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Books By Danny Goldberg
In early 1991, top music manager Danny Goldberg agreed to take on Nirvana, a critically acclaimed new band from the underground music scene in Seattle. He had no idea that the band's leader, Kurt Cobain, would become a pop-culture icon with a legacy arguably at the level of John Lennon, Michael Jackson, or Elvis Presley. Danny worked with Kurt from 1990 to 1994, the most impactful period of Kurt's life. This key time saw the stratospheric success of Nevermind turn Nirvana into the most successful rock band in the world and make punk and grunge household names; Kurt met and married the brilliant but mercurial Courtney Love and their relationship became a lightning rod for critics; their daughter Frances Bean was born; and, finally, Kurt's public struggles with addiction ended in a devastating suicide that would alter the course of rock history. Throughout, Danny stood by Kurt's side as manager, and close friend.
Drawing on Danny's own memories of Kurt, files which previously have not been made public, and interviews with, among others, Kurt's close family, friends and former bandmates, Serving the Servant sheds an entirely new light on these critical years. Casting aside the common obsession with the angst and depression that seemingly drove Kurt, Serving the Servant is an exploration of his brilliance in every aspect of rock and roll, his compassion, his ambition, and the legacy he wrought - one that has lasted decades longer than his career did. Danny Goldberg explores what it is about Kurt Cobain that still resonates today, even with a generation who wasn't alive until after Kurt's death. In the process, he provides a portrait of an icon unlike any that have come before.
A deep dive into the role that mass-appeal movies, television, videos, and music played in Donald Trump’s failed reelection campaign, including brand-new interviews with some of the major players.
"The former personal manager for artists including Nirvana and Bonnie Raitt interviewed some of the most well-known performers who raised their voices against the former president—including Bruce Springsteen, John Legend and Rosanne Cash, among others—for his recently released book, Bloody Crossroads 2020: Art, Entertainment, and Resistance to Trump."
"Bloody Crossroads 2020 is a riveting and thoughtful tour of the role artists played in resisting the horrors of the Trump presidency. Danny Goldberg provides a bracing and thorough recollection that is both a service and a reminder for artists to stay engaged and awake. To counter those who continually tell me to 'shut up and sing,' I will buy a couple of crates of this book and get my marching boots polished. Thank you, Danny, for reminding me how it went down, and where it might go."
"The people who produce our popular culture--the performers and makers of TV shows and movies and music and the rest--are nearly all on the political left. (Which drives the right crazy; crazier.) Danny Goldberg--impresario, activist, mensch--knowingly and passionately chronicles how and why more of his fellow culture-makers than ever enlisted in the fight to save American democracy in 2020. Our annus horribilis had a political happy ending, and Bloody Crossroads 2020 is its star-studded souvenir program."
--Kurt Andersen, author of Evil Geniuses and Fantasyland
Bloody Crossroads 2020 takes a deep dive into the role that mass-appeal movies, television, videos, and music played in America's political culture in the year of Donald Trump's failed reelection campaign. The book also explores the impact of entertainment celebrities in communications, fundraising, and campaigning to support the election of Joe Biden.
Although there existed a decades-old tradition of "liberal Hollywood," Trump's ascension to the presidency in 2016 triggered an unprecedented level of engagement by artists and performers. Within days of the 2016 election, a critical mass of entertainers, from teenagers to the last survivors of the World War II generation--blockbuster movie stars, art-film auteurs, Broadway dramatists, comedians, and musicians from the worlds of classical, country, pop, rock, R&B, and hip-hop--all seemed to have heard the tom-tom beat of resistance at the same moment and amplified a moral alternative to Trumpism. That level of engagement intensified with rare passion and purpose in the period of 2020 chronicled in Bloody Crossroads 2020--the Democratic primaries, the COVID-19 pandemic, the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd, the conviction of sexual predator Harvey Weinstein, and the 2020 general election campaign--culminating in Trump's failed insurrection.
Exhaustively researched, Bloody Crossroads 2020 draws from brand-new interviews with Bruce Springsteen, John Legend, Rosanne Cash, David Simon, Adam McKay, Chuck D, David Corn, Mandy Patinkin, and many more. It also explores the important political activities of entertainers like Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah, Taylor Swift, Cardi B, Alyssa Milano, Mark Ruffalo, Jane Fonda, Robert De Niro, Bette Midler, Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Ava DuVernay, Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, and Wanda Sykes.
‘Danny Goldberg is probably one of the purest, most reasonable
guides you could ask for to 1967.’ Ex-Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham.
‘Weaves together rollicking, rousing, wonderfully colourful and
disparate narratives to remind us how the energies and aspirations of the
counterculture were intertwined with protest and reform … mesmerising.’ The Nation
the year that saw the release of the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club
Band, and of debut albums from the Doors, the Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix and
Janis Joplin. The year of the Summer of Love and LSD; the Monterey Pop Festival
and Black Power; Muhammad Ali’s conviction for draft avoidance and Martin
Luther King Jr’s public opposition to war in Vietnam.
On its 50th anniversary, music business veteran
Danny Goldberg analyses 1967, looking not only at the political influences, but
also the spiritual, musical and psychedelic movements that defined the era,
providing a unique perspective on how and why its legacy lives on today.
Exhaustively researched and informed by
interviews including Allen Ginsberg, Timothy Leary and Gil Scott-Heron, In
Search of the Lost Chord is the synthesis of a fascinating and
complicated period in our social and countercultural history that was about so
much more than sex, drugs and rock n roll.
Danny Goldberg has written with pinpoint accuracy an important memoir filled with fascinating insights. His searing insights should be required reading for anyone concerned with the state of democratic politics in this country.”Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.
If Lester Bangs and Maureen Dowd had a love child, he’d have written this book.”Arianna Huffington
Danny Goldberg’s memoir contains the powerful reflections of the most progressive activist in the recording industry. His candor, vision and sense of humor is infectious.”Cornel West
When did American government become the enemy of American pop culture? Music insider and progressive activist Danny Goldberg has spent decades tuning in to the rhythms and voices that speak straight to the hearts and desires of America’s youth. In that time, one fact has become increasingly clear: our venerable political leaders are tone deaf. In this startling, provocative book, Goldberg shows how today’s professional public servants have managed to achieve nothing less than the indefensible, wholesale alienation of an entire generation.