Click here to return to the main site.
All the reviews for this book are going to start the same: You have probably never heard of Ron Weisner, but you should have.
Listen Out Loud. A Life in Music – Managing McCartney, Madonna and Michael Jackson (2014, reprint 2016, 244 pages) is an autobiographical account of Weisner’s career as a music manager, the book is co-authored by Alan Goldsher, an author of fourteen of his own novels.
Weisner started out in the business at a young age with a drive to listen to and help create great music, wherever it originated, a drive which feels undiminished up to today. Along the way he managed some of the biggest acts in the eighties and in one way the book represents an honest expose of the era and the work.
From the beginning he immersed himself into the black music scene at a time when race was still a divisive issue in America, often travelling up to Harlem to hear bands play. With such a love of good music it would seem inevitable that he should find himself gravitating towards the business. Starting as a low level gofer and working his way up.
There will always be problems with a book of this sort. Firstly, within the law of libel, we are really only getting Weisner’s version of what happened, which is no real surprise as truth is a three edged sword and we are only presented with a single edge here. Secondly where there are negative comments the recipients are not given a right of redress, but this is the nature of autobiography. Weisner repeatedly affirms that he is not egotistical; although he may be forgetful given the number of time he has to remind the reader about his lack of ego.
Some artists do not come off well, including Madonna and Lauren Hill, but his genuine fondness for Michael Jackson oozes out of every line written about the artist, in the same manner the vitriol pours when he is talking about Jackson’s father, Joe.
Weisner has undoubtedly had an interesting life and although the book will not win any awards for its literary excellence, it’s still nice, as an outsider, to get a peek behind the curtain.