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Publisher's Notebook

Washington DC Other

This is 2001 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Chris Blackwell, whom we snapped last week at his Goldeneye resort in Jamaica. You reggae fans may know he's the one who popularized the genre, founding Island Records in 1958 and discovering Bob Marley. He also long ago signed and helped build the careers of U2, Grace Jones, Cat Stevens, Melissa Etheridge, and many others.

After selling Island to Polygram 25 years ago, he went into real estate—in Miami, the Bahamas, and Jamaica—in the latter where he's developed three incredible small, quiet, but ultra high-end hotels. Goldeneye is a collection of 30 simple villas each on the beach or a lagoon, in idyllic isolation about two hours from Montego Bay.

It's named Goldeneye because it's where Ian Fleming (at this desk) wrote all his 13 James Bond novels. (Fleming named the place after a WW2 British intelligence operation he was part of.) Chris's mom was Fleming's last girlfriend, so Chris grew up knowing not just Fleming, but many from the literary and entertainment community that flocked there, like Noel Coward, Errol Flynn, and Elizabeth Taylor.

He's beautifully rehabbed the Fleming villa. Although Ian was known for closing the shutters to distractions when he was buried in his writing, today they are thrown wide open, and here's what you see when you turn around from the desk. (More info.)