“When I Stop Talking, You’ll Know I’m Dead” Book Summary + Lessons + Inspiring Quotes

“When I Stop Talking, You’ll Know I’m Dead” narrates a unique American journey, one marked by serendipity, love, and improvisation, with wit, wisdom, and the cool assurance that has characterized his brilliant career.

Not only for movie and music fans, but also for businesses, entrepreneurs, and artists, the stories he relates and the lessons we acquire are invaluable.

Here are some quotes from “When I Stop Talking, You’ll Know I’m Dead”

-Every decision is another one that isn’t made, another route that has been travelled and lost.

-When the IRT train passed through Jerome Avenue at night, its windows aglow, I fantasized about going to the city.

-I used to skip school on occasion, tired of the drab days in the classroom, and instead catch a train to Times Square.

-There’s nothing like exiting a movie theatre on a summer night while the sun is still shining.

-We feared him, even though he was the nicest man on the planet. We dashed into our homes and huddled under our beds at the first gleam of his grille.

-My mother, like many other Jewish women of the day, went straight from her parents’ house to her husband’s residence.

-She was a lovely woman, endowed with all the wonderful qualities that we boys give to our mothers: she was constantly present, watching, supporting, loving, and shining.

-My dad came back from a trip with the largest sapphire I had seen when I was eight years old. It was rubbish that I had purchased from a second-hand store.

-He refined it and then did something that really stood out to me. He gave it a name. “The Star of Ardaban,” he called it.

-He had a special case built for the Star of Ardaban, the kind you’d wear around your wrist shackled.

-As we approached the top of the hill, I opened my eyes. I could see the city skyscrapers, the hills behind them, and the ocean beyond them. 

-The light was so bright that it caught the sun-glinting tops of the towers.

-The neighbourhood took on a new meaning for me over time. 

-It was as if I were seeing it for the first time. 

-It wasn’t just about streets and stores anymore: it was about wants and opportunities, as well as money to be made.

-I received a lot of letters from my high school love, who subsequently became my first wife. In her presents, she used to include cookies and candy.

-Dealing with an opponent can include punching, words, mocking, etc.

-Fairbanks, Alaska, was one of the most depressing tasks during my time with the Air Force. 

-It was the Wild West: dirt roads, trading posts, and a saloon with the kind of long wood bar you see in old westerns. 

-On their route to the Aleutian Islands, where we had radar stations and listening posts, soldiers and contractors paused in town.

-I forgot about everything else when I was with Jane, which is why my previous marriage failed miserably.

-Jane was divorced from her husband, and I got divorced from my wife. After that, it was just me and her. 

-She chauffeured me around and introduced me to everyone; Walter Winchell, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Johnny Carson. 

-Miss Dodger had been her name. Miss Ebbets Field was her previous title. Every man on the face of the earth yearned to be with her.

-If I could give the young people in Brooklyn and Kankakee one piece of advice, it would be to persevere, push, and never give up.

-It was a weird afternoon, spent in limbo between my life as it had been and my life as it would be. 

-Elvis Presley was the most famous celebrities in the planet. Everything would change if I put him on the road, if I promoted him. That seemed obvious to me.

-Elvis was a year or two older than I was. He was also the most famous person on the planet. Nonetheless, he addressed me as sir. 

-It’s how he was brought up. He was illiterate and country, but he was a true gentleman in many ways.

-Years later, the Colonel was working as an advisor for Hilton Hotels in Las Vegas. He was a magnificent guy, yet he died the way most men do: slowly at first, then all at once.

-Working with Elvis made me wealthy, taught me how to run a show, and turned me become a player. 

-I didn’t have to put in a lot of work. You can, to some extent, let business find you once you’ve established yourself. 

-You become a lighthouse, a gateway to a better existence. “Could you do what you did for Elvis for me?” In other words, people seek you out.

-Producing the movie was a dream come true for me. George’s hair, or more specifically, false hair, was the only significant concern. 

-He would not, simply put, remove his toupee. We pleaded. He flatly refused.

-Cruising was released in 1980. It did well at the box office, thanks to all of the publicity. 

-To be honest, the film was released far too soon. If it were released now, when people’s minds have been opened to lifestyles other than their own, it would be a smash hit.

-“I’m not interested in a one-off initiative with Armand Hammer,” I replied, “but I would explore an exclusive arrangement that covers all such cultural exchanges.”

-The phone rang five minutes later. It had to be Hammer. “Hey, child,” he said, “come over here and let’s speak.”

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