What hasn’t Paul Allen done?
The man is a billionaire and a philanthropist. He co-founded Microsoft, and he owns three professional sports teams. And this week, he released a rock album.
The album features Allen and his band playing blues guitar songs with numerous rock stars, including Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders, Joe Walsh of the Eagles, David Hidalgo of Los Lobos, and Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart.
Allen wrote or co-wrote all of the songs, including “Divine,” a track that was used in last year’s movie “Magic Mike” starring Channing Tatum.
The album is being put out by Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, and all the proceeds will go toward educational programs at Allen’s Experience Music Project Museum in Seattle. A number of free tracks can be found on the album’s website.
The 60-year-old rocker told Guitar Aficionado magazine that his interests in high school were programming and playing the guitar. Although Allen went the way of tech, he said rock ‘n’ roll always remained a part of his life and that he has only continued to get better with the guitar over the years.
“Making this album was fun and rewarding for me,” he told the magazine. “We came up with more than 70 songs over the last year and a half. I’ve been fortunate in my life to play with some of the greatest guitarists and rock and roll musicians ever. It was an amazing thrill to have some of them play on the album.”
Allen is the second founder of a tech company to release a rock album this year. Earlier, Groupon founder and former CEO Andrew Mason also released an album, called “Hardly Workin',” but the soft-rock, motivational album was not very well received.