Derwood Hodgegrass is at it again. The Southampton billionaire is going to battle with the powers that be in East Hampton Town in hopes to gain permission to land his retired Concorde turbojet at East Hampton Airport. Word has it, Hodgegrass, who is a huge Billy Joel fan, wants to take a large group of his many friends to see Joel at Madison Square Garden in 2015.
The jet, named SkySpear by Hodgegrass when he purchased it in 2006—three years after the Concorde ceased operations in the commercial sphere—is one of just 20 produced by Aérospatiale and the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) for Air France and British Airways.
Some rumors suggest that Hodgegrass’s Concorde may be just one of several jets used for the outing. SkySpear has room for some 125 passengers, and an inside source notes that the billionaire contacted Madison Square Garden about purchasing a “much, much larger” number of seats for one of Joel’s upcoming concerts.
Hodgegrass does own a 747-400 Jumbo Jet, which typically accommodate about 400 passengers, though his plane, called Dodo 69, is said to have various amenities that would require the removal of seats. Among them, our source says the plane has a miniature “foxy boxing” ring, stripper poles, three stocked bars and a “dungeon,” though he was cagey about whether the latter item is for security or recreation.
When asked why Hodgegrass wouldn’t just hire Joel to play a private show at his large Southampton estate, the source explained, “Derwood is seeking a more authentic experience, something more akin to the everyman and not his usual life of wealth and privilege.”