New York City, 1973. Together with his partners, Richie Finestra, president of American Century Records, is on the verge of selling his struggling company to German Polygram, in a deal that includes an impending distribution agreement with Led Zeppelin. But after a disastrous meeting, it's clear that the sale is in jeopardy.
With German Polygram executives in town to complete the deal for American Century, Richie delivers a bombshell that shocks the prospective buyers, as well as his partners, Zak Yankovich, ACR's head of promotions, and Skip Fontaine, head of sales. When the dust settles, the Germans storm out of the ACR offices, leaving Richie to face the ire of Zak, Skip and company attorney Scott Levitt.
At a record producers' banquet honoring Maury Gold, Richie is embarrassed when the emcee, rival record exec Jackie Jervis, makes a joke about the failed German Polygram deal. Later, Maury and mob cohort Corrado Galasso pay a visit to American Century to probe a detective's recent inquiry, and Joe Corso drops by to pitch Richie a demo by his banquet date, Nora.
Richie feels embarrassed at a record producers' banquet whilst a junior A&R rep attempts to court Alice Cooper.
Richie manages to get on the good side of a funk superstar. Skip attempts to get rid of some Donny Osmond records.
Devon retreats to safety among old friends at the Chelsea Hotel as Richie continues to descend into a lifestyle of debauchery.
Richie and Zak travel to Las Vegas with a plan to woo Elvis Presley and convince him to sign a contract with American Century.
Richie reaches out to Galasso for a loan when he's desperate for cash. Lester gives Kip a lesson in the blues.
The Buck Rogers murder case creates a dangerous dilemma for Richie. At American Century, Maury Gold pitches a '50s compilation LP while Zak tries to fund a band for his wedding-singer Gary, a.k.a. "Xavier." Clark and Jorge bond over an Indigo tune.
Zak constructs a dangerous plan to bring down Richie. Kip's excesses threaten an important Nasty Bits gig. Clark and Jorge's efforts pay off. Richie is privy to the birth of a legendary music venue.