kurt Cobain and Nirvana, Hole, Stevie Nicks, Bonnie Raitt, Steve Earle, Led Zeppelin, and more.
But thereas more to this story than just Goldberg's varied career. Itas also a look at the industry itself: a business that was neither the romantic vehicle for self-expression that its most naive fans imagined, nor the purely crass money machine depicted by its most cynical critics. It was complex and chaoticaa mixture of art and commerce, idealism and selfishness and sometimes, rock as most gifted and influential musicians were able to transcend it all.
For anyone interested in the rock and roll industry, or simply the mores and temperaments of the musicians themselves, Bumping into Geniuses is an incredible insider's tale that only Goldberg could tell.
"The title comes from Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun's answer when asked how to make money with music: 'the way to get rich was to keep walking around until you bumped into a genius,' as Goldberg paraphrases. Inside the industry for almost four decades, Goldberg now looks back at those he bumped into during his rise from rock writer to public relations to personal management, plus heading three major record companies (Atlantic, Mercury, Warner Bros.). As he puts it, 'The idea of this book is to give some impressionistic views, through my eyes, and through the examples of a handful of artists, of the rock and roll business from 1969 through 2004.' He began at Billboard, where his 'rhapsodic review' of the Woodstock festival established him as a rock journalist, and his opening chapter covers Paul Williams (Crawdaddy), Gloria Stavers (16 Magazine) and other editors and critics of the 1960s. Doing PR for Led Zeppelin was his 'introduction to the adrenaline of a big-time rock tour,' and his backstage memories of those days are vivid and razor sharp, offering an intimate glimpse into PR strategies and tactics. The parade of personalities runs the gamut from Bonnie Raitt and Stevie Nicks to Kurt Cobain and Warren Zevon. Goldberg summons up some fascinating anecdotes as he writes about these performers with much honesty and compassion, bringing it all back home. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Goldberg shows us a sometimes dark business run by record executives, concert promoters, and artist management agencies that alternately stroke and squeeze musicians for a better return on their investments." Library Journal
"[A] surprisingly excellent book, an engaging, droll and...largely demystifying look at the evolution of the rock trade from Woodstock to grunge." New York Times
"Great behind-the-scenes stuff told literately and with a minimum of pretension, this is both entertaining and cautionary reading." Booklist
"A behemoth in the rock 'n' roll industry."
"Goldberg tells of his adventures in the music business with insight, humor and compassion."
-The Seattle Times
"An insightful behind-the-scenes view of the music industry from 1969 through 2004...Reading Bumping Into Geniuses is like having a laminated backstage pass to the music business, intertwined with a juicy slice of countercultural history."
-Paul Krassner, Los Angeles Times
"There's no doubt [Goldberg] loves the music business - lives, eats and breathes it. His new book Bumping Into Geniuses is one of the best on the subject."
-San Antonio Express-News
"Danny Goldberg chronicles the phases of his career - rock journalist, record- company president, manager to musicians ranging from Kurt Cobain to Warren Zevon - with the sort of candor few record-biz execs would attempt....Admirably blunt, but also spiked with tart humor."
"[A] surprisingly excellent book, an engaging, droll and - incandescent artistes to the contrary - largely demystifying look at the evolution of the rock trade from Woodstock to grunge...There is an elegiac quality to Bumping Into Geniuses." -The New York Times Book Review
"Bumping Into Geniuses is such an important text for 2008...Goldberg's book presents a time when popular music really mattered, when the authentic fed the commercial and the commercial widened the scope of the authentic."
-Milwaukee Express News
"Goldberg summons up some fascinating anecdotes as he writes about these performers with much honesty and compassion, bringing it all back home."
"A good taste of life in the music biz...It's not only the tales themselves that make Bumping Into Geniuses a great read; it's how Goldberg tells the stories. You really get the feeling that he loved every moment. He appears to have learned as much from his minor setbacks as he did from his major successes."
-The Jewish Journal
"For readers wanting a look behind the curtain, Goldberg offers valuable personal experience that only the music industry's elite are equipped to share."
-The Hartford Courant
"For anyone interested in the rock and roll industry, or simply the mores and temperaments of the musicians themselves, Bumping into Geniuses is an incredible insider's tale."
"Goldberg is an industry icon... In Bumping Into Geniuses, [he] explains how the essence of music changed from being about the artistry to being about the business, but he also shares -- to the best of his recollections -- insider stories about Jimmy Page's drug haze, the irritation of the Eagles' management when the band received bad reviews and how Stevie Nicks came up with the name for her hit "Edge of Seventeen." ...Goldberg's affection for music, as a fan, is also always palpable."
-Richmond Times Dispatch
"Early in Bumping into Geniuses, a young Danny Goldberg disqualifies himself as a music journalist on the grounds that he loves rock n roll far too much to be anything like objective. That was probably true then and it's probably true now...but that doesn't mean that he can't write. This book renews my faith in the music, confirms my suspicion of the business, and answers a lot questions that I've always meant to ask Danny myself."
"Since I first met Danny Goldberg in 1970, he has had an honest relationship with the music business. He believes in the transcendent beauty and power of rock and roll and at the same time has a unique perspective on the business which has presented and preserved it. Danny writes about rock and roll with his characteristic mix of intelligence, reverence and humor."
"In chronicling his remarkable rise from rock writer to record-company chief, working with acts ranging from Led Zeppelin to Nirvana, Danny Goldberg demonstrates that there's more to the music business than just business."
-Kurt Loder, MTV
A giant of the music industry grants an all-access pass to the world of rock and roll, with mesmerizing stories of thirty0five years spent working with legends
Danny Goldberg has been a hugely influential figure in the world of rock and roll. He did PR for Led Zeppelin; he managed the career of Nirvana; he ran Atlantic, Mercury, and Warner Brothers; he launched Stevie Nick?s solo career. In Bumping into Geniuses, Goldberg grants an all-access pass to the world of rock and roll, with mesmerizing stories of forty years spent working with legends, including Patti Smith, Warren Zevon, Bruce Springsteen, Kiss, Kurt Cobain and Nirvana, Hole, Stevie Nicks, Bonnie Raitt, the Eagles, Susan Blond, Michael Des Barres, Steve Earle, Led Zeppelin, and more.
But there?s more to this story than just Goldberg?s varied career. It?s also a look at the industry itself: a business that was complex and chaotic ? a mixture of art and commerce, idealism and selfishness ? and sometimes, rock?s most gifted and influential musicians were able to transcend it all.
About the Author
Danny Goldberg is president of Gold Village Entertainment. He has worked in the music industry since 1969, including his years as chairman and CEO of Warner Bros. Records and Mercury Records.