Ruthless Book Proj.

10/10/05. Reavill: In time for my birthday, the long-aborning JERRY HELLER MEMOIR PROJECT finally got sold to Simon & Schuster’s Spotlight Entertainment imprint. This’ll be a ass-kicking project that will set the hip-hop world on its collective ear.

Check out the flap copy: “PAYBACK’S A BITCH, JERRY.”

The words scrawled crudely across Jerry Heller’s bedroom mirror that afternoon meant the rap wars had suddenly escalated. In the battle of his life over the ragingly successful music label he helped found, Ruthless Records, Heller had seen death threats, extortion, strong-arming, and beatings. Now the violence had come home when his enemies burglarized his house, jacked his Corvette, and left behind this sneering piece of graffito.

Heller didn’t get mad, he got even. Ruthless tells the explosive story of Jerry Heller’s alliance with Eric Wright, a.k.a. “Eazy-E,” one of the legends of rap music and a founding member of “the world’s most dangerous band,” N.W.A. As a long-time music industry super-agent, Heller had the skill and insight necessary to guide N.W.A.’s comet-like rise to the top of the charts. Along the way there were raucous nationwide tours, out-of-control MTV pool parties, and X-rated business meetings. Heller held on through the brutal shocks and reversals of the Ruthless Records era, which saw the label being targeted by the F.B.I. and its principal artists locked in back-stabbing and betrayal, until a final turnaround placed Ruthless at the top of the heap once more. Always in the middle of the whirlwind were Jerry and Eazy, an odd-couple pairing that represents one of deepest and most appealing stories in American music.

You don’t have to be an N.W.A. fan to love Ruthless. Heller turns the music industry inside out, exposing its strange logic and larger-than-life personalities. Ruthless provides keen insight into the popular music scene, with an unforgettable portrait of its rollicking excesses, life-churning drama, and multi-million-dollar highs.

The Explosive Tell-All Memoir of a Maverick Music Mogul with an Ear for Talent and a Talent for Controversy
by Jerry Heller with Gil Reavill

Across five tumultuous decades, Jerry Heller has helped shape American popular music, breaking new talent, developing new trends, and forging an industry-wide reputation as “the guy who gets there first.” He rose to prominence in the 1960s as a “super-agent,” ranking with such legendary names as David Geffen and Freddie Fields, importing Elton John and Pink Floyd for their first major American tours, representing Journey, Styx, REO Speedwagon, Boz Scaggs, The Grass Roots, Guess Who, Marvin Gaye, Joan Armatrading, Van Morrison, War, Average White Band and Crosby-Nash.

In the mid-80s, Heller was the moving force and marketing genius behind the world-wide emergence of West Coast rap music. He not only founded Ruthless Records with the late Eazy-E, but discovered or managed N.W.A., Egyptian Lover, World Class Wreckin’ Cru, L.A. Dream Team, Black-Eyed Peas, J.J. Fad, Above the Law, Rodney O and Joe Cooley, the D.O.C. and Bone Thugs 'N Harmony. Dollar for dollar the most successful music executive of the rap era, Jerry Heller continues to work and prosper in a changing music business. He lives in Calabasas, California with his wife Gayle, sister-in-law Vicki, and their four dogs, three cats, and a parrot.


Product Details

Simon Spotlight Entertainment, September 2006
Hardcover, 336 pages