A Spring Sit-Down with Linda Stein

In early May of this year, The Observer‘s Max Abelson sat down with Linda Stein to talk about her two careers–the first as a music manager for the likes of The Ramones and her second as a highly successful broker to stars like Sting and Billy Joel. Stein was found murdered on Tuesday night in her Fifth Avenue apartment.

Some excerpts from the May interview are below. The complete interview can be read here.

The phrase “celebrity broker” essentially originated to describe you. Now that lots of brokers have become celebrities and get P.R. people, how do you feel about that?
The press has been extremely detrimental to my career. Basically, people of great wealth do not want it discussed by anybody. Discretion, discretion, discretion!

Some broker was on TV saying she sold something I sold. And someone in about seven publications said that he handled the deal [when] I had the listing and the buyer. I’d rather give up too much publicity than the credibility with my clients.

Was the 80’s a better time?
No. Maybe the music was better, but no. The 80’s was so full of nightlife, no one went to the gym …. Life has changed completely.

How has the world of elite real-estate brokers changed? Is it more competitive now?
Competitive? Always. Ethical? Less and less by the five-minute period. They lie, the brokers—they lie to brokers, they lie to clients. There’s lying. Lying!

How many grandchildren do you have?
One. But [my daughter] crawled out of her crib when she was 2 years old and found Iggy Pop rolling a joint on the living-room floor with Paul Simon and Elton John sitting there. So for my daughter to be wrapped up in a white picket fence is the most extraordinary thing.

What’s your ex-husband, music mogul Seymour Stein, like? Is he crazy?
Of course he’s crazy. If you’re not crazy, you’re boring. Seymour’s crazy. I’m crazy. Bob [Dylan] is crazy. In a good way!