Ep069: Shep Gordon

Today on the Listing Agent Lifestyle podcast I've got a special treat for you.

I recently saw a Facebook memory of something that happened about two years ago. It was a trip to Maui when I was invited to come to a dinner at Shep Gordon's house.

Now Shep, for those who don't know, is the gentleman who's the subject of the movie 'Supermensch, the Legend of Shep Gordon' that was produced by Mike Myers.

This guy has had an incredible career. If you know who he is, you're going to be delighted to hear this. If you've never heard of him, just know that he is one of the most fascinating people in the world, and he has such an amazing sense of relationship's. He's been Alice Cooper's manager for 45 years now, maybe closing in on 50 years, and they've been together on a handshake deal, and it reminded me that everything we do as real estate agents is about building relationships with people, with our clients.

Going to his home on Maui, getting to spend time to get to know him was really one of the highlight in all the things I've been able to do, and this episode that we recorded for I Love Marketing was a chance to have a great conversation with him and talk about some of the marketing ideas behind the things he's been able to do.

You're going to enjoy really this episode. I can't wait for you to hear it.

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Transcript: Listing Agent Lifestyle Ep069

Dean: Hey everybody, it's Dean Jackson.

Joe: And Joe Polish, and we've got a very awesome special guest today.

Dean: I'm very excited because this is one of those times where we have a wonderful conversation ahead of us, and I want to kind of set the stage here of who our guest is. If you've been paying attention in the last couple of years, you've heard a lot about this gentleman. We have Shep Gordon with us, who's the subject of the Mike Myers documentary, The Legend of Shep Gordon, Supermensch. And very exciting today. So, you may have heard of some of the accomplishments of Shep Gordon, or some of the things that he's been responsible for. And starting out with the serendipity of moving to Los Angeles in 1969, and just serendipitously rolling into the Hollywood Landmark Hotel where it was just action central for all of the music scene that was going on there.

So, his career as a manager has really taken him to some incredible places. He's managed people starting out with Alice Cooper, been Alice Cooper's only manager for his entire career, so we'll talk a lot about that. But over that career he's managed incredible people like Groucho Marx, Raquelle Welch. At one point having the trifecta of Luther Vandross, Rick James, and Teddy Pendergrass, which I want to talk a lot about some of this, the marketing things that Shep was able to do with those. The seemingly opposite, polar opposites of Anne Murray and Blondie.

And created the concept, and almost all of the celebrity chefs. Any of the chefs that you can name are because Shep Gordon had created the idea of this celebrity chef, and we're gonna have a lot of stories to talk about that. But Emeril, and Nobu, and Wolfgang Puck, and Mark Tarbell, and Daniel Boulud, who in Toronto, where I live, is the executive chef at the flagship Four Seasons in Toronto. So he's had an incredible career. He's had an incredible life of amazing experiences and it's been a journey. And I was really had the pleasure of being a guest at Shep's home in Maui just about a month ago for a small dinner, and it was just an amazing experience, so I'm excited to get the chance to spend some time today talking about all of the experiences that Shep has had. So, Shep, welcome, we're very excited to have you with us.

Shep: Nice to be on the phone with you, and nice to still be in Maui.

Dean: When I was at Shep's house I was at the beginnings of this terrible cold with the cough and all of that. And Shep has been suffering with that right now, so I'm hoping that it wasn't my fault.

Joe: But, I mean I think we should blame it on you anyway because it just sounds more amusing. So Shep, now this is my first introduction to you. I mean I've known of you since I watched the movie, and there's so many great lessons in the movie that Mike Myers put together, and I've actually bought copies for all my Genius Network members when it first came out in 2013. That's what people know you of, and you wrote a great book, which we're going to recommend that people listen to this episode and the conversation we have, and then go and watch the movie Supermensch if you've not seen it, and read Shep's book which both Dean and I have read cover to cover, it's called They Call Me Supermensch, A Backstage Pass to the Amazing World of Film, Food, and Rock and Roll. And then come back and listen to this again 'cause I think it'll give you a whole nother perspective in.

Here you are a person who was really kind of the backstage person for so many of these people and now you've been thrust into your own world of fame. And what I wanted to kind of ask you from the beginning, even in the trailer of Supermensch there's a line where you say, "There's nothing about fame that I've ever seen that's healthy. The ones that rose to the top got hurt the worst." And here you are now having become, I guess famous. I mean what are your perspectives and thoughts about even that line?

Shep: I guess I changed my mind.

Joe: Yeah because that always struck me.

Shep: I think the kind of fame that I was really referring to there, and in a movie you get part of a conversation. The fame that I was talking about is the fame that coincides with thousands, and thousands, and thousands of people telling you how great you are. What you are doing is the greatest, you are the greatest. Whether it's 30,000 people in a stadium, whether it's 500 people in a club. That kind of fame is very hard to achieve, and it's usually achieved by personality traits of people who need to get that acclaim. The path to that moment is rejection, hundreds and thousands of times being rejected, until you get to that place of adoration.

And for the most part, to fight through to get to that place, most of the artists that I have met that get to that place have the same self worth issues that everybody else has. Except that they seem to think that that kind of adoration will cure the self-worth issues, and they don't. And that's why you see so many drug overdoses. You know, Hendrix and all them died at 26. Jim Morrison. You get what you want and you're still empty.

Dean: And then you realize you're trapped by it probably, that they can't un-ring that bell.

Shep: And you know during my era when I was actually doing it. When I was doing it there was no safety net. There wasn't a Betty Ford Clinic. Nobody really knew about that stuff. Nobody knew that anything had consequences. So, whereas nowadays you see artists getting help really fast. We all read about it in the press, you see someone go off the wires and the next thing you know they're in rehab. Those days it was self-medication, and the holes were so deep. So, that was really what I was referring to. Through my own eyes seeing it, my fame is very, very, very, very limited.

But even in my small little touch of it, I can see the kind of things that I didn't really think about before can really affect people in a negative way very seriously, you have to really have your shit together. An example of that is when my film played the festival circuit. And I've lived my whole life in anonymity, so my life has a certain rhythm to it. Part of that rhythm is that I love walking and thinking, that's one of my joys in life. I love walking, and I love while I'm walking to think about things. Sometimes they're big, sometimes they're small, sometimes it's what I'm going to have for dinner. Sometimes it's but something. And I'm not really interrupted. That's sort of been my life for 70 years.

But two years ago, I had the movie playing at the Tribeca Film Festival, and Michael Douglas was interviewing me and I didn't want to be late. And I was walking down the street, I was maybe still 12 blocks away. And I was walking and thinking in my head about what the next day, what am I going to talk about tonight, thankful that Mikey's just a lot of thoughts were going through my head, and that's my rhythm. And I could hear in the distance, "Mr. Gordon. Mr. Gordon." And I sort of stopped, I turned around. There was a middle aged woman there who said that she worked at CNN, they had screened my movie the day before, and would I give her some advice. She had a childhood that was rough for her to overcome and she wanted to be a producer. And I had to stop her. My natural inclination is, how great someone came to me for help, I can actually help someone. But I couldn't talk to her, I had to get to this event.

