Saturday, August 28, 2010

EXCLUSIVE! Steve Wozniak's 60th Birthday Surprise Party

Last night, Janet Wozniak (Steve's awesome wife) threw a surprise party to celebrate Steve's 60 birthday. The party was located at The Tech Museum in San Jose, CA. The big challenge was to keep it a secret and to surprise Woz. This is not an easy task from such a sharp guy!

Janet told Steve that the President of the museum was going to show them a new exhibit, which had yet to open. At 6:30pm they showed up to the museum and met with the President. Janet was sending text messages the entire time to let us know their whereabouts. Thank goodness for technology!

They came down the escalator to the ground floor (where we were all hiding in one room - trying to stay quiet. Not an easy task for 100 or more people). Steve looked over at a bunch of people with cameras and thought "Why do all these people with cameras? Is there a press event happening?" and then noticed that the room was full of all his friends.

Woz's surprise entry

Woz is surrounded by friends and family minutes after he arrives at the party.

If you know Steve, you know that he is a simple guy. No fancy catering with stuffy food...he likes his burgers and simple food. He has always loved Bob's Big Boy! All of the catering was based on diner food. (Woz did not eat any of his cake or bread since he is on a diet - Good job Woz!).

Speaking of diets, here is Drew Carey who has recently lost 80 pounds and is looking great! He said that he feels awesome and feels about 20 years younger. Woz met Drew Carey at a Bob's Big Boy down in the Los Angeles area.

Steve Poltz provided the entertainment for the party. He has written songs for Jewel and other artists. Not only is he an excellent musician, he is a funny guy too.

Janet and Steve enjoying the music.

Later in the evening Sarah Palin made an entrance. Nope, it wasn't really Sarah Palin, but was it funny anyways? You betcha! :)

Janet having fun watching Steve and "Sarah".

The few kids that were at the party took advantage of the exhibits. I saw this little guy playing and had to get this shot with the reflection of himself in the mirror. Great concentration!

Then it was time for many of Woz's friends to stand up and tell some stories about the birthday boy.

His goddaughter made a great speech and even broke into tears.

But most everyone else had funny stories to tell about Steve and his practical jokes. I even took a break from shooting images to hop up on stage and tell everyone how my friendship with Steve has been a huge influence on my life (thankfully there are no images of that!)

Janet and Steve reacting to some of the great stories!

You know that there had to be some stories about Steve and his use of 2 dollar bills.

And then it was Steve's turn to take the stage. I got up close and shot a bunch of images of him giving his speech. This is my favorite because this is such a typical Woz pose.

Janet, Drew and Woz towards the end of the party.

As the evening came to a close, Steve Poltz sang a special song to Woz. I went up above and shot this image of Woz and Janet on the dance floor.

I had to get one picture of me with Drew Carey and Woz. I have known Woz for almost 25 years now, but just met Drew for the first time last night. He has a huge interest in sports photographer, and as part owner of the Seattle Sounders soccer team, spends a good amount of time on the sidelines shooting images. It was fun talking photography with him.

It was a great evening for Steve and all of his friends and family. I was great to be there as the "official photographer" and also as a friend. Thank you to Janet for asking me to be involved in this. It was an honor for a truly great friend!!!


Unknown said...

Your photos are amazing & I love your blog, I have sent to our family & friends who couldn't make it! You captured everything so eloquently. I am so glad you could take all these special photos to capture the magic of this night that Woz & I will remember forever. This was such a good prank that Woz gave me two points for it! Usually when I prank him I only get one point!

We deeply appreciate you and admire your photographic talents.

Janet Wozniak

Snaggy said...

Great pictures Jeff!

What a fun night that was!

Anonymous said...

Chances are the sight of the children playing may have delighted the Woz most of all. He is child-LIKE without being child-ISH.

Anonymous said...

Great pictures with great smiles. Looks like a great party.

Happy Birthday Woz.

Anonymous said...

Happy Belated Birthday to Steve. What a great surprise!

A little history for you... The Big Boy originally was part of the Shoney's restaurant chain. While at Charleston High School (WV), I had heard that Jeff, son of the Shoney's restaurant owner, had been the model for the Big Boy icon. Nice to see it as part of Steve's celebration.

Isn't Steve's smile contagious! Love all the photos.
Thanks for bringing a smile to this old lady's face today!


Anonymous said...

Happy B'Day Woz! Great job Jeff...I enjoyed seeing the pix. Thx.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing, and the best is yet to come..

Stone To Stars said...

I always tell young engineers about Steve and his approach to technology and then I add that he seems to be a people's person in a very quiet way. Now I can direct them to this blog post to see for themselves. Thanks for allowing people like me in to the party via these photos.
(Jan - New Zealand)

Lucretia said...

What an awesome way to "take everyone along" with you.
Thanks for the insight & the awesome photos.

Janet is clearly rockin' for arranging such a great birthday surprise!

Oobitsa said...

Happy Birthday Woz! Thanks for being such an inspiration!

prathamesh said...

Belated Happy Birthday Sir woz. And thank You Jeff for bringing those precious moments to us.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this event with all of us. I can't imagine where my life would be were it not for the 2 Steves. Their vision made my future. Many happy returns Woz. You get better and better with age.

Fern said...

Great shots.
I particularly like the one of them on the dance floor. Good eye!

3x1 hdmi switch said...

Such a beautiful event, I also want to be a part of that lovely event. I can say that Surprise party was very enjoyable. Pictures captured are also so beautiful.

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