Ruthless Records Co-Founder Jerry Heller Releases 'Ruthless' Memoir

Jerry Heller, music

industry executive and co-founder of the legendary rap label Ruthless Records,

recently released his memoirs, titled Ruthless. The

325-page book offers a glimpse into Heller's career in the music industry, which

started in the 1960's and 70's as a super agent who launched the first tours on

American soil for rock superstars Elton John and Pink Floyd. The

book, written with Gil Reavill, details Heller's relationship with music industry

gurus like David Geffen and Clive Davis, his work as an industry insider promoting

tours for arena-rock groups Journey, Styx, REO Speed Wagon, ELO and others, as

well as his eventual union with the late Eric "Eazy-E" Wright in March

1987, as cofounder of the historic label, Ruthless Records. "One

of the reasons I was able to understand what was happening in the 80's was because

it wasn't that unlike what I had seen in the mid-60's at the beginning of the

Rock & Roll era," Heller told "Around 1986, I heard

about a scene that was happening at a little pressing plant called Macola Records.

Other people recording and pressing at Macola at the time were Ice-T, MC Hammer,

The Timex Social Club, Egyptian Lover, Rodney O & Joe Cooley, Mix Master Spade,

Bobby Jimmy & the Critters [which featured Russ Parr] and a group called the

West Coast Wrecking Cru."Heller

started to manage the groups, including the West Coast Wrecking Cru. The

book details the first meeting between World Class Wrecking Cru leader Alonzo

Williams, Heller and Eazy-E on March 3, 1987.

"Up pulls this Suzuki Samuri all tricked out and Eazy gets out with [NWA

group member MC] Ren," Heller continued. "And I meet him and the guy

impressed me. He was only about 5'2. It wasn't his size. He had a kind of impact,

a charisma about him. He had this inner power I was very impressed with."Ruthless

details that fateful meeting, when Wright played his legendary song "Boyz

In Tha Hood" for Heller."It

freaked me out," Heller told "I thought it was the most

important music I had heard since the mid 60's and the beginning of Rock &

Roll. Fortunately I had been around long enough so that I could recognize it.

It was sort of a cross between Gil Scott-Heron, The Last Poets, The Rolling Stones

and The Black Panthers. I just said 'whoa, this is something special. This is

incredible music.' And it just blew me away. It had that hard core feeling I used

to associate with The Panthers, who were real serious individuals."The

next day, Eazy-E and Heller went into business, launching one of the most successful

rap record labels of all time, Ruthless Records.The

book chronicles Heller's tenure at the label and answers a number of questions

about the origins of Ruthless Records, how he and Eazy-E were invited to dine

with George Bush Sr., NWA tours ("bullets in one tour bus, weapons in the

other tour bus") and Marion "Suge" Knight's entrance into Ruthless

Records via Tracy "The D.O.C" Curry."I

always liked Suge Knight, but Eazy always saw right through him," Heller

told "He was an enterprising guy. I used to sit with him for

hours on end about management."Heller

said Eazy wanted to have Knight killed early on, because he "always felt

Suge was going to be a problem." For

the first time, Heller responds to accusations that he cheated Ice Cube and Dr.

Dre, two former members of legendary rap group NWA, who went on to become superstars.


pair left Ruthless Records in very public feuds with Eazy-E and Heller and released

the legendary diss records "No Vaseline," "Dre Day."Both

accused Heller of mismanaging their careers, charges Heller vehemently denies

in the final chapter of Ruthless titled "Real Niggaz Don't Die,"

which is dedicated to Eazy-E. Ruthless

is in stores now nationwide via Simon Spotlight Entertainment. For more information

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