So I said, "I'm really sorry, here's my card. I'm going to be on the road." But I'm like the rest of the 12 blocks I started thinking about Michael's life, or Alice's life. I'd realized that I had spent my entire career either hiring someone to put an arm between that person and me, in this case let's say a Michael Douglas, or I was the one with the arm up whisking him through a crowd. And so when I got on stage I said to Michael, before you start asking me questions, how do you deal with it I said here's what happened to me today. I said, and I know I've walked with you through Central Park so many times when I became sort of the buffer, so like how do you deal if you're going somewhere and there's a guy in a wheelchair, or a guy on crutches, or a young girl? A sympathetic character, do you naturally try to get your attention and you know that 30 seconds can be a life changer for them.

Even though you know they might want to say I met your father 30 years ago. Or do you remember I was at the golf club 25 years ago. Something that's insignificant in your life, but it's monumental in theirs. How do you deal with that? How do you deal with not being able to help the guy in the wheelchair that you're walking past? Where does that come out to you as a human? And he said he's become sort of numb. He's figured out a way to sort of numb himself, but in the beginning he didn't notice it. When he noticed it, it really bothered him. He tried to take a different way, told his handlers please let these people talk to me. And then he realized he couldn't because it was endless, that he'd never show up for anything on time.

So, I think there are a lot of aspects to the fame that are really hard to deal with. And I think you get comments on social media about this guy was an asshole, he wouldn't even stop and say hello to me.

Dean: Yeah that's their one experience of it.

Shep: That's their one experience. But that hurts a human who's compassionate. You know, it's tough.

Dean: It must have been an interesting perspective for you because you've been so close to it for all of those years. Like you said you had that sort of observer view of it, where it's not you they're trying to get to.

Shep: I was the arm in between. I was really the arm in between, not really thinking about that. So just thinking about it was my job. I didn't really think of the consequences to the person I was not letting in, and the consequence to the star that was being blocked. Because you know, I think most humans have a natural desire to be compassionate if they can be.

Dean: A helping instinct, right.

Joe: You know what's interesting about all this too, and now granted since we're on the I Love Marketing Podcast, I want to obviously talk about some of the things that our audience would find fascinating and how you helped build the careers of these individuals and what you've done. I'm most fascinated with even that aspect of what you're talking about now, because that's why that was one of my first questions. Because Shep you don't know much about my background, but when I was 18 years old I nearly died from drugs. I weighed 105 pounds at my worst state from free basing cocaine for like three months straight. And I was just had a pretty crazy childhood, which made sense as to how it would cumulate into drug addiction and abuse and stuff. And now one of my biggest things that I'm working on is artistsforaddicts.com, where we have a platform we just launched where we're selling art to bring in revenue to help change the global conversation about how people view addicts, and how we find the best forms of treatment that have efficacy.

And back in early 2001 I joined a high profile group that had Academy Award-winning actors and actresses, famous musicians, a couple billionaires, NFL players, NBA players, famous politicians, all these really well known people that would be considered world leaders. And I saw them in their most broken state because we were all there because of addiction, and dealing with that sort of stuff because many of these people could not even go to 12 step groups anonymously because they would be outed and stuff. So I always saw this very different side of what goes on in people's lives that most of the public that would see these people on TV or on stage that would never have any clue how much these struggles. And I remember this line from Janis Joplin, "I would make love to 20,000 people and go back to my hotel room alone.

Shep: I'd never heard that line before, but that is exactly it. I'm going to steal that line.

Joe: Yeah. And you more than anyone have seen.

Shep: I would say, that's exactly what I was saying. You get that love from your audience, and you go back and you look in your mirror, and you're the same schmuck you were before you did the show.

Joe: Right, right.

Shep: In your own eyes. I don't mean that as, we all have these gigantic self-worth issues. I don't care who you are. That's what humans have, self-worth issues. We have a brain that can think about stuff, so they are just humans that happen to get famous, and happen to have the talent.

Dean: Right. Exactly.

Joe: And so, what's interesting about in the book, in your book, They Call Me Supermensch, Shep, you talk about the insights and perspectives that you got since this movie was put together. Then at the end of the book, you say it's Mike Myers' movie, but really it was about you, and now that there is been this period of time that's going by, have you seen this as an enormous gift to you? Have you seen it as just one more thing that causes people to want to reach out to you and say, "Hey Shep, tell us your success secrets, or tell us how you think about life or whatever." I mean, what is it? How is it?

Shep: I'm still in the middle of the journey. But it's been an amazing journey. I have gigantic self-worth issues, so for me, it was very difficult to have people come up to me and say, "Oh my God, man, you changed my life. I saw the movie," and it was hard for me to even look them in the eye. What are you talking about? I'm just a schmuck. I don't mean that I said it twice, and I don't mean it may be the way it's coming out, but we're just human. What are they seeing? That was my initial part of the journey, and really uncomfortable for me in the beginning. Then I started asking people, "What made you feel this way?" Because I had so many people reaching out. People from, I think the first thing I got was this big box from Africa.

It was a birdcage with a long letter of a girl who said that she came from a village somewhere in Africa, and in the birdcage were all these beautiful, as I remember white birds and one pink one, or all pink and one white. I think I still have the birdcage somewhere around. This beautiful letter, about how she didn't want me to think she was different to the other people in her village, because we're all equal, but that she had special talents, that if I would let her out of the cage, she could rise to a place where she could come back and help her village. It was so beautiful, but it was like, why me? That was so hard for me to accept two sides of it. One, that I couldn't really do anything to help bring her dream alive.

It was too remote, and too random, and I'm too old. And two especially was, when I started asking, I had a lot of celebrities, and a lot of billionaires, and a lot of people who I really respected reaching out, flying over on their own planes to have lunch and say, "I have to spend time with you." Great. Come on over and have lunch. And slowly, over that process, I got to the point where I said, maybe I have actually something to offer in terms of helping people deal with who they are, and getting to where they want to go in a way that's maybe different. Because a lot of the feedback was, you don't seem to hurt anybody, you want to have winners and winners. We want to live our lives like that.

Dean: I was going to say, Joe and I were talking before getting together with you, that there is this idea that resonates throughout the book is your idea of compassionate business. That really is your overriding thing, and you see example after example of it, of trying to create win/win situations, and really almost setting it up so that the other person gets the win first. I mean, there is a lot of examples of that.

Shep: There was a great one last night. I just actually sent an email to a fellow named Scooter Braun, who managed Ariana Grande, and I think in terms of marketing and brilliance, what I wrote him was, "Congratulations. You have turned shit into shinola." In the most eloquent, win/win, compassionate way, this should be a Harvard Business School study of how to take what looks on the surface as a disaster and turn it into a miracle. That's just what he did with it. You know, Ariana Grande, people died, it was horrible. Most artists would dig their head in the sand and cancel their shows, cry for a while, go see their psychiatrist. He took that event, will make her bigger than she ever could have been in her life, because she is now the leader of the camp. She is bigger than herself.

