- Gebundene Ausgabe: 688 Seiten
- Verlag: Random House; Auflage: First Edition (7. März 2000)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0679457542
- ISBN-13: 978-0679457541
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 16,5 x 3,8 x 24,1 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 29 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 570.951 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
- Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen
The Operator: David Geffen Builds, Buys, and Sells the New Hollywood (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 7. März 2000
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DreamWorks cofounder David Geffen, as portrayed by Wall Street Journal reporter Tom King, is in various ways a saint, a visionary, and an absolute maniac. In his saintly mode, Geffen both raises and gives record-breaking sums of money to AIDS foundations, advises and supports the President and progressive causes, and races to visit old friends stricken with grief or illness (even the washed-up agent Sue Mengers, whose friendship could do him no earthly good).
As a visionary in the music, movie, and Broadway theater industries, Geffen orchestrates the sale of his record companies, which made him a billionaire, and brings you Laura Nyro; Cats; Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young; Tom Cruise; the Eagles; Nirvana; Bob Dylan; John Lennon; Guns N' Roses; Saving Private Ryan; and Joni Mitchell (who immortalized his deepest yearnings in her tune "Free Man in Paris").
But the most impressive and detailed portion of King's landmark biography is Geffen's performance as an entertainment entrepreneur, and in this capacity he is apparently a visionary and a maniac at the same time. Not only does he discover all manner of talents and works of art and hire the best hit-sniffers in the business, he also masters the fine Hollywood art of the Machiavellian tantrum. Geffen allegedly softens up his prey in a business deal by offering up disarming gossip about his own life--his traumatic courtship of Cher, or Marlo Thomas, perhaps, or the male prostitute he is said to have boasted about being in bed with the night John Lennon was shot. At some point, minutes or decades into an apparent friendship, Geffen is shown betraying anyone, even best friends and mentors, in his relentless quest for winning a deal. King's book provides a ringside seat; it's fascinating to watch Tinseltown's titans slug it out in championship bouts, maneuvering, lying, reuniting, and seizing power like crazed Renaissance princes.
In one memorable encounter, Geffen protests that Sid Sheinberg of MCA is displeasing his DreamWorks colleague, Steven Spielberg. "David, stop screaming," says Sheinberg. "I'm not screaming!" Geffen screams. "David, you know what would make me happy?" says Speilberg. "Stop screaming." It turns out that Geffen doesn't even know the details of the deal in question. But nobody knows how to strike a deal--with mind and maniacal heart--like David Geffen. --Tim Appelo
From The Operator
Geffen told Cher about the sexual encounters he had had with men and how he was struggling with his sexual identity. He hastily added that his relationships with men had been about sex and nothing more. He was afraid of the opposite sex, he told her, but said that he believed a relationship with a woman would offer him the best chance to find true love. Cher had been surrounded by gay men her entire professional life, and Geffen's confessions left her unfazed.
"What is it that you do?" Cher finally asked Geffen.
"I am the chairman of Elektra/Asylum Records," he told her.
"Oh, well, you don't look like it," she said. "You look just like a little schlepper."
Geffen was charming, offsetting his usual braggadocio with vulnerability. The two stayed up well into the night, exchanging the stories of their lives. Geffen told her he had become a millionaire more than five years earlier. He told her that he thought he had accomplished everything he wanted to achieve, but that somehow the fame and the money was unfulfilling.
"I'm not alone anymore," Cher thought to herself. She had never known anyone in her life who made her feel so comfortable.
During his therapy session the next day, Geffen made a startling admission to Dr. Grotjahn. "I think I'm in love with Cher," he said.
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All that being said, David Geffen himself comes across as a crybaby, a hypocrite, and a backstabber. This isn't a knock on the style or on the reporting. In fact, Mr. King goes to great pains to show the generous and more human side of David Geffen. I probably would have rated this book higher if not for the stories that left such a bad taste in my mouth. Unfortunately, there are too many of those stories and the narrative seems repetitive, mainly because Geffen's behavior does not change all that much over his forty-plus years in the entertainment industry. Hey, the man does earn a tremendous amount of respect for building an empire and making himself possibly the wealthiest man in Hollywood, but he does it by screaming and pitching fits. It's hard to believe that such well-respected businessmen like Time-Warner's Steve Ross or Atlantic Records' Ahmet Ertegun could allow themselves to be drawn in to Geffen's schemes, but he managed to charm his way in. If the facts presented in the book are to be taken at face value, David Geffen has done more things in his life to be ashamed of than just about anyone else. What makes him so successful is that he isn't ashamed, and would probably do it again if he could. It's a great insight into what a mogul really is and how he got that way.
I am not sure exactly how a biography can be written with the subject's cooperation but without authorization, but from the episodes described in the book it can only mean that Geffen had every intention of making this book his legacy until he realized that it told the truth, or at least presented the facts in an unbiased (or non-Geffen biased) manner. Mr. King deserves credit for this, particulary since his subject is still very much alive and around to make his own opinions known.
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