Book Review: Rock & Roll Books

Danny Goldberg

Rock & Roll Books

Bumping Into Geniuses: My Life Inside the Rock and Roll Business

by Danny Goldberg
Gotham, 320 pp., $26

Bumping Into Geniuses is an especially apt title for Danny Goldberg's stories of his life in the music business. At the beginning, he covers Woodstock because no one else at Billboard had any interest in attending. From there, it's a roller-coaster ride involving an unimaginable array of characters that includes Led Zeppelin, Kiss, Stevie Nicks, Patti Smith, Bonnie Raitt, Sonic Youth, Nirvana, Warren Zevon, and Steve Earle. He was head of Atlantic Records when Hootie & the Blowfish, Stone Temple Pilots, and Jewel sold more than 25 million albums combined and at Mercury when Hanson sold 10 million. Goldberg has a winning way of telling his tale with an obvious love for the music but without an overly inflated ego. His remembrances of working as Nirvana's manager when Nevermind took over the world are especially poignant. Goldberg's awe of the talent of Kurt Cobain is perfectly drawn, and the sense of helplessness after the young musician's suicide is palpable. An extended look at the latter days of Zevon's career offers unusual insight into the nexus of art and commerce. One is left with the sense that with more Danny Goldbergs involved in the music business, it wouldn't have its bad rap.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Danny Goldberg
Skies Partly Cloudy
Skies Partly Cloudy
Two years down the road, liberal network still struggles to establish itself

Kevin Brass, March 17, 2006

More Music Reviews
<i>Me & Mr. Cigar</i>
Me & Mr. Cigar
Butthole Surfers singer Gibby Haynes debuts a deeply weird and wonderful young adult novel.

Alyssa Quiles, Feb. 21, 2020

Revenge of the She-Punks
Revenge of the She-Punks

Rachel Rascoe, Dec. 6, 2019

More by Jim Caligiuri
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Her father's death and daughter's birth upped the stakes of the singer's finest work

April 14, 2017

SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
Soft Boys, Youngbloods, Moby Grape, Brian Jones’ grandson, etc.

March 18, 2017


Danny Goldberg, Nirvana, Led Zeppelin

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle