Through a series of lucky encounters Shep Gordon went from being a potential prison officer to band manager overnight. Through a chance meeting with Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, Shep was introduced to Alice Cooper and became their manager despite no experience in anything either business or music related. He even managed Pink Floyd for a mysterious nine days.
Thus begins the first of many fascinating stories in a look back at Shep’s life. Directed by Mike Myers and with interviews and soundbites from Alice Cooper, Michael Douglas, Sylvester Stallone and of course Shep himself.
Shep is frequently described as “one of the nicest human beings I have ever met” and by the end of the film you can’t help but agree. This is a man who genuinely seemed to care about the acts he managed, it wasn’t just about the money.
It would be easy to be cynical and roll your eyes at this suggestion but ,as is made abundantly clear in the documentary, Shep doesn’t really have any family, although he takes care of an ex-girlfriend’s grandchildren after their mother died. They see him as a father figure and he clearly loves them but he longs to marry and have a family of his own creating.
With two failed marriages Shep’s friends are his family and his friends are the acts he manages; so really the film is a total love fest. Mike Myers, a close friend of Shep does a good job of directing but I suspect that it’s this friendship that has meant certain aspects are glossed over. Let’s not forget this is a man who sported a “no head, no backstage pass” t-shirt. When he talks about Alice Cooper’s alcoholism it’s said more than an anecdote rather than someone concerned for his friends health.
Shep went on to manage soul sensation Teddy Pendergrass, Luther Vandross and Blondie and even dipped his toe into films as a producer on The Duellists and Kiss of the Spider Woman. Seriously, this guy’s done it all including becoming a friend of Dalai Lama.
Supermensch is a thoroughly entertaining documentary that will leave you shaking your head with sheer incredulity that one man could be so lucky and yet so unlucky in his love life.