The French Riviera (or the Cote d`Azur) is well known as a popular destination for aristocrats, celebrities and the worlds wealthy to buy French property and has been this way for centuries. When The Rolling Stones took refuge in this part of the world, back in the summer of 1971 however, the region was catapulted into a sanctuary for legendary stars.
40 years ago this year, The Rolling Stones, battling with drug addiction, harassment by the British press and financial issues, went into exile in the South of France. The rock band spent the summer at Villa Nellcote, a sixteen-room mansion on the waterfront of Villefranche sur Mer, right on the legendary St. Jean Cap Ferrat on the French Riviera. It was during this time at this luxurious french property, that the group recorded sessions in the basement of villa Nellcote, for their classic 1972 album ‘Exile on Main Street’.
The group are reported to have been inspired immensely by this stunning property on the Riviera. Their stay at Villa Nellcote, granted notoriety, not just for the Stones but also for the property itself as it became a practically world-known venue almost overnight.
Villa Nellcote was built in the late 1890s by Eugene Thomas, a former banker. The villa was built imposingly, decorated elaborately framed by iconic columns made from marble. It is in an amazing location on the waterfront, in what has been voted one of the worlds most beautiful bays on many occasions.
This stunning French property on the Cote d’Azur provided the perfect solution for the band to avoid having to pay 93% income tax if they had stayed in the UK. The ingenious solution was thought up by the Rolling Stone’s financial advisor, Prince Rupert Lowenstein.
But asides from being a pragmatic ‘business’ reason that saw the Stones say ‘goodbye’ to London and ‘bonjour’ to the south of France, the British rock band had a relaxing, peaceful and stunningly beautiful spot to write and record what was arguably their most legendary album.
Reminiscing about the summer the Stones had spent on the Cote d’Azur 40 years ago, Andy Johns, who engineered and mixed Exile on Main Street’ said: “It was an impressive house, somewhat baroque. The heating vents on the floor were gold swastikas. Keith told me that it had been a Gestapo headquarters in the war. But he told me, ‘it’s OK. We’re here now.’”
For any of you who have and interest in the Rolling Stones or indeed the French Riviera. You should certainly see the documentary “Stones in Exile” which was released last year and covers their time in the South of France.
If you are interested in property for sale on the French Riviera, whether you are looking for a waterfront property, a country estate, a vineyard, villa or apartment, contact Home Hunts and let us help you with your French Property Search. Visit our main website https://www.home-hunts.comm for a great selection of French property for sale or contact us on 0033 970 44 66 43 and let us know what you are looking for. Let us do the hard work for you