Jerry Heller is the business mastermind behind the second great paradigm shift in modern pop music. In 1967, it was the Beatles album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band that defined the rock music era. In 1988, Jerry Heller’s N.W.A. ushered in the age of gangsta rap. Jerry is responsible for bringing Elton John, Pink Floyd and Kraftwerk to U.S. shores, and he also managed the careers of such successful touring acts as Creedence Clearwater Revival, Van Morrison, and Ike and Tina Turner. But, above all, we know him (and love him) best for being a hard-ass. Ladies and gentlemen, in his own words, Mr. “Fuck tha Police,” Jerry Heller, as told to Sebastian Demian.
“I grew up in Cleveland on the same block that Bone Thugs-N-Harmony grew up on. That’s where all of the immigrants lived. And that’s where the Mayfield Road Mob and Cleveland Jewish Gangsters were. I grew up in that area, so I had always been around and dealt with guys like Eazy-E. I knew guys that carried guns at 11 years old.”
“I went to a little college on the border of West Virginia and Ohio where people never even considered whether you were Jewish or not. It was not part of their psyche. There were 27 Jewish students out of 5,000. It wasn’t something that crossed their minds. When I told my roommate, who was from New Jersey, that I was Jewish, I remember one night he said to me, â€˜Are you allowed to vote?’ I grew up in an era of virulent anti-Semitism.”
“I didn’t get laid until I got to California, and I had never smoked a joint. I grew up in a very midwestern, Victorian atmosphere. And, all of a sudden, David Geffen and I are these giant agents representing everybody in the world. I’m 31, 32 and I buy myself a new Rolls-Royce and women are all over me! I looked in the mirror one day and I said, â€˜Wow, you sure got handsome this year.’”
“At this stage in my life, I don’t like anyone who doesn’t like me, which includes my brother and the whole country of France.”