At 72, Jerry Weintraub is still swinging. He has just come out with his autobiography: “When I Stop Talking, You’ll Know I’m Dead: Useful Stories From a Persuasive Man” (Twelve: 292 pp., $25.99). For a fat tract of the last half of the last century, Weintraub was the Man Behind the Man, whether the man was Sinatra, Elvis or George H.W. Bush.
Long ago, Weintraub realized that the guy who does favors is never far from the guy who has favors done for him. One thing parlays into another. His firm, Concerts West, revolutionized the form in the 1960s. He managed recording artists and then moved on to producing television, Broadway shows and movies. He became chairman of United Artists. And he still works the phone.
“I get calls every morning,” Weintraub says from the deck of his Palm Desert mountaintop oasis. “Really I am a concierge, because the first 150 things I do in the day are for somebody else — get somebody rooms in Vegas, tickets for James Taylor, can you get me into this hospital, get me into that college?”