Jerry Heller

He gave Irving Azoff his first job in Hollywood.

Irving sent letters to all the major players and Jerry was the only one who said yes, and Irving was loyal to Jerry forever thereafter, because that’s how the game is played, you remember where you came from.

‘Cause I was wondering why Irving would respond. We’d get caught up in these e-mail chains…

Jerry had a band. It was from Denver or Philly or Pittsburgh and he put on the full court press, if you didn’t go to the show you’d pay, the Israeli Mafia would come after you. That’s right, Jerry had support. Bodyguards. He lived through the rap wars.

As for what happened with Jerry and Eazy-E and Dre… I don’t know. As a matter of fact, Jerry never bitched about them to me. All the hatred seems to go in one direction. You can read his book if you want his viewpoint, which is interesting but has been plowed under.

But Jerry could tell a tale. He’d get you in a corner and go on like he was revealing state secrets.

He told me about Dre going to Death Row. And the most fascinating part involved Jimmy Iovine. Scared for his life. Riding in his limo lying down so he wouldn’t get shot.

Would Jimmy tell it the same way?

I don’t know.

But my favorite Jerry Heller story, the one I tell over and over again, is…

A guy was writing a book about Ruthless Records. And Jerry’s going on about it, because with Jerry everything was ultra-important, the world depended upon it. And the guy asked…

“How many albums did you sell at Ruthless Records?”


And then Jerry leaned his head into mine and said sotto voce, like in a “Godfather” movie…MY COMPANY, MY NUMBER!

And there you have the music business in a nutshell, it’s all smoke and mirrors.

Jerry was good entertainment, even if you got uptight every time you heard from him.

He’s gone now.

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