Niagara Gazette

Columns

July 14, 2013

SINGER: Managing the stars of summer

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — This success brought others like Led Zeppelin to Weintraub, and as much as the rest in his stable, their agent knew exactly how to handle the band’s imperious, sometimes neurotic demands. When Zeppelin whined before one gig for a louder sound system, Weintraub obligingly brought in a ton of black-painted boxes, and Zeppelin rocked the roof that night, unaware that these amplifiers weren’t real! When Denver complained that much was wrong on tour, including hotels, Weintraub eased out a man named Ferguson in his entourage. Except there was no Ferguson! And when Sinatra got down about the repetitiveness of his life, Weintraub immediately hyped Madison Square Garden–getting a “so what?” response to a place the crooner already knew. To which Weintraub quickly added the idea of having his celebrated client enter like Stallone and do his concert in a boxing ring, introduced by Howard Cosell; and while Frank’s funk dissipated, Weintraub worried himself sick about the planning. Of course it all went well–right down to the New York pizzas brought to Sinatra’s plane for a return trip out West.

This book doesn’t really lose steam toward the end, but I suppose you could say that virtue loses some of her proverbial loveliness. Weintraub dumps Jane Morgan, becomes very LA and into movie production, and please, give me a break with his role in spawning films like a new “Ocean’s Eleven.” Of course this is today’s Hollywood, which I sometimes wish would relocate to Niagara Falls (or Schenectady), where there are real stories and maybe movie-makers wouldn’t be quite so spoiled.

How nice that Weintraub became, as he says, a father figure to Matt Damon and Brad Pitt. And that he downed a great amount of vodka on a private jet to Europe. And that he’s been feted at Cannes for his production role in the recent movie on Liberace.

All in all, however, a very interesting account on Elvis, Frank, Denver, and not least, this manager of the stars.

B. B. Singer has taught at several colleges in the area, including Niagara University.

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