They raised $13 million for people who needed it. They brought awareness to a subject that really needs it. It's just a beautiful, win/win. Instead of, "Oh, poor Ariana Grande, they had a bombing," she is now probably the biggest pop star in the world. That's brilliant management. I said to him, "You are my hero, because that's what guys like me, who earn our living like that should do."

Dean: Yeah. Do you know Scooter?

Shep: Yeah, he's one of the guys who reached out to me. If I can have a minute, I would love to tell this story.

Dean: Absolutely, yeah. Yeah.

Shep: So, Scooter reached out to me. I was in LA. I went to lunch with him, he contacted me four or five times. He was going to fly to Hawaii, wanted to meet me, had a lot of respect, saw the movie. I went to lunch with him, my granddaughter was with me. He said he had Kanye West that night, playing at Staples, would I like to go see it? My daughter and granddaughter really wanted to. So he went, he was really gracious. I didn't see him at all. I had a friend of mine who owns the building, so he gave me seats, row one, up in the balcony, a perfect little spot. For me, it was a difficult concert. It was very loud, and it's very different than everything I do. There was no lighting on the artist, but people were going insane. I mean, they loved it.

So, I was sort of just not comfortable at all. I was in the body language of not comfortable, my hands were up to my ears, and I got a tap on my shoulder. I turned my head to the left, and there was a hand with a pair of earplugs. I said, "Wow, that's wild." I took the earplugs, I put them in, but I had no idea who gave them to me. We just walked, you know, I didn't think I knew anyone around me. And then about 10 minutes later, my granddaughter said, "Is it okay if we leave now?" She had enough. I said yeah. We got up, it was Usher sitting with Scooter Braun. And I thought, "What an amazing thing, to recognize I was uncomfortable, to act on being uncomfortable in such a perfect way." If I hadn't left early, I never would have known it was him. And I don't know him, I never met him. Still to this day, I haven't met him.

Dean: That's something.

Shep: Yeah. And that, I think, is where most humans would like to be, if they are conscious enough.

Dean: I think you're right. I mean, that is funny that you mentioned Scooter, because in a lot of ways, there's a lot of the things that he did early on with Justin Bieber are really amazingly similar, in the same kind of vein as the things you did with Alice Cooper in the early years, you know? Figuring out how to make it, how to make that happen.

Shep: It's great to see someone trying to do win/wins.

Dean: I'd love to pick up from there, because there's two or three things through the history of the thing that you've done that I think there are probably some really great lessons that we could unpack from your telling of them, of people that have seen the movie and read the book, to have our opportunity to get the backstory on some of them. One of the things that really struck me, if you fast-forward through all of the serendipities that got you to the Landmark Hotel, that got you to meet Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, and introduce you to Alice Cooper, and the first couple of years of it being as really a front for the drug business. But when I think it takes a turn is when, what really stood out for me is when you sat down with the band, and you made the conscious decision of, if we're going to do this seriously, and we're not going to quit until we're millionaires.

And setting that out as an intention, that seemed like a really pivotal moment in the whole timeline, where everything took a turn. Do you look back at it like that?

Shep: Yeah, very pivotal. And the second part of it, as I said, it only took like 10, 12 guys to start Christianity. We don't need to be that big. That is how I would treat them, beating them up with that. It's only because they believed. They believed, and they believed. That's what makes a religion. They believed.

Dean: Wow.

Shep: We've just got to believe.

Joe: I always love to think that a couple of guys were sitting around one day saying, "Let's create Harvard." So, pretty much everything comes from something.

Shep: Yeah, you've just got to believe.

Dean: Now, was there any sort of, if you were to look at and take a snapshot of that moment, and look at everything that had led up to it with your relationship with Alice Cooper, was there any indication that was the trajectory they were on?

Shep: No, I don't think so at all. We were on the other trajectory, they didn't really want us anywhere.

Dean: Right.

Shep: We couldn't get dates. No, it was completely the other way. Luckily for us, because that was where we looked at are, once we made that decision, we then said, "Okay, what our strengths are and what are our weaknesses?" And the biggest strength was that nobody liked us. That's a strong emotion. You get that emotion.

Dean: Yeah.

Shep: Neutrality is the death of creativity in marketing.

Dean: Right.

Shep: So once we had that, we then said, how do we use that? I actually have had a lecture in school about how art goes through a very narrow audience. Cultural revolutions go to a very big audience. One of the things that the teacher used, Elvis Presley not showing his hips on the Ed Sullivan show. He became this hate point for parents. Once he became the hate point for parents, he picked up that cultural revolution that every child goes through of wanting to walk on the other side of the street from their parents. So, that light bulb went off on us and said, "Hey, why go the other way? It's so hard to get kids to like you." But it's really easy to get parents to hate us, and if we can get that to be intense enough for them to tell their kids, "You better not like this," you know they're going to come flocking to us.

Dean: It's amazing to hear you tell it like that, and to read it in the book as a really conscious decision. That was intentional, that's the way that you look at that, and position that as a strategy. It's fascinating.

Joe: You know, let me ask if we could. Shep, would you actually call all the stuff you did marketing, or what would you call it? I mean, how would you refer to it?

Shep: Ours was desperation. We just wanted to be able to afford to eat. We had no money. We had nothing. When we made the decision to do it, I stopped my pharmaceutical business, and that dried up the money. So we literally, on Thursday nights we ate rock soup, which is a rock in boiling water.

Joe: Right.

Shep: You know, the house rules were if anybody brought a girl over, she had to bring dinner for everybody.

Joe: Wow, wow.

Shep: So, we had no money. We literally had no money. It was all done out of desperation.

Joe: I mean, did you ever? At what point did you realize that I actually have a system and a formula here? I mean, what was, I don't know if there's anything.

Shep: Well after Alice, it was Anne Murray. After Alice was successful, I was getting an amazing amount of attention. I was young, nobody ever expected Alice to make it. I was starting to be given a lot of credit, which was hard for me to take, and I said, "Well, let me get the furthest thing I can get from Alice, and see if this stuff really works." One of the things I used very heavily with Alice is what I called guilt by association, and so I signed a girl named Anne Murray.

Joe: Canadian.

Shep: Canadian, had a song called Storm Bird.

Joe: Right.

Shep: Great song, went to number one. I came in on the heels of that song, and got her in a picture with John Lennon. No one wanted her. They wouldn't book her on Midnight Special, they wouldn't put her on anything. And she was the perfect answer to what was going on at that time. She was the female Glen Campbell. She had the purest voice in the world. She didn't move on stage, which was almost an asset in those days, but she had no spark. So my thought was, if I can get a picture with some of the greatest artists in the world and her in the middle, I can go sell that. So, I got John Lennon and Harry Nielsen, and Alice, and Mickey Dolenz to take a picture with her, and that one picture broke her.

