David Bowie The Star Man and The Magic I Had On His Yacht ‘Deneb Star C’

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Ciao Tim, you know your friend David Bowie he is selling his yacht, I would like to buy it direct, my very good friend is a yacht broker but if I buy direct it would mean more money for Bowie – Flavio Briatore  (Benetton Formula 1 Racing)

It was Cannes Film Festival and my film production company had among its team a man who worked for David Bowie and who Bowie said I would really get along with.  Bowie was right Robert Goodale and I did get along, he was smart, ten steps ahead of you when you told him about new technology.  As David Bowie never had any managers, or agents, he did have a great business team.  Goodale was the man who at one point you ran everything past, movie ideas, internet, investments, and if money was required then it went over to another person who would look at all the tax matters, and plan it all out and have money sent to you ( the subject of my next blog the man who will now look after Bowie’s $100 million estate).   David Bowie and Iman were in South Africa at the time and I was not really in the mood to go to Cannes, however Goodale insisted I come all of Hollywood was here and all the meeting could take place on Bowie’s yacht and I might as well make the yacht my base of operation in Cannes. So I called every film producer, writer, director I wanted to deal with and gave them the berth number of the yacht in port ‘Gare Maritime’ next to Palais des Festivals.

One night while walking around the Palais des Festivals with one of my film company Producers (YouTube interview with Jeffery),  Jeffery Taylor who do I run into but my entertainment attorney Ken Klienberg, his wife and daughter.  Ken Klienberg and I first met when I tried to buy the film library of Weintraub Entertainment Klienberg had worked for Hollywood mogul Jerry Weintraub . After the sale of the film library to another party (still a sticking point with me) Ken Klienberg and Bob Lange went off to start their own legal firm  in Los Angeles and I really liked them and so they became my attorneys and helped put a studio deal for my production company with 20th Century Fox.

Hi Ken, how are you guys doing on this wonderful evening? Would you like to come over for few drinks on the boat?

So we all decided to walk over and I sensed a great curiosity from Ken, as to what kinda of boat he was going to end up on with his wife and daughter.   Klienberg only knew that my film production company did not have an office that I rarely left my house in Laurel Canyon on Elusive Drive a dirt road.

As we got to the boat (yacht actually), the crew was all at attention, all tall, blond guys in their whites.  Now I had piqued their interest.  I did not tell them off course whose yacht they were on.  Soon after walking into the living room of the yacht, and looking at all the art on the wall, of this singer known to the world as David Bowie, Klienberg turned to me and asked, “Whose yacht is this?’, I casually said, “David Bowie’s”.

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Ken Klienberg’s daughter had been sitting on the carpet with her drink, and started to feel the carpet, and I’m not sure if she did or did not say “Oh my god, Oh my god, you mean to tell me David Bowie has walked on this carpet, oh my god”, but it pretty much went something like that. Jefferey Taylor seemed amused and in his British accent said, ‘calm down it’s only a carpet the man’s not even here”.   I offered to show them my bedroom and as I gave them a mini tour I let them know all the art on the yacht paintings and drawings were Bowie.  They took the time to appreciate what a talented man Bowie was.

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Hollywood is Hollywood, and when you are trying to do deals to make films then there are a lot of yachts you can go on and have meetings on, but the faces of people when they come on board Deneb Star C (named after the brightest star in the constellation) was priceless, after all this was David Bowie’s yacht it was not just any yacht.

Those film producers, writers or film directors who were not into women, what I’m trying to say were gay, would be constantly looking around at the crew and comment, “all these handsome men”, and I would tell them “It’s David Bowie’s yacht what do you expect everyone is gonna be good-looking”.

It would be the last time the yacht would be in Cannes at the film festival.  It was at this time that Flavio Briatore who was in Monaco for the Monaco Grand Prix on the Benetton yacht.  Briatore at the time was managing the Benetton Formula One Team and had expressed the desire to buy it Bowie’s yacht, he was in the market and wanted something bigger than the yacht he was on.  Bowie’s yacht was not going to be Briatore’s it had already been spoken for the deposit had already been made the team in New York was gonna close the deal.

One late night the Captain and I sat on the yacht drinking whiskey looking at old Cannes and talking, and oh the stories, you can only imagine .  While sitting on the yacht the Captain and I looked for Deneb Star C  in the night sky and I said to him, “How small is the world, Mick Jagger has been on this yacht with Jerry Hall, Jerry Weintraub and now Ken Klienberg who looks after Jagger’s film company and worked for Weintraub.  Yes sir the stars are all connected like Deneb Star.

It was day before the madness in Monaco for the Grand Prix and I decided I would go see Briatore and so the Captain made the call; …

This is the Captain of Deneb Star C requesting permission for our guest to come aboard the Benetton yacht.

David Bowie would go on to write lyrics, ” Getting my facts from a Benetton ad /I’m lookin’ thru African eyes “.

While David Bowie has left us on earth I  can tell you where to find him just look to the heavens and at  Deneb Star and you will find Bowie.

 

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My Adventure with Frank Sinatra to John Allan’s – Men of Style!

