We were very interested in reading Danny Goldberg's Bumping Into Geniuses when news of Mr. Goldberg's book was about to be released. He's had a long and storied career - publicist for Led Zeppelin in the early 70's, starting Modern Records and then Gold Mountain Management before stints are leading three major record labels.
The reviews have been somewhat mixed but interesting:
Unfortunately, the Radar Online reviewer is bitter, clearly because of the A&R career he was unable to hold onto.
“Goldberg’s great talent appears not to have been running record labels but dealing with people. Both genuinely humble and softly manipulative, Goldberg is a master of relationships. And there seems to be no separation between his personal life and his professional ambitions. For every artist, executive, and peripheral character he befriends, represents, or comes into contact with, he has an agenda on how to leverage them into furthering his career or the success of whatever acts he was working for at the time.”
Goldberg includes long, gossipy chapters on Led Zeppelin, whom he worked for as a publicist and as vice president of the band’s record company, and Nirvana, whom he managed. But his is not a Great Man Theory of rock history. Instead, he focuses on little-known events and minor figures, offering amusing glimpses behind the scenes to show how populist tastes were shaped and catered to. There is a valuable section on the roguish radio consultant Lee Abrams, who created the album-oriented-rock format, which made multiplatinum successes of critically maligned groups like Boston, Kansas and Foreigner. Goldberg quotes Abrams gloating over the success of the AOR stalwarts Yes: “Rock critics hated them; the Lou Reed crowd couldn’t stand them.” A connoisseur’s version of rock n’ roll history has been passed down in book after book: the world according to the Lou Reed crowd. Goldberg has done a service by tipping the balance ever so slightly toward music that millions of record buyers — not tastemakers — listened to and loved.
LA Times sums it up in one sentence [and without mentioning Kurt Cobain!]
Reading "Bumping Into Geniuses" is like having a laminated backstage pass to the music business, intertwined with a juicy slice of countercultural history.
Entertainment Weekly also has a quick take on it:
Admirably blunt, but also spiked with tart humor.