On May 29, 2014, Examiner.com was on the scene at the New York premiere of Mike Myers' directorial debut "Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon" at MoMA. Of course Mike was in attendance and the film's subject Shep Gordon. The documentary, which is already getting Oscar buzz, tells the story of Shep Gordon's rise to become one of the most powerful and respected managers in Hollywood. His career began with a hilarious chance encounter with Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin.
Shep went on to manage Alice Cooper as well as stints with Blondie, Luther Vandross and Raquel Welch, among others. He even found time to invent the “Celebrity Chef.” Michael Douglas, Sylvester Stallone, Anne Murray, Willie Nelson, Emeril Lagasse also appear in the film. Notables who walked the red carpet at the premiere included Anthony Bourdain, Kelly Choi, Peter Cincotti, Elvis Costello, Clive Davis, Gina Gershon, Bob Gruen, Paul Haggis, Steve Higgins, Kyle MacLachlan, John Cameron Mitchell, Zac Posen, Maggie Q, Zachary Quinto, Jason Sudeikis, Olivia Wilde, Toni Collette, Michael Stipe, Donna Karan, Daniel Boulud, Anna Cleveland, Amy Sacco, Marina Rust, Ron Delsener and David Rockwell.
In his intro Shep said, "Thank you all for coming and I hope you really enjoy ... it’s amazing to be the subject of Mike Myers’ first film and when I finished seeing the movie for the first time, I said, 'Wow, can you introduce me to that guy Shep Gordon? I really want to meet him. He’s so cool.'"
Mike Myers made a touching speech at the premiere. He joked, "Although this is going to sound like a long speech it isn’t, trust me. I got hired to the Second City Theater Company on my last day of high school ... and was accepted to York University in Toronto to their Fine Arts Program. They offered two streams, film productions and film studies. Being the young pseudo-intellectual punk rocker I was, I chose film studies. My heroes were Jean-Luc Godard ... Orson Welles was a god and he made the documentary 'F is for Fake' ... and that film rocked my world. What was real and what was fake all got in the familiar essay styles of Kurt Vonnegut I was also obsessed with Haskell Wexler’s 'Medium Cool.'"
Myers continued, "In Bruce Connor’s report, 'though perhaps technically more of an experimental film than a true documentary, it did abstractly guild with the reports of Kennedy’s assassination.' Walter Murch describes film as, 'dynamic realism.' And the realistic dynamic world of documentary has always fascinated me and I hold it in high and warm regard. All film entertainment deals with design and narrative and in the Venn diagram of documentary film entertainment, the Venn diagram circles with narrative and design are joined with a third circle called “reportage.” I’ve always had the greatest respect for those who toiled in the fields of reportage. And now having gone through this, I can’t believe how hard it is."
Myers added "These thoughts occupied my mind as a young Toronto punk pseudo-intellectual artist who went to the movies four times a week because I lived in a city where you could. Do movies tell the truth at 24 frames per second or do movies lie at 24 frames per second? And then I got hired by 'Saturday Night Live.' And then for twenty years I begged Shep Gordon to let me make a documentary about him. And then he said yes. I’ve always had respect for those people who are the masters of reportage and now they are clearly gods who walk as man. Shep is a man who is both fascinating and fascinated. He knows more Hollywood gossip than any human on earth and refuses to repeat any of it. He’s like a father figure to me as he has been to thousands of people in show business, but more importantly, he had been a father figure to thousands of people in real life. Simply, I love you Shep, and I hope that many people get to see why I do."
Below are some exclusive interviews we did on the red carpet with Shep's friends.
Any update on the Austin Powers Musical?
It’ll arrive when it’ll arrive. It’s my music with Burt Bacharach. There’s a lot of songs. You’ll have to wait for that one. Mike’s got his hands full with this.
What do you miss most about "Desperate Housewives"?
Hanging with the cast. Working with Marcia, seeing James and Doug and the guys. It was pretty fun. And I would have to say it was a very pleasant place to work, especially when we were outside on the back lot with the houses in the neighborhood because it was always a nice day and you got to work outside and that was very special.
Recently you’ve stated that your success is an accident, would you like to elaborate?
It’s a work in progress. I didn’t have a plan. I wasn’t working towards anything. I intended to write a book for entertainment for a few cooks in the New York restaurant subculture and that blew up. And opportunities started presenting themselves and I took advantage of some of them as they came.
When did you first meet Shep?
We had Alice on the show for a brief scene on one of my travel sites.
What are your reflections on how Shep Gordon made the celebrity chef?
Well Shep was there early and often and seeing how some of the most important figures in the history of modern cooking, how badly they were treated. And I think he took it as a personal front, given how he felt about the craft. And he decided to do something about it, so he was a transformative figure.
The after-party continued at The Wayfarer where guests sipped on Tequila Casa Dragones cocktails. The Radius-TWC release is 84 minutes and hits theaters on June 6, 2014.
Catherina Gioino contributed reporting.