Jerry Weintraub has a philosophy: “Savor life, don’t press too hard, don’t worry too much.” But the 72-year-old Hollywood super-producer admits in his highly entertaining memoir (written with Rich Cohen), When I Stop Talking You’ll Know I’m Dead: Useful Stories From a Persuasive Man, that he hasn’t always lived by that creed—he was too busy “working, hustling, trading, scheming, and making a buck as soon as I was old enough to leave my parents’ house.”
During the five decades Weintraub’s been in show business, he’s had an impressive roster of clients and friends: Elvis Presley, Frank “Call me Francis” Sinatra, George H.W. Bush, John Denver, Cary Grant, Bruce Willis and George Clooney. The book chronicles his early days in the Bronx, to being on the road with Led Zeppelin, to engaging in a drinking contest with the cast of Ocean’s Eleven; it provides a fascinating peek into the upper echelon of Hollywood hobnobbing, with amusing anecdotes along the way (who knew John Denver wanted to ditch his glasses?).
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