caseyholdahl

Sep 26

Paul Allen On The Cover Of Guitar Aficionado

By caseyholdahl
Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen is on the cover of this month's edition of Guitar Aficionado holding a Fender Stratocaster, similar to the guitar that Jimi Hendrix played at Woodstock, which the article says Allen acquired for $1.3 million at an auction in 1993.


While the entire cover story isn't available online, here's is an excerpt in which Allen talks about Hendrix's guitar, which Allen hadn't held since purchasing it nearly two decades ago, his new album Everywhere At Once, and where his love for playing rock and roll guitar came from.
To say that life has been good to Paul Allen is an understatement. He co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates in 1975 and currently heads Vulcan Inc., with holdings that include Ticketmaster and the Seattle Seahawks NFL, Portland Trail Blazers NBA, and Seattle Sounders MLS sports teams. He’s also put his money to good use as an active, generous, and engaged philanthropist through the Paul G. Allen Foundation. With an estimated net worth of approximately $15 billion, Allen was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World and consistently ranks near the top of the annual Forbes 400 list.

And yet he still finds time for rock and roll.

“How can you not?” he says.

Allen is a quiet, self-contained man. Crisp one-liners seem to be his preferred mode of humor. He possesses an air of easy, understated command, and the people around him seem finely attuned to his moods, wishes, and preferences. Glistening, immaculately clean steel-framed eyeglasses enhance an overall impression of fastidious precision, but at times Allen can also seem slightly uncomfortable inside his own body, not unlike most computer software mavens when confronted with phenomena outside the realm of binary codes and programming languages.

“In high school, two things were central to my interest,” he says. “One was programming, which I got completely hooked on. The other was guitar playing. I ended up following the gravitational pull of programming, which became my avocation, but I never stopped playing guitar. Throughout the years when we were getting Microsoft going, I would program until three in the morning. When I came home, I’d still have a bit of adrenaline, so I’d put on a record and start playing along with it. Back in those days, it might have been Bad Company or Ted Nugent or whoever. Slowly, I’ve gotten better over the years, and I still am getting better.”
I too have played air guitar to "Cat Scratch Fever" and "Feel Like Making Love" so I guess that's something I have in common with Mr. Allen.

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