Thursday, April 25, 2024

Paul Allen: Time to Update the Social Software


One thing you can say for mysterious Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen: he doesn’t know how to throw a party. He does have a big yacht parked out in the Cannes marina with its full sized yellow submarine, floating hospital, and basketball court.

On Wednesday night, he hosted a party for the Rolling Stones vanity piece documentary, “Stones in Exile.” If Emily Blunt hadn’t made an appearance around 11:30 pm, Allen’s party would have been labeled the Voyage of the Garmento’s. The only other name stars were Ryan Gosling and Adrien Brody.

I looked back in old columns to see who’d been at previous years’ Allen parties. The answer is, few celebs. Whoever’s advising him isn’t doing a very good job. How can you have a gigantic yacht and no celebrities? Not even Mick Jagger, who’s said to be staying on the yacht, has shown up at Allen’s parties.

Monday night was pretty much the same thing. At least on Monday, Allen played with his pick-up rock garage band. By Wednesday, the band room was shut down.

On the good news side, people who’ve been on the boat say Allen looks better,albeit on the heavy side. He’s been battling non Hodgkins lymphoma for some time. Friends say he’s off to Norway next to do something or other considered once-in-a-lifetime. Readers of my old column may recall Allen’s failed attempt to photopgraph wild dogs in Zambia in the summer of 2008–even after spending millions. My friends and I got the pictures instead, by accident, for free.  

Speaking of the Rolling Stones doc, here’s a question that was asked by not just a few people last night after the screening: where the heck is Keith Richards in all this? Mick Jagger has made this is own project. Even though the names of Richards and Charlie Watts are on the same Executive Producer card as Jagger, there’s no sign of Richards at all for this “Exile on Main Street” re-release.

 PS Allen, an amateur musician, loves his rock and roll icons. He has a full state of the art recording studio on his yachts and in his houses. Robbie Robertson, leader of the legendary Band, has been making an album at Allen’s Hollywood Hills studio this year.



Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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