Peter Munck now a Canadian Billionaire founder of Barrick Gold had set up a meeting for me in the lobby of the King Edward Hotel in Toronto.  It was with another Canadian, who had grown up in a town called Timmins, Ontario before moving to Ottawa the country’s capital.  He was short.  He wore a black suit, white shirt, with a exquisite black tie (something Tom Ford would recreate for Gucci).  A hand was extended to me full of confidence, ” Hello Timothy, I am Paul Anka”. “Hello Paul”, I replied as I shook the hand of the man who had written and recorded so many hit songs and I knew them all. In high school with the school orchestra and my band on stage I had walked on in a black tuxedo and belted out My Way. Yea I knew of Paul Anka. Every songwriter has that one song that catapults them to fame, for Paul Anka, it was that one song, recorded by Frank Sinatra, “My Way“.

Paul Anka and Peter Munck had arranged for a dinner at a private residence on the Bridal Path in Toronto, with former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau  and insisted that all my guest en route in a private Boeing stretch DC-8 (yes there is such a thing ), from The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia arrive in black tie. I firmly told them black-tie was not an option my itinerary meticulously planned had not called for a black-tie event.

There was nothing to fear my guests were jet- setting, stylish people.  Style was paramount to Paul, after all he wrote the song that firmly placed Frank Sinatra as Chairman of the board, leader of the rat pack, of the stylish men of style  Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop, and Peter Lawford.

I always wanted to meet Frank Sinatra.  So many people I knew had an encounter with Frank Sinatra.

There was my best friend Danny Sarnoff who had talked his way into sitting at Sinatra’s guest table in Vegas only to have the spotlight put on him and Sinatra yelling ” Who the “F” are you?” Danny, told me the spot light was so bright there was nowhere to run, not even hide under the table. Sinatra was expecting  Henry Winkler.

My friend Bruce Glatman had been Sinatra’s drinking partner.  Sinatra used to pay Bruce $100 to stay up and drink with him, till that one fateful night when Sinatra actually tasted what Bruce was drinking only to find it was without the Jack. “What the “F” is this, there is no booze in this”, Sinatra yelled and that was the end of the drinking relationship. Sinatra never spoke to Bruce again.

The very first person I would meet in Los Angeles when I moved to go make films was Jerry Weintraub.  I had come armed with my back pocket full of cash thanks to John Labatt’s and few others, and I wanted to buy Jerry Weintraub’s company, Weintraub Entertainment.

Jerry was a power house in music once  he had managed Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin and John Denver.

In the ’80s he produced such hits as “Nashville,” “Diner” and “The Karate Kid.”  Jerry put together Madison Square Garden! Sinatra! Jerry Weintraub! Boxing! which became the greatest concert for Sinatra, live on television around the world.

Later it was Jerry Weintraub who would end up producing for Village Roadshow the “Ocean’s Eleven” franchise.

My friend Alleya Sairah sent me a text one day to come and experience the style of John Allan’s a men club where you can go chill, have a a drink, get your nails, hot towel, hair styled, shoes cleaned all in one go.   Wow! I thought, that was pretty cool, and it was located in the fashionable The Hudson Bay Company on Queen Street.

While this in-itself would have been the allure, it was also how this idea came to stylist John Allan that really pulled me in, it had to do with Sinatra.

John Allan had been watching original Ocean’s Eleven, and he saw the opening scene (below) and this idea hit him, men’s club like salon and it was “viola”.

John Allan took the idea and turned it into reality and what a place John Allan’s is. Frank Sinatra and the “Rat Pack” I can assure you would be hanging out there.

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 After all if you have seen any of the Ocean’s films made by Village Roadshow for Warner Bros., produced by Jerry Weintraub then you will know Ocean’s 11, 12, and 13 are very stylish, and those men in them are groomed.

The original Ocean’s Eleven opens with Santa Claus, and Christmas in Beverly Hills, so in keeping with the style of Ocean’s 11, I had one of my friends come over to get the full treatment at John Allan’s prior to going to his office Christmas party. What did he experience at John Allan’s. It in this video clip below.

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Coming to John Allan’s was like coming home, in Toronto where the journey to Frank Sinatra began.

Did I ever meet Frank Sinatra? That too one day happened. It was the day that Dodger Stadium had been all done up, with palm tress, transformed as if with a wave of a magic wand, for a concert of The Three Tenors with Spanish singers Plácido Domingo and José Carreras and the Italian singer Luciano Pavarotti. Seated in front of me were former President Ronald Reagan, Arnold Schwarzenegger. I was seated right behind none other then Frank Sinatra and his wife.

As the concert finished Frank Sinatra turned around and I took the opening to say “Mr. Sinatra” and extended my arm. He took my hand shook it and without any delay I said “Mr. Sinatra I am friends with two people who wrote songs you recorded”. Sinatra looked at me with his blue eyes and casually said “Oh yea and who would that be”, and that’s when I told him about Paul Anka, and my friend Tippy Bushkin’s dad Joey Bushkin who wrote “Look At Me Now”, recorded by both Sinatra and Rosemary Clooney, George Clooney’s aunt. Bringing the Ocean’s Eleven full circle from Frank Sinatra, to George Clooney and John Allan’s.

John Allan’s where all the team are fun, friendly and very professional. If you are a guy, a man, a dude, there is no place else like this.

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