If you read her book, she says that was the change of life for her. She made the Rolling Stone cover, she hosted Midnight Special. I didn't stay with her very long, because it wasn't really what I had any interest in doing, but I proved to myself I knew how to do it, and that I could make a difference.

Dean: How old were you at that time?

Shep: Maybe 21, 22.

Dean: Wow, that's amazing. The interesting thing was, you talk about coupons. You talk about your idea of that, and we would look at that as like, relationship equity. That's really the thing, that you had so much relationship equity with Alice, with John Lennon, with knowing that they would, if you ask them, go and take that picture with her.

Shep: Oh yeah. I had to them sort of in a prison cell, because I was the only one who had a car. So, I asked them in a very strange way. I got down on my knees at the Rainbow Bar and Grill, really drunk, and I said, "Listen, guys. I've got this girl from Canada, and I'm trying to really break through. She had a number one record. If I can get a picture with you guys around this, it'll take five minutes. I can drive you there, I will drive you right back. If you don't want to do it, that's fine, but you're going to have to find a new guy to take you home tonight when you're drunk." And very fast, they all said yes.

Joe: You know what's funny about that? If you actually go back to that period in time, for people that are young, they couldn't even fathom why taking a picture would be a big deal. But you've got to realize that back then, everybody didn't have a cell phone.

Shep: Yeah, there wasn't any. And also, it was John Lennon's dark days. So, nobody had seen him. He left Yoko, and they knew he was in LA, lost, but nobody saw him, and that was a big conversation. Where is John Lennon? Is he alive? What is John Lennon doing? So now to have the first picture of John Lennon, which I couched as, "John Lennon comes out for the first time to see an artist, Anne Murray."

Joe: Wow, yeah.

Shep: So, that's what everybody is focused on Anne Murray for a minute like, "Why would? Holy shit, I can't believe these guys would come out for her. They're not coming out for Hendrix. They're not coming out for Joplin. They come out for Anne Murray? I guess we better check her out."

Joe: Did you book her gig there, knowing that you would be able to pull that off?

Shep: I've always been fairly sick, so the reason that I was looking for, I didn't know they would be there. But I was looking for the most juxtaposition thing I could do for this girl from Canada to make noise in America.

Joe: Right.

Shep: So, it was Thanksgiving day. I booked the Troubadour for Thanksgiving day. She's Canadian, they didn't have Thanksgiving. I built a two ton turkey out of wood and brass, which became the backdrop of the stage. The neck of the turkey came off and the musical equipment was in where the neck was, and as she started her show, 12 violin players came out and stood in an arc around her, in the wings of the turkey.

Joe: Oh my goodness.

Shep: And I had a company called the Great American Food and Beverage Company, which was in Santa Monica at the time. They had singing waiters, and they served all their food without utensils, on long boards. In a pot, you know? So I ordered, and the Troubadour had long tables, like Vegas kind of tables. So, I had ordered a plaque with like six turkeys and all this stuff on it for each of the tables, and we made a walk-in presentation with the waiters singing O, Canada.

Joe: Wow.

Shep: So in the middle of that, it just so happened, when I booked it, I didn't even know John Lennon would be in LA. But I had a great press turnout, because in those days, you could spend money if you get people to come. I had a reputation for being nuts anyway, and throwing great parties, and Canadians playing Thanksgiving at the Troubadour just made no sense to anybody, which brought some curiosity. Then when I heard they were all up at the Rainbow, I said, "Shit, I've got to get them." So I just got in my car and raced up, and got in front of them.

Dean: Wow, that is so good.

Shep: They took the picture, and I took them right back.

Dean: Yeah.

Joe: That's so funny.

Dean: What an incredible story. But to make that happen, it's interesting that you talk about that juxtaposition. Certainly, that juxtaposition, and then from that to Blondie which is another juxtaposition there, again. Then I look at this idea of, when you were representing the trifecta of Luther Vandross, Teddy Pendergrass and Rick James, there is like, that's all three points of difference.

Shep: There were big challenges. The separation amongst them was a very interesting challenge, because they all were gigantic.

Dean: Yeah, but in different ways in different crowds, right?

Shep: Yeah, in different ways. My job was to really define who that crowd was, and then really market hard at them. The black world had not yet crossed into the white world. It wasn't like today. Luther would do five nights at Madison Square Garden, but it would be mostly a black audience. Same thing with Teddy, and the my job was to refine it to an idea that could work for anyone. So with Teddy, it was all about sex. He was just the sexiest man ever. Women would faint at the shows. They would throw panties at him. So my thought was, how do I now tell white America what's going on in their neighborhoods? How do I get white women to be curious about this thing? So I started calling him Black Elvis. Every time we ever talked about anything in my office, every press release, every talk, every record company, Black Elvis was my thing. You would say Teddy Pendergrass, Black Elvis. Every time you would say his name, you would put Black Elvis next to it.

Dean: Did you make up those words?

Shep: Yeah.

Dean: Oh wow, yeah.

Shep: Because Elvis was the biggest in that genre. But then it wasn't really creeping in, so then I said, "Okay, what can I do to double up on that?" And the thought was, let's do concerts for women only. That certainly defines what he is. Let's get 5,000 women coming in an arena, going absolutely berserk, and let's show that to white America's women, because you know that they are going to want to be there. I went to Teddy, and I said. "I want his concerts for women only." Teddy looked at me like I was completely insane.

Dean: Right.

Shep: Like completely insane. And his lawyer was in the room, and he said you can't do it, it's against the Constitution, and the record company said you can't. I just kept telling Teddy. He would say to me, "Will this work?" And I said, "I have no idea, but we've got to try it. I think I can pull it off. Trust me. Just have some faith in me. I can pull it off, I can make it so that we don't get sued." So what we did is, we accepted men if they bought a ticket, but we didn't say it in the advertising. So, we got around every issue. One of the biggest challenges, for me, was how do I do this and keep Teddy lovable, not arrogant? I didn't want arrogance. I wanted soft, cuddly, you know? Soft, close the door, come on in here. I wanted that.

We came up with an idea. It took us a while, but we came up with a great idea for the ad, which was we never showed Teddy. We just had a teddy bear.

Dean: That's all the right.

Shep: With a note on it that said, "Come spend the night with me, love Teddy."

Dean: That's so great.

Shep: When they got to the hall, we gave out, every seat had a chocolate teddy bear lollipop, because we wanted that photo of them licking the lollipop, biting its head off. It all worked. It was great. We sold out like eight cities, and I think if Teddy hadn't had his accident, probably people other than me today would be calling him the Black Elvis. He was on a projectile.

Dean: Talk to me about Bruce. Brilliant strategy, though. Go ahead, Joe.

Joe: Can I? I wanted to even ask you about just Elvis in general, because the first time I had dinner with Alice Cooper, he actually told me a story about Elvis, and about how Elvis was so protected. Like literally, the people that were his handlers, the people that surrounded him literally controlled his life towards the end. He was so sheltered, because we talked about the demise of Elvis and everything. I mean, did you ever know him personally?

