n Monday, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen donated $1 million to the Jane Goodall Institute for wildlife conservation and ocean research in Africa.
On Tuesday, he dropped a rock album.
All in a week's work for the 60-year-old retiree, who in addition to founding Microsoft with Bill Gates, is now a sports magnate, a philanthropist, Forbes' 53rd-richest man in the world, and a pretty good songwriter and guitar player.
Everywhere at Once, Allen's first studio album with his band The Underthinkers, is the kind of easy, country-rock that a dad who grew up loving the Eagles could probably get behind. Allen wrote or co-wrote all 13 songs, and plays guitar on every track, alongside collaborators like Chrissie Hyde of the Pretenders, Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart, and Joe Walsh of the Eagles. You can hear the Walsh collaboration, Six Strings from Hell, at Rolling Stone.
Yes, Rolling Stone reviewed one of the songs. "Allen curls some twang and grit into the blues-rock track while Walsh's weathered vocals relate the immense power of an electric guitar," wrote the site, which sounds like an endorsement (we think).
So where did Allen get the chops to pull off a not-bad rock album? For one, the band and collaborators must have helped. But also, this isn't his first foray into music. Allen made an album with a band called Grown Men in 2000, the same year he opened the EMP Museum in Seattle.
It looks like he's doing the same thing with music that he did with sports — which is get involved as much as his fortune allows. Allen owns the Seattle Seahawks, the Portland Trailblazers, and a soccer team. And now he makes music with world famous rockers. (He has also performed alongside Bono, Carlos Santana, and Mick Jagger.)
As Joshua Brustein of Bloomberg Businessweek put it, "Such dalliances in sports and music are further evidence of how immense success frees grown-ups up to live their teenaged fantasies."
In other words, dreams really do come true for computer visionaries who happen to be pals with Bill Gates.
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