Villa Nellcôte

Music Exile on Main St. The Rolling Stones (album - 1972)
The genesis of the album Exile on Main St., within the walls of Villa Nellcôte, is part of rock history. The record resulting from the Rolling Stones' visit to the south of France has also entered the pantheon of the genre thanks to its tracks, which have long been considered authentic classics.
Villa Nellcôte
"The gates of Villa Nellcote" by gudrunfromberlin is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

“I’ve never had a problem with drugs. I’ve had problems with the police.”

Keith Richards, guitarist of the Rolling Stones

In 1972, the Rolling Stones were cornered by the British tax authorities. In order to escape him, they all decide to go into exile in France and work on their new record, the successor of the formidable Sticky Fingers. While Mick Jagger settles in Paris with his new wife Bianca, Keith Richards rents a large house in Villefranche-sur-Mer, in the south of France, close to the houses respectively occupied by the other members. The Villa Nellcôte became the new headquarters of the group.

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Little by little, fed up with the atmosphere, more and more toxic, the bassist Bill Wyman ends up dropping out. He will only play on eight tracks. Although he lives upstairs, Keith Richards sometimes doesn’t even bother to show up. Drummer Charlie Watts only makes the trip when strictly necessary. The dealers come and go in the villa and sometimes pay themselves by taking instruments with them.

Finally, the Rolling Stones leave France and find themselves in sunny Los Angeles, at the Sunset Sound Recorders. Rather in the background at Nellcôte, Mick Jagger really takes things in hand. In the end, the record, ambitious and generous, seems to illustrate like no other before it the unavoidable triptych sex, drugs and rock and roll. Not necessarily in this order and all set to music. The album was enthusiastically received by fans and critics alike, despite the lack of hits.


Exile on Main St. has eighteen tracks for a total duration of 67 minutes and 17 seconds.

Villa Nellcote

During a forced exile, the Rolling Stones shook the villa Nellcote in the Alpes-Maritimes to its foundations.

It was in the late 1890s that the Villa Nellcote was built on a promontory overlooking the sea. The owner was then an important banker. A persistent legend states that the house was used as a Gestapo headquarters during the Second World War. Keith Richards himself reported seeing wrought iron air vents decorated with swastikas. Bought for 100 million euros in 2005, it has 16 rooms. Invisible from the street, hidden behind an imposing gate, it reveals itself more from the sea.

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Embark immediately on an exhilarating world tour with some of music’s most iconic bands and artists!

Head to Melbourne, Australia for a stroll along AC/DC Lane before crossing the iconic Abbey Road pedestrian crossing in the company of The Beatles. Visit Janis Joplin‘s home in San Francisco and find out how Johnny Cash ended up playing his greatest hits to a crowd of prisoners in San Quentin. Travel the winding roads of Laurel Canyon in Los Angeles with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and stop in Japan to catch up with Deep Purple, Phil Collins and Daft Punk. Drive down the Tina Turner Highway before entering some of the most legendary studios in music history. Go back to the troubled origins of Billie Holiday and make a pact with Robert Johnson at the famous crossroads in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Embark immediately on an exhilarating world tour with some of music’s most iconic bands and artists! Relive the Jimi Hendrix concert on the Isle of Wight before paying tribute to Bob Marley in Jamaica.

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By Gilles Rolland

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Passionné de cinéma, de rock and roll, de séries TV et de littérature. Rédacteur de presse et auteur des livres Le Heavy Metal au cinéma, Paroles de fans Guns N' Roses, Paroles de fans Rammstein et Welcome to my Jungle : 100 albums rock et autres anecdotes dépareillées. Adore également voyager à la recherche des lieux les plus emblématiques de la pop culture.

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