Skip to content

Exiles – Home and Away

October 5, 2022

Two recent privately-produced books have shed more light on the Stones during the time when they recorded and toured Exile On Main Street. Both books brim with enthusiasm for what the Stones achieved, but that enthusiasm is expressed very differently.

Geir Hornes’ “The Curious Chronicles Of Villa Nellcote” is a leisurely paced hardback that gives us the complete history of the villa in the South of France where many of the basic Exiles tracks were recorded. Hornes’ account goes all the way back to the start of the 20th Century when the French Riviera first became fashionable. The Stones do not enter the story until P282 but by then we have had a fascinating and beautifully illustrated account of how and why Nellcote was built and how a succession of owners helped to shape the building that Keith Richards’ rented from 1971 to 1973. Along the way various myths are debunked, including the fiction that the villa had been a Gestapo HQ during World War 2. The 100 or so pages covering the Stones sojurn is just as informative and well-illustrated as the rest of the book. It features some vintage Dominique Tarle pictures but also some less well known snaps and some fascinating floor plans that explain exactly how the Stones laid out the basement for their recording sessions.  Geir’s obsession with the villa has resulted in a richly evocative and elegantly presented piece of social history that just happens to include the creation of some seismic rock’n’roll.

Erwin Hoetjes “Tourbook 72” shares Geir’s enthusiasm for Exile and the Stones but exhibits it very differently. Over 330 densely packed pages Erwin provides the definitive guide to the 1972 “STP” US tour. Working from contemporary press reports, subsequent books and films and every known Stones bootleg ever this is a definitive account of what went down in the frenzied period between June 3rd and July 26th. There are ticket stubs, posters, live shots, and press releases, all reproduced in full colour in large paper back format. Some of this you may have seen before but only Matt Lee has seen it all. There are some fascinating stories – for the first time an account of why the Ladies & Gentleman movie sounded so bad (and it had nothing to do with the band). There is almost too much – it can only be assimilated in small doses. But for fans of the Stones imperial phase it is very much worth the effort.

Contact details

The Curious Chronicles Of Villa Nellcote

Tourbook ‘ 72

Thanks to John Perry


From → Media, Music

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: