Image Credit: Jennifer Graylock/Retna LtdGrand Central Publishing announced this morning that it has acquired The Last Starmaker, a memoir from longtime Sony chairman and CEO Tommy Mottola. In a press release, senior editor Ben Greenberg said, “Tommy Mottola revolutionized the role of the record executive. He has many stories to tell, and we are thrilled to have him put them all on paper.”
UPDATE: EW spoke with Greenberg about the book:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How did you get the deal?
BEN GREENBERG: It was a preemptive offer.
Did you know immediately that you wanted it?
A lot had been written about Tommy by other people, but I hadn’t heard his side of the story and I thought that it was a side that should be out there.
What will the book be like?
He was certainly surrounded for the better part of his career, and continues to be, by some of the biggest names in music entertainment. Certainly, stories about them will make up most of the book.
Will there be new stories beyond the big ones, like his marriage to Mariah Carey and his fallout with Michael Jackson?
There will be a lot of new stories. Something about it that was interesting to me besides the obvious Mariah Carey and Michael Jackson stories—those are the two most headline grabbing ones that people know about—was the way he entered the business, dropping out of college and all that. That isn’t a path that most people take. His breaking in and growing up, that stuff was interesting to me. I didn’t really want it to be an inside baseball type thing where it’s only interesting to people who are really into the music industry itself, or who work in the music industry, so for it to have more of a commercial appeal, I think it’s important that he tell stories that everyone can relate to.
So not much of the industry, Walter Yetnikoff stuff.
I don’t want to spend a lot of time on that at all, and I don’t think Tommy does either. He wants to focus on more accessible stories, as well as the music of the time. Tommy describes it as wanting it to feel like a cinematic book. It’s set to the backdrop of these songs that defined the eras that we’re dealing with.
To you, what’s the significance of the title, The Last Starmaker?
In a lot of ways, the music industry as it existed when Tommy was running Sony, that whole model has gone. He was one of the last luminary record executives that were able to create those kinds of things through sheer will and talent. He was riding high on the end of that model. It just recreated itself in a whole different way since the digital revolution.
The whole grooming a star model, you mean.
Yeah, it just doesn’t exist anymore.
Is the book going to address that?
It’ll definitely address that. He has a lot of feelings about that.
Thoughts? Is this one celebrity memoir you’d read?