Thursday, April 29, 2010

Alvy and Singer

a Life Magazine photo of Woody and Michael at Studio 54 from 1977. (Reportedly, Allen had been turned away on the club's opening night.)

1 comment:

Alex said...

This is what I have learned and can speculate about this photograph. This photo was taken at a political fundraiser for Carter Burden, a Vanderbilt heir, who at the time was running for the NYC Council Presidency. He was a progressive democrat, I believe, and certainly part of the New York City's elite stratosphere. Carter was also the great-nephew of actor, screenwriter, director, producer, and all-around Hollywood mogul Douglas Fairbanks Sr., who co-founded United Artists in 1919 with Charlie Chaplin, DW Griffith, and Mary Pickford, each of whom owned a 20% stake in the studio and distributor. United Artists was the distributor of most of Woody Allen's early films.

In the early 1970s, Carter Burden was married to Amanda Mortimer, a Standard Oil heiress, whose mother was married to William S. Paley, the man who built CBS into a television network. (Before Paley married a Mortimer, he was married to a glamour girl who had divorced her first husband, the third son of William Randolph Hearst.)

I don't know when exactly Michael Jacksn signed to Epic Records, which of course was part of CBS Records, but his first album came out about a year or so after this party.

Also, the year after this photo was taken, Amanda Burden married Steven Ross, the head of Warner Communications, which created MTV and later sold the network to Viacom in 1985.

Amanda and Steven divorced just a few years after getting married, and she probably remained close friends with her former husband Carter all along. She herself continues to be active in NYC politics -- she is currently the director of the NYC Dept of City Planning -- and she continues to use her first husband's last name professionally.

Long story short, I am sure it was an interesting party.