Shep: No, I only met him once with Alice. I got shut out of the meeting. He took Alice in the other room, and they shot guns. It was really weird, but that's the only time I ever met him. But I could see his trajectory. I mean, he was bigger than anybody has ever been. I'm sure as confused as every other artist as to why. He had a manager who is very brilliant, but very Svengali, Colonel Parker. Life can get tough sometimes, if you don't have someone around you, helping you out. Colonel Parker was a big gambler, took big losses in Vegas, and Elvis just had to stay on the wheel for Parker to pay off his debts.

Joe: Wow. Well, you know, there's a line in the book where I believe you say that stars are not born, they are made. I think that's what you say.

Shep: I believe I said it, but I would say that it's like salt and pepper. I think there is a quality, but the quality won't get you far.

Joe: But that's not enough.

Shep: No, the quality will not get you far.

Joe: That's really what you were saying, right?

Shep: That's not enough.

Joe: Yeah, that's my question to you. I wanted to actually say something too, in the beginning, because just hearing what you were saying about the self-worth, and looking into why me, what have I done, that sort of thing. Maybe that helps people, like a little bit of questioning. Either that's just because of the purposes of not wanting to have a big head. There is also an aspect of, the way that I define marketing, and selling, because people come to me and Dean to learn about this stuff. We started doing this podcast back in 2010, and then everyone recently has jumped on this whole podcast bandwagon. Although I did the first one back in 2005. We put out all of this information for free. We have had millions of people download what we listen to, and this interview will be listened to by hundreds of thousands of people.

Basically, it's one of these things to where, whenever you say the word marketing or selling, it always evokes a certain sort of perception. I think what people are not up on, they are down on, and marketing can be used for good or it can be used for evil. I've started redefining it as, think of selling as influence, and think of marketing as storytelling. If you tell a better story, you are going to get more buy-in, get more enrollment, and telling your story is quite impactful and influential. Obviously because hell, that's how when I speak to Supermensch, not only do I tell people it's a great damn movie, it's entertaining to sell, but there's tons of entrepreneurial lessons in it. You are now in a position in your life where you are teaching people by sharing your life story and your life lessons, and you are also, we have a friend named Dan Sullivan who is a brilliant guy in his mid-70s, who has coached more successful entrepreneurs than anyone that I have ever known.

Shep: I know the name, yeah.

Joe: Yeah. He has this term called industry transformers, where people that have literally transformed an industry. You have done that. If you just point to celebrity chefs, I mean you literally invented, or were at least the catalyst. From the little that I know of you, other than just the outside books and movie and stuff, and from what I've talked to Alice about you, it doesn't seem like your personality would want to even take credit for that sort of stuff, but you certainly were a catalyst for it. I think that's a huge thing, and it seems to me like both Dean and I got into what we do today accidentally. I mean, we're both converts of our own system. I was a dead broke carpet cleaner living off of credit cards, and I needed to survive. I had to figure out how to successfully sell something that nobody even wants to buy, which is carpet cleaning services.

I discovered this thing called marketing, which other people need. And so my thing, that I am most interested in with you is, a lot of people have incredible talent, but they're broke. There are other people that don't, but they do very well. When you can match really great talent with the ability to tell the world about it, to market it, to get known. Because so many people, they want to be discovered simply because they think they're good. There is no relationship between being good and getting paid. There is only a relationship between being good, getting other people to know about you, and then getting paid for it. And so, you know what I mean? I think without that thing, call it marketing, call it promotion, call it whatever antics you want to accidentally or on purpose. Someone, they are not just going to discover you unless you're really lucky.

Then the cases where there is luck, there certainly is that. A lot of people place so much emphasis on it that I think they bumble around, not really thinking through how the hell to make their business, their life, their business, their talent ever become a career that they can survive off of. And so, people have come to you to do that. You have successfully done it, and I think that's why people look up to you. You know those, can you send me the birdcage, and can you tell me what to do? I think in a lot of ways, without ever having to talk to people at this point, you are probably influencing. I can't imagine you not influencing millions of people at this point, and probably will. I think that's an honorable thing. I think it's pretty awesome.

You know, I hope that some of that sinks in for you as much, because it certainly sinks in for me. I mean, it's still hard for me to see. People have sent us letters saying, "We listened to your podcast, and we have become millionaires," and they have never even bought anything from us.

Shep: Yeah, that's really wild.

Joe: You know, you have just got to put that out there. So my question out of all that is, the whole notion of, how do you get yourself? What do you need to have in your mind, in your behavior, to get you discovered? To get yourself. I would rather be well-paid than well-known. Some people would rather be well-known than well-paid. It would be nice to, I guess maybe parlay both of those if one leads to the other, but I would just like to get some of your thoughts on that.

Shep: Yeah, it's a big question. I know mine, part of it is asking someone what their dream is, and then you find out if it's money, or fame, or a combination of both. That's how I used to start with all my clients. Give me your dream, let me bring your dream to life, and then we can get rid of trying to figure out what each of us knew and get on with the work. But I think the thing that I, in terms of marketing, what I have always tried to do. I can't do it 100% of the time, but in most cases, with most of my artists, was to pick up on what I call a wave.

Watch culture, watch society, see what the waves are, and try and become the face of that wave. So sometimes it manifests in a small part of a career, sometimes it manifests in a big part. In a small part, for example, word came out of the press that there was going to be video discs. This is back, probably in the early '80s, that there are going to be video cassettes, or maybe late '70s, and video discs, and people were going to be able to watch stuff in their homes. You could see that was going to be a wave. That was a gigantic wave. So, I did the first video album with Blondie, Eat to the Beat, but you couldn't do anything with it, because nobody had a player. But the press we got off doing the first video album was so gigantic that it put her at the forefront of this revolution.

Joe: I remember literally, in the '80s Blondie was certainly when MTV was first getting started, that's of course where.

Shep: It was a combination of producing stuff specifically for MTV, for a live album. Really putting her as the face of that revolution, and that's what I tried to do with most of my artists, was make them part of a revolution. Make them part of something much bigger than them, the way I tried to make Teddy part of the sexual revolution. Much bigger than him. Everybody is a sex fiend at some point in their life. With Luther, I tried to catch the romance wave. At least in those times, 85% of the population got married. Marriage was the most romantic. They put a questionnaire out, what was the most romantic night of your life? The marriage. How do I make Luther the face of marriage? Especially considering he wasn't married.

Dean: Especially considering. Well, pay no attention to that, yeah.

Shep: In 20 cities, we ran contests to get married live on the air, the marriage performed by Luther.

Dean: Wow.

Shep: And he became the face of weddings. For the next two to three years, he was the most played at weddings.

Dean: Maybe the fact that he wasn't married was an advantage. They all fantasized about marrying him, you know?

Shep: Yeah, I think that can help. But I was trying to do that with each act. Trying to find something bigger than them, to make them the face of.

Dean: Yeah. Now that you've mentioned it like that, I haven't seen or heard you talk about Blondie in that context, of getting ahead of the wave of video.

