The Rise & Rise of David Geffen

Published: 01/01/1997

In 1976, at age 33, David Geffen was faced with a serious challenge. He’djust lost his job as vice chairman of the Warner Bros. film studio. Six years earlier,he’d founded Asylum Records and brought out albums by Joni Mitchell, JacksonBrowne, Linda Ronstadt, and the Eagles, but those glory days, his critics believed,were behind him. The skinny, outspoken, curly-haired Brooklyn native, they said,was little more than a common hustler.

Undeterred, he founded Geffen Records in 1980 and a decade later he owned the bestindependent record label in America. He’d also become a successful producerof Broadway plays (“Cats” and “M. Butterfly”) and hit movies(“Risky Business” and “Beetlejuice”). Selling Geffen Recordsin 1990, he was now touted as the first self-made billionaire in Hollywood history.Yet just as he was experiencing his greatest achievements, he was being bitterlyattacked for his “dishonesty.” For years, Geffen had described himselfas bisexual, but now gay activists demanded that he step forward as a homosexual,donate millions to AIDS research, and declare his sexual identity to the world.After a nasty public battle, they got their wish.

This book is the first full-length biography ever written of Geffen and takes readerson a remarkable journey from his difficult youth to partying at Studio 54 to hisfailures and grand triumphs in Hollywood. The secrets behind his success are revealedalong the way.