Saturday, June 15, 2024

RIP Paul Allen, Flashback to His Great Parties in Cannes, St. Barth’s, and Around the World


Paul Allen– I am so sorry to hear of his passing at 65. He was soft spoken but a real rocker, and he loved a good party. He was not the party type. Allen was a quiet man, and thoughtful. He was not the life of the party except when he played the guitar. For years he hosted parties on one of his two yachts, the 414 foot Octopus (with a yellow submarine, helicopter, it was like the Mall of America) and its junior, the 303 ft. Tatoosh. Paul flew in his own band and invited famous musicians to play with him. Why not? Using his Microsoft money, Allen had become an incredible philanthropist. His dream of himself as a rock star was benign and fun. He didn’t have a lot of ego. He will really be missed. I talked to him at length this year in Cannes at the “Han Solo” premiere. He was gentle soul. I find myself more upset than I thought I would tonight.

here’s a report from 2010

Here’s another report I ran of a Paul Allen party. I’ll look for some others. This was from January 2, 2008:

Forget New Year’s Eve. The real party down in expensive, tony and, apparently, cold St. Bart’s this year was on Dec. 30. The location was Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s Octopus, the sixth-largest private yacht in the world at 414 feet.

I’m told guests got to rub elbows with Steven Spielberg, Denzel Washington and Brett Ratner, while both Jon Bon Jovi and Robbie Robertson played in separate jam sessions with the amiable Allen and his house rock band.

Also there were Billy Joel with wife, Katie Lee; Harvey Weinstein and bride, Georgina Chapman; Penny Marshall; Tom Freston; Linda Evangelista and Peter Morton; financier George Soros; and Rebecca DeMornay (fresh from her DUI arrest in Los Angeles).

LeeLee Sobieski; Vivi Nevo and Ziyi Zhang; Charles Simonyi and Martha Stewart; Lorne Michaels; and Antonio “LA” Reid of Island Def Jam Records all hung out on the boat.

My spies even spotted Warner Music Group’s Lyor Cohen, who was probably celebrating his company’s spectacular 75 percent loss in value for 2007. Their stock was trading at $6 Wednesday morning.

Maybe he was explaining over Champagne and caviar why on Friday, WMG suddenly turned over 3 million tracks to for downloading with copy protection (see Monday’s Fox411.) The many dozens of Warner/Atlantic legacy artists who depend on CD sales would be heartened to know Cohen was enjoying himself.

And St. Bart’s wasn’t the only mecca for A-listers this year. Cap Juluca, Anguilla, played host to Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson, Sir David Frost, actor Aidan Quinn and family and U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey.

I know what you’re thinking: How did we miss all of this? What could we have been doing back here in New York for two weeks that was more important? Answer: Considering that alternate-side-of-the-street parking was in effect most of the vacation, I don’t know!

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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