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Fame: Shep Gordon

It’s clear from your biopic, Supermensch, that you see fame as a dangerous thing.

Mike [‘Austin Powers’ Myers, director] calls it the “toxic waste of celebrity”, which is a fair description. If you’re Alice Cooper, Michael Douglas, even Jamie Oliver, it’s difficult to live a happy life with fame.

You knew Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, and you’ve said that the artists who get the most famous also get the most damaged.

The majority of entertainers have some hole somewhere in them, and they need people to tell them that they’re great, they need that immediate reaction of applause. But after you get to the top of your game you have the same hole there. Then you start using drugs and liquor as crutches, because the pain’s not going away.

_When you first took him on, Alice was drinking heavily, swearing at his audience. How did you think he adapted to success? _

He went through very rough times with his alcohol and drug addictions. Now he has other addictions – like golf. He’s a model for how dangerous fame is. He went down three times, but he got back up.

In Supermensch we see you living the high life, at Cannes, the Playboy Mansion…

I’ve been lucky to be next to some great_ _opportunities, and I take advantage of them.

Grant Moon is the News Editor for Prog and has been a contributor to the magazine since its launch in 2009. A music journalist for over 20 years, Grant writes regularly for titles including Classic Rock and Total Guitar, and his CV also includes stints as a radio producer/presenter and podcast host. His first book, 'Big Big Train - Between The Lines', is out now through Kingmaker Publishing.