Shep: There was that whole rap world. She did the first white rap record in America, Rapture. Worldwide, and that was just catching a wave. We were looking. We heard about this thing up in Harlem that was really catching on, people on cardboard, dancing with beat boxes, and we got on the subway, and we went up to Harlem. We took advantage of that wave, because we wanted her to be the underground, anti-society artist.

Dean: Yes. You think that. Now that I hear you say that, that makes total sense, if we reverse engineer the idea of the celebrity chef, that was getting in front of the Food Network.

Shep: That was the easiest thing I ever did. That was the easiest project I ever did, because the hardest thing to do is create demand.

Dean: Right.

Shep: And the demand was there. I was mentored by a chef, so I got to see the world of chefs through his eyes, and I got tremendous respect for these artists. They were living the same lives as Alice, except they weren't getting paid. None of them got paid. There wasn't a chef in America making $100,000 a year.

Dean: Wow.

Shep: People like Wolfgang Puck had one restaurant. No chef had more than one restaurant. Nobu had a place, Matsuhisa, a little place on La Cienega. Alice Waters had Chez Panisse. So, it was a different world. It wasn't done. If you were a billionaire, you can always get a ticket on the 50 yard line at the Super Bowl. You could get a front row on Broadway an hour before the show, there were always scalpers, but you couldn't get into Charlie Trotter's. Or, like Vincent's in Phoenix in the old days, you couldn't get in. It didn't matter who you were. Unless you had a personal relationship with the guy, and that's the man. That's gigantic. It crystallized for me, I had a Kenny Loggins show on the Big Island for Nissan, and Wolfgang did the dinner, and after the show, Wolfgang got paid nothing. Kenny got paid 150,000. There were maybe 25 women waiting for Kenny's meet and greet, and 300 waiting for Wolfgang's.

Joe: Oh, wow.

Shep: What's wrong with this picture?

Joe: Right, right.

Shep: So for me, it was very obvious. Then it was just rolling up your elbows, and doing the work, and building when I called highways. I told the guys at that first meeting, I said it may look like a big mountain to climb, but let's look at Michael Jackson for a second, who is about at the top of the highest mountain that we all want.

Dean: The self-proclaimed King of Pop.

Shep: He would have been a wandering minstrel if no one had invented records, TV, record stores, T-shirts. He became what he is because there were delivery systems to get to an audience.

Dean: Right.

Shep: You guys, as culinary artists, have no delivery systems. Either someone is in your restaurant, or they are not. What does your restaurant have, 80 seats? Where are you going in life? If that's the only way you touch your audience, you are going nowhere, so let's build some highways. Let's get a TV network to broadcast, let's get pots and pans in stores, let's get books on the shelves. Let's get videos people can buy. Let's give them a chance to like you. The rest was really easy.

Dean: Wow. Now had you, was it just the timing of you starting to represent these guys, and then the Food Network just starting up? How did that come about?

Shep: There is a guy named Reese Schonfeld, who I knew from CNN. He had started CNN for Turner, and I did some business with Turner. So, I knew this fellow, Reese Schonfeld, and he left CNN, and then he announced. This was the early days that you could still start networks, and he announced he was going to start a new network, he wasn't sure what it was. So, I went to see him, and I said, "Have you thought about food?" He said, "I thought about it, but I really don't like chefs and the food world and all that stuff." And I said, "Look, I can get you all your talent. If you do a Food Network, I can get you all your talent for free. I have already talked to my guys, they have all agreed to do three years free if I can get someone to broadcast, so you will have no talent fees."

And talent fees were gigantic in those days. I think it was a combination of him going to the outlets who said okay, and the concept that he wouldn't have to pay talent fees. What I asked him for was a spot in each show. Yeah, and I created for each of the chefs, a project we can sell. With Emeril it was the spices, the bam. For Mary-Sue and Sue, it was chili peppers, hot tamales. I forgot what the other people were.

Dean: I mean, you look at every Wolfgang's Pizzas.

Shep: I couldn't get Wolfgang on, because no one could understand him.

Dean: Oh, got you. Okay, cool.

Shep: You know, Wolfgang, I just couldn't sell it to Reese, who didn't like chefs to begin with. I brought in a chef with an accent, that was way beyond his capability.

Dean: Right.

Joe: You know what's interesting? Because there's so many things I would love to ask you, and I want to be cognizant of time. You were such a unique packager of all of these other people's talent. I mean, you could identify these things. You could see the trend. The thing that you mentioned about becoming the face of the wave, you know? Knowing what horse to ride. I mean, these are all these things that you learned how to do. And along the way, my biggest take away from it, because it's something I say to people all the time. I mean, this quote that I heard early on. I'm 49 right now, but when I was in my early 20s, I heard a quote which is, "Be nice to the people you meet on the way up, they are the same people you meet on the way down."

Shep: Oh my God, I've said that so many times to my clients, I can't tell you how many times.

Joe: Yeah. It's a beautiful quote, and I always operate under that.

Shep: I put a second part to it.

Joe: Go ahead.

Shep: Which is the most selfish thing you can do as an artist, the most selfish, is be good to the people on the way up, because they are going to pick you up on the way down, and believe me, you will have a way down. The most selfish thing you can do in your career is be good to everybody on the way up. Sometimes that gets through in a different way, but it gets through. The best thing you can do, and it's the most selfish thing you can do.

Joe: I like it. I'd like to talk about that, because there is again, I would recommend to everyone listening to this, read Shep's book. There are so many great, entertaining stories and business lessons, and the life lessons. I listen to stuff really for the life lessons, you know? Your whole notion of saying thank you, about gratitude, your coupons. That's some of the things I would like to talk with you about, especially before we wrap up. Because I just think there is, if we can at least get that, for people to see that. I mean, I always operate with, leave the campfire better off than it was before you showed up, and all money earned ethically is a byproduct of value creation. And so, I would like to get your philosophical views on that, and why, because you have all these people that look at you as such an amazing guy, and this movie is called Supermensch, which kind of says it.

Any of that, that we can share with people that would have them really look at their integrity, have them really look at how they treat people, look at their character, and look at also that you can't, if you go around just fucking people over, doing stupid shit and changing people. Karmically, I believe it's going to come back to you. On top of the fact that unless there is a part of you that just has no compassion for people, you just sleep better at night knowing that you're going through the world just trying to add some goodness to it. So, I would like to hear your perspective on that.

Shep: I keep going back to selfish. I don't know why, but I've learned through my journey, I have been fortunate enough to have some mentors who have never talked to me about anything, but I could watch them. Service and compassion make you happy. The happiest people I know are the people that service, and compassionate. I had the benefit of being around him, who was amazing, and he would do things like, the first time we went to a restaurant, that I picked, not him. It was a horrible meal, and I had a little bit on my plate, and he emptied his plate and then emptied my plate. We walked outside afterwards, and I said, because I was still new to the relationship, and I wanted to know why I didn't like it and why he did. What was I missing?

