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Hot 20: The Music Woman, Jodi Goodman

Photograph by Zach Gross.

HOT. The word carries so many meanings: passionate, sizzling, trendy, intense, and yes, sexy. But for us, it signals our favorite month. Meet the 20 movers and shakers that have us fired up this year.

From the time she was 13, Jodi Goodman was destined to be a promoter. Only problem was she had no idea such a job even existed. “I was sneaking out to shows before I could drive,” she admits. “I was at the Mudd Club, Danceteria, Studio 54...”

In college, the president of Live Nation California tended bar at a failing jazz club in Boston. Goodman convinced the owners to let her run it as a rock club. “I told them, ‘You couldn’t do any worse.’ It took off like a rocket. I still didn’t see this as a career, though, until other venues started calling, wanting me to do the same thing.”

In 2003, it was Bill Graham’s former company on the line, asking her to come west. Now, Goodman books artists such as John Mayer and Björk into, say, the Shoreline and the Craneway, and—a bigger challenge—develops new venues. “In January, we’re starting construction at the Masonic. This city will finally have a 3,000-seat ballroom!”

Any regrets? She never met Graham. “But there isn’t a day we don’t think of him. It’s impossible not to with that huge painting of him outside my office. I always think, ‘I hope I’m doing well by you.’”

What Jodi Goodman loves almost more than music

“The thing about TV I’m finding that is so awesome is that where it used to be you’d be really upset when your show’s ending—I was like, ‘How am I going to live without Homeland? How am I going to live without Mad Men?’ But now within just weeks something great is starting, so it’s really helping you move into the next show. I had the same feeling when Game of Thrones ended, like, ‘How are we going to get by?’ And when Weeds ended, but there’s such great TV... Sons of Anarchy, Orange Is the New Black, and now Ray Donovan. Great storytelling...all of that talent from movies has finally just let go and said, ‘You know what? This actually is an okay medium.’ I’ll almost turn to that before I’ll put on music.”