It´s an impressive house, perfect for exiles. Villa Nellcôte is a large, 19th-century Côte d’Azur mansion, facing the glittering views of Villefranche Bay. High wrought iron gates, fragrant pine trees and palms all keep unwanted visitors at bay. Perhaps the best way to describe Villa Nellcôte is something between a backstage dressing room and a hotel suite.
In the damp basement an old carpet covers the floor. A light chiffon scarf is draped over a lampshade creating a dim light and soft ambience. Next to the velour armchairs and the table made of rosewood, there is a piano and several guitars. The cellar is like Dante´s Inferno with the dingy, dripping walls and no air. But the sound it creates when recording is raw and unlike anything else.
On the front lawn, among magnolia blossoms, jasmine and sweet-smelling flower beds somebody has placed a teepee. Wide marble steps lead to a small, private stony beach.
On the upper floor of the building, bouquets of roses and vases bursting with fresh, delicate flowers from the garden, fill the estate with a magnificent scent. Merchandise in the form of cardboard cutouts and posters are placed on the baroque fireplace while cigarette butts, empty tea mugs and wine bottles are littered on the dining table under the teardrop chandelier. This house is fantastic. Like a small Versailles.
Only the floor vents in the basement decorated with golden swastikas testify of Villa Nellcôte´s dark past. But it’s OK. We are here now.
Never has a house been so closely associated with the creation of a rock album.This was a summer that would change the history of music forever. The fragrance Villa Nellcôte is the embodiment of the magnificent garden and surroundings at the estate with the same name.