What was that secret juice that I was missing? And I said, "Mr. I don't know if it's my pallet isn't sophisticated enough, or my taste is different from growing up, but I didn't enjoy that meal at all. I thought it was very poorly prepared. You obviously loved it because you finished my plate and yours. What did I miss?" And he said, "Oh Shep, it was horrible." I said, "Horrible?" "Oh, it was so horrible." "Then why did you finish my plate?" And he said, "Because the chef will be in the kitchen, watching the plates come back, and I didn't wake up this morning to ruin his day. That's not what I'm here for. I can take a little bit of bad food, I can't take ruining someone's day."

Dean: That's really something.

Joe: You know, you asked him also to teach you how to cook. I mean, you tell that whole story in there. I wanted to, at your stage in your life, you probably have a lot of people that reach out to you, like you mentioned, Shep. But you really wanted to learn how to cook. You were always at a place where you seemed to be extremely coachable, and a lot of people aren't. I'm curious about that, like about mentors.

Shep: I wanted to learn to cook just to be able to communicate better with him. That was his path to letting me into his life. I would really be a moron if I wanted to follow him, then didn't listen to him. So the first thing he said to me was, "Do you know how to cook?" I said no, and he said, "Well, if you'd like to work in the kitchen, if you learn how to cook, I'd be happy to share some time." So for me, that was the first step to my journey. Then I found that I actually had a little talent for it. Then as time went on, I found out that it was really my passion. Maybe because it brought back the memories of him, or not. I am not completely clear on that, but my life has evolved into cooking.

I wake up in the morning and think about what I'm going to have for dinner. I remember my life through my meals. I just get excited by every meal. I found my passion. Music was never my passion. Music was my job, and making shows, they were my passion. I was very removed from it. I enjoyed Teddy's music, and Rick James and Luther, that was sort of my musical pocket, but I lived here the last 20 years, and told Rick Reuben, came without a stereo. Rick got me some of those for my house.

Joe: Wow, that's something.

Shep: I just brought over a pizza oven and a wok.

Joe: I got the sense that when I was at your house, and we had the dinner, that's not an unusual occurrence.

Shep: Oh no, that's what happens.

Joe: Everything that's set up. I mean, the group of people that were there, it was a wonderful experience. I get the sense that happens, that was just a regular Tuesday.

Shep: It's on a very regular basis.

Joe: Yeah, I was just going to say, that's just a Tuesday at Shep's house.

Shep: Yeah, because that's what I really enjoy. I love being in service. I love cooking. I love the dialogue. The conversations are always really interesting. People come and go fast from the island, so when I lived in LA, you had dinner with the same people two or three times a week. Here, it's a new crowd almost every dinner.

Dean: That's true, yeah. You get great, fresh conversations.

Shep: Yeah, so it's great conversations, and great people. Because it's a small island and I've been here so long, I just got an email from somebody I used to go out with, and the ambassador, the Israeli ambassador is coming to Maui. I'm going to throw a dinner for him.

Dean: Oh wow.

Shep: That happens constantly. I'm doing one Friday night for a great winemaker, Bob Cabrel, who makes Three Sticks wines. The next day, I've got a couple of chefs who are coming in to do that. It's always exciting and fun, and it's really what I love doing, and talking with each other.

Joe: You know, in my prep of all this, prior to the interview here, it got me thinking, it didn't really occur to me. I've had these conversations with Mark Tarbell a couple of times like, "Hey, you should really show me how to cook." I am literally going to go. Mark is a dear friend of mine, so I've known the guy for a long time.

Shep: That's the right guy to learn from. You want to talk about service? Compassionate, selfless, all the things that make a great chef, that's Mark Tarbell.

Joe: Yeah. I've got a great interview with him on our podcast, so for those of you who like this one, you can look up Mark Tarbell, and ilovemarketing.com. You'll hear him.

Shep: I love Mark. Mark is just remarkable. He is very quiet, he's very humble. He leaves no footprint on the planet whatsoever, but he's unbelievably joyous. Great chef, and great intentions. He's always well-intentioned.

Joe: No, absolutely. One of the sweetest guys, and that's how I met Alice. I actually met Alice through Mark, and the first time I had met Alice, we had dinner at Tarbell's. Well actually, the first time I've met him, he was actually putting, I saw him. This is like, years ago, sitting across from me in Cheesecake Factory.

Shep: Yeah, Cheesecake Factory.

Joe: Then when I actually got to know him, they actually played at the Tavern, which is another one of Mark's restaurants. His main one is Tarbell's here in Phoenix, they played a very small show. I think it was the first time Alice played a gig like that. Yeah, it was unbelievable. I want to ask you, how do you choose who goes into Shep Gordon's inner circle? Meaning, the way that I decide who is going to be, really become a dear friend versus just an acquaintance or a business acquaintance. Because, I know hundreds of people. I mean, I kind of violate the Dunbar's Law thing. I track hundreds of relationships, and I really like meeting amazing, interesting people, like with what we're doing now.

I've interviewed over 500 people that are well-known business icons. I'm Richard Branson's largest fundraiser. I mean, I've met all kinds of interesting people, and one of the things how I decide who to spend more time with is not only just a vibe that I get, and if I truly enjoy them, and if we have a shared values system, or at least I mean, I have friends that politically believe that the polar opposite of me, and that sort of stuff, but they are still dear friends. The criteria for me is, how are people that are more powerful, how do they treat people that are less powerful than them? So, when I meet a real wealthy person, or famous person, and they're rude to wait staff, or they don't hold doors open, or they are just kind of assholes, it immediately is like, I don't put that person in my inner circle.

So, I'm curious as to, you meet so many people, you have all these dinners, but the people that truly become your closest friends, your confidants. Is there like, I would love to hear your standard. Some of the things that really cause you to...

Shep: I have a wide range. I think I am very attracted to power. I am definitely a groupie of people who have accomplished something in their lives, definitely. I'm like a groupie, so I get really excited when someone sends me an email that someone is coming to the island, wants to come over. "Would you have them over for dinner?" And I Google them, and they have really done something, where I know them. Because I think that always bleeds off, and I think it's just that filtering. I sort of know the people who recommend people for the house, so mine is different. The relationships are much more temporary. I would say most of my close friends are sort of locked in. A lot from high school, a lot from college, from my years in Hollywood.

Here, people come and go fast, so there are people who come to the house for dinner for 20 years, who I consider really good friends. But different than a good friend that you are with all the time, so I don't really have a complete answer. People who are compassionate, and who have done something with their lives, those are the ones I am really attracted to.

Joe: Got you.

Shep: The ones who scream about it really turn me off. The ones who are humbled by their success are the ones I really get attracted to. Power definitely is attractive.

Joe: Yeah, I hear you. I like achievers.

Shep: Yeah, same thing.

Joe: Yeah. I mean, I like people that are definitely doing stuff on the planet, and putting stuff forward. Everyone has potential, but potential means you just haven't done it yet, so I like people that are out there pursuing it, but not leaving shrapnel, and killing people along the way.

