According To Goldberg
The music business is full of rags to riches tales of rock ’n’ rollers, but it’s not as often that the Cinderella stories of industry executives are told.
“Bumping Into Geniuses: My Life Inside the Rock and Roll Business,” the memoir of industry vet Danny Goldberg, details the former record company exec / artist manager’s rise in the biz.
Goldberg, who got his start at an entry-level clerical position at Billboard in 1968 and handled publicity for Led Zeppelin, KISS, Stevie Nicks, Bonnie Raitt, Nirvana and Warren Zevon, eventually went on to serve as CEO of Artemis Records, Mercury Records and Warner Bros. Records.
Stories from the height of Led Zeppelin’s fame, a tense period in the band’s career when “violence was one bad mood away,” are documented, as is the feud between Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain and Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose.
“Rose had the kind of macho rock persona that Kurt detested,” Goldberg wrote.
Tales from KISS’s Gene Simmons, the recording of Zevon’s final album and the aftermath of Cobain’s suicide also get treatment.
As for the business side, “Bumping Into Geniuses” also recounts some of Goldberg’s shadier tactics for navigating the music industry, with reports of lying to the press and persuading a Billboard staffer to fudge the numbers on sales charts. He stresses that his artists were spared such shenanigans.
Goldberg owns Gold Village Entertainment, which manages Steve Earle, Tom Morello, Ben Lee and The Hives, among others.