Jimmy Page with The Tower House, left. Next door is Robbie Williams’ Woodland House

Sunday was gorgeous in London, hitting 27c, so we took a stroll to Holland Park, on the way passing Jimmy Page’s 1875 gothic mansion, on the park’s edge. Now, we all know Jimmy’s interest in witchcraft, black magic and Satanism, and his house certainly fits the bill, as you can see from the pic above.

So what’s a pic of the house of singer Robbie Williams and his American actress wife, Ayda Field, doing next door to Jimmy’s pic? Well, Robbie actually lives next door to Jimmy in real life, in an equally imposing 1876 home called Woodland House, costing Robbie £17.5 million (US$27.19m). Robbie bought the 47-roomed house last year after the death of its owner, film director, Michael Winner. What Robbie wanted to do was install a recording studio, lift and window overlooking Jimmy’s garden.
But Jimmy objected, writing to Kensington and Chelsea council saying he was ‘extremely concerned’ that the works will create an eyesore in the conservation area and risk damaging his own Grade I-listed property, The Tower House. And Jimmy has just won his case, with the council the other day turning down Robbie’s application. Woodland House, incidentally, is still hidden by scaffolding.
One of Jimmy’s rooms in The Tower House – just what you’d expect from a black magic devotee

As a bit of trivia, Jimmy Page bought The Tower House in 1973 for £350,000 (£4m in today’s terms), outbidding David Bowie. Its previous owner, actor Richard Harris, bought it for £75K after hearing Liberace had put in an offer. And just down the road is the London HQ of Posh and Becks – Victoria Beckham (Posh Spice/fashion designer) and David (soccer player/Miami MLS owner) Beckham. On the subject of David Beckham, did you know he’s from the same part of London as Robert Johnson’s producer, Don Law? Don’t believe me? Well, here’s the link to something I wrote earlier.

http://paulmerryblues.com/2015/04/reds-legend-david-beckham-and-blues.html

 

But back to James Page. No sooner had I returned home after passing Jimmy’s house, an email pinged in from my mate down under, Carl Sabo, who has a knack of finding interesting rock items on the net.
Led Zeppelin and the President. You don’t get more honoured than this

 

 

 

Heart’s Stairway to Heaven brought tears to the old bands’ eyes

Carl’s email alerted me to Jimmy’s band, Led Zeppelin, appearing at Washington DC’s Kennedy Centre, as recipients of its annual award honouring exemplary achievements and contributions to American culture. In the video below, you’ll see Zeppelin’s three surviving members, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page, sitting a row from President and Michelle Obama. The Led Zepps are each wearing the rainbow-coloured sashes and medals presented at a White House ceremony hours earlier. The Zeppelin tribute, featuring Heart’s Ann and Nancy Wilson performing ‘Stairway to Heaven, was saved for last. Playing drums behind them was John Bonham’s son, Jason. Their performance brought stairway’s composers, Page and Plant, to tears.

 

Blues great Buddy Guy, now nudging 90, was also honoured at the ceremony. Rolling Stone magazine has more about the night on the link below:

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/led-zeppelin-gets-all-star-tribute-at-kennedy-center-honors-20121203#ixzz3i2ww6QXg

Buddy Guy’s new album features Van Morrison
And while we’re mentioning Buddy Guy, the blues guitar great has a new album out, ‘Born To Play Guitar’. Highlights are duet with Van Morrison, ‘Flesh & Bone’, dedicated to B.B. King; and the song, ‘Come Back Muddy’.
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