Shep: The one thing I don't allow in the house is business talk, and anyone getting on a very tall ladder, looking down at someone and telling them what they should do.

Joe: Oh right, yeah.

Shep: That doesn't work for me. But people who are willing to share their life journey, have a few laughs and know what coupons are.

Joe: You know, because you did mention it, but for people that may not really, what is a coupon? I mean, what are you really, what do you mean by that?

Shep: Doing something you can do. I just had a great exchange with Sammy Hagar. There is a wonderful guy in LA, David Arquette, who has a club that has these puppets. You know, the actor?

Joe: Yeah.

Shep: He's got, he came here for Christmas, gave me a puppet, which blew my mind. He emailed me, "My friends are having their 10th anniversary. They're huge Sammy Hagar fans. They're going to be at the show in Connecticut, could they get to meet him?" So I emailed Sammy and said, "Hey Sammy." No problem. Then he came back a few seconds later he said, "Hey, can you ask David to maybe carry my new tequila at his club?" And of course, the answer came back in one second, yes. And that just came by doing the right thing. You keep the circle moving. Sammy is doing what he can do to help out, David is doing what he can do to help out. I'm doing what I can do to help out, and life goes on in a nice way.

Dean: That's so great, and a perfect example.

Joe: So Dean, I wanted to mention something. Another thing that you say in the film is that you spent your life living other people's lives, and now here you are. What's next for you, and how do you, the whole thing up saying thank you every day? I mean, I think there is a lot that is valuable. Even on the back of your book, I think it's Michael Douglas. He says. "I have never been so hungry after finishing a book. Shep Gordon loves his life, and They Call Me Supermensch is his joyful, soulful, and hilarious account of how he found some purpose for his own life. One of the good guys. Thank you, thank you." So, I'd like you to speak to that. The whole, I would view it as your way of doing, having gratitude.

Shep: Yeah. I think tricks to keep yourself in line are useful. I have a new one now, I did a talk in Carmel, and the guy who came on in the morning was Zach Anner, his name. He was a cerebral palsy victim, in a wheelchair, who is a comedian, and has a couple of TV shows, one on Oprah's network, and a travel show. I showed up in the morning, I was in Carmel last week, and there were a few people having coffee. He was at a table alone, but he was in his chair and obviously life is difficult for him. I didn't sit at his table, because I felt a little bit uncomfortable. I didn't know what to say, what to do. Then he got up and gave a speech, and he probably was the most inspiring human I've ever been around in my life. From that point on, I went to him every morning and stayed with him, but I come home now, and I start my day in the Jacuzzi, and I think about him. It's like a trick I use for myself.

I say to myself, "Wow, can you imagine what this kid has got to go through every morning, to get to where I am? Just to get up, get his teeth brushed, maybe go to the bathroom, what it takes. And he's laughing and joking. There is nothing in my life that's going to happen to me today." I had some cancer things taken off last week. If I feel sorry for myself because I looked weird for a day, shame on me. Shame on me. It's been every day, so that's a trick. I love using tricks. Thank you, thank you, thank you is a trick for me. It's like a harmonic. I guess some people do it through meditation, some through yoga. I have these visual and auditory triggers for myself to keep me in line, because it's so easy.

We live in a society where you can get so fooled by false gods, and jealousy, and greed, and "How come not me? Why don't I have this?" At any level you are living. If you are a wealthy guy, how come I don't have a plane? If you have a plane, why don't I have a bigger plane? If you're starving, how come I don't have a meal? At any level, I think it's important to get some kind of things that make you realize how lucky you are. Even if you're hungry, that you know you're hungry. Oh my God, what a miracle that is. Now I can go get some food, because I feel hungry.

Dean: Right, right.

Joe: No, so true. That's so true. That's really great. Well Dean, I mean I can ask Shep questions forever here, but I want to be cognizant of the time. So, do you got any final thoughts? I mean, this has been fantastic.

Dean: It really has been.

Joe: I really, really appreciate it, Shep.

Dean: Yeah, thank you so much.

Shep: Thank you guys.

Joe: Yeah, and let's say in terms of...

Shep: Want to go to Tarbell's. Everybody out there living in Phoenix go try Tarbell's. It's a great experience.

Joe: Is there any, another book? Are there any things that you're doing that people should pay attention to?

Shep: I have no idea. I've been having a really good time going around the country, doing talks. So, I may pursue that a little. I think Alice and I are going to go out. We did a talk in LA together with, I had a great time.

Dean: I saw that, and it was fantastic. We need to arrange that for right before the annual event, it would be fantastic.

Shep: We've got some offers, so I think we are going to go out and maybe do a little.

Joe: By the way, when we wrap up here, don't hang up right away, because I want to share with you a couple of things. But yeah, for sake of this, have you set up any sort of website or anything that is like a blog?

Shep: I have. I think it's shepgordon.com.

Joe: Okay.

Dean: Yeah. We'll check that, and we'll put that in the show notes.

Shep: And there is an Instagram or something, but I'm not sure.

Dean: If there's anything else.

Joe: Yeah. And what I'll say to the entire people listening, if you enjoyed this, which I can't imagine you would not, share it with anyone that you think would find this useful. We'll put the trailer for Shep's movie, Supermensch, and the link to get his book, and just anything that we think will be useful for you to follow with Shep, we will put it out there. I really appreciate it.

Shep: It was published by Anthony Bourdain, by the way, just as a side note.

Joe: Say that again.

Dean: Published by Anthony Bourdain?

Shep: It was published by Anthony Bourdain. It's an Anthony Bourdain book.

Joe: Wow, okay. Cool. Cool.

Shep: He came up to me. The way the book started was, he came up to me at an event, and he said, "I want to do your life story." And I said, "Why?" And he said, "Because, if it hadn't been for you, I wouldn't be here."

Joe: Right. "Without you, there's no me."

Shep: I said, "Well, what does that mean?" And he said, "Well, you made Emeril famous, and I got famous by beating up Emeril, so I sort of owe you."

Joe: That's so great. I love it.

Shep: I thought it was really great.

Joe: That's awesome.

Shep: But thanks, guys.

Joe: Thank you, appreciate it.

Dean: Thank you, thank you, thank you. And there we have it. Another great episode, and if you would like to continue the conversation, you can go to ListingAgentLifestyle.com. You can download a copy of the Listing Agent Lifestyle book, the manifesto that shares everything that we're talking about here, and you can be a guest on the show if you'd like to talk about how we can build a Listing Agent Lifestyle plan for your business. Just click on the "Be a guest" link at ListingAgentLifestyle.com.. If you'd like to join our community of people who are applying all of the things we talk about in the Listing Aging Lifestyle, come on over to GoGoAgent.com. That's where we've got all the programs, all the tools, everything you need to get listings, to multiply your listings, to get referrals, convert leads, and to find buyers. You can get a free, truly free, no credit card required trial for 30 days at GoGoAgent.com. So, come on over, and I will see you there.