Mike Myers' 'Supermensch' Is Full Of Crazy Rock-And-Roll Stories
Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon already speaks volumes in just its title alone of how director Mike Myers feels about this A-list talent manager. This documentary is a love song to the affable Shep Gordon, who has some wild rock-and-roll stories from the '60s and '70s under his belt.
Myers met Gordon on the set of Wayne's World in the '90s when Gordon was repping Alice Cooper. In an interview in Supermensch, Myers confessed that during a dark time in his life, Gordon compassionately took him under his wings for two months and let him stay with him in his home in Maui, Hawaii.
So, we can see one of the reasons why Myers decided to direct his first film about the 68-year-old Gordon. But beyond that, Gordon is a fascinating person with an unorthodox way of doing business. In his youth, he hoped to change the world and became a parole officer before ditching that idea. A fateful night at a Hollywood hotel in the late 60's led him to have a chance meeting with Janis Joplin and later Jimi Hendrix, who would ultimately direct Gordon to his future career. Hendrix asked Gordon, "Are you Jewish? You should be a manager."
His stories are the stuff dreams are made of, almost too good to be true, but are true. And with a gift of gab, Gordon also tells the real anecdotes behind Alice Cooper's infamous concert where the media reported that he bit the head off of a chicken to what inspired a scene out of Cameron Crowe's Almost Famous. Oh, and he also shared a cat with Cary Grant. His time during those groovy years were full of drugs, sex and rock-and-roll—and it feels that he's not holding back with the juicy details. It's as if Gordon is sitting in a room with you just chatting up on old stories.
The documentary uses a mash-up of interviews with Gordon and celebs, and retro film footage and photos. It seems like Myers has an eye for that time period beyond Austin Powers. A couple of reenactments of Gordon's stories teeter on the cheesy side and at times the jump-cuts are frenetic, but Myer's storytelling is effective in capturing the essence of the '60s and '70s.
Myers' film includes a bevy of celebrity interviews—from Sylvester Stallone to Michael Douglas and Tom Arnold—with effusive praise about how much of a mensch Gordon is. The documentary portrays him as a modest and generous man, always willing to help a friend (but never afraid to name-drop).
However, what is missing from Gordon's life seems to be his dream of raising a family of his own. The film zooms forward to the more recent years in his life—how he's found love in cooking and the Dalai Lama is one of his closest buddies. Douglas pokes fun at Gordon's playboy lifestyle and the talent manager himself also talks about his conquests (a little too much) throughout the documentary. Even though he hasn't found the right woman, it seems like his friends want more than nothing for him to find someone to settle down with—and talk him up like a dating ad.
But, we can't help but feel for Gordon because he does genuinely seem like a really caring person—he's likeable, plain and simple. It's a film full of behind-the-scene stories behind the crazy rock biz, and an infectious message about kindness and paying it forward.
Here is an exclusive clip from the film of Gordon talking about when he met Janis Joplin at a motel in Los Angeles:
"Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon" is in theaters and will be playing at the Landmark in West L.A.