Jimmy Page is best known for his hard rock riffs with Led Zeppelin, but The Wall Street Journal reports he apparently prefers a quieter life at home compared to on the stage or at the recording studio. How quiet? So quiet that he has been enmeshed in a decade-long legal battle to prevent neighbor singer Robbie Williams from installing a “basement man cave” next door to his London mansion.
The battle began in 2013, when Williams moved in next door to the famed rock guitarist in west London. Soon after, the singer applied for permission to install an “underground man cave” complete with gym and swimming pool on his property. Page protested, citing the effects that the construction project could have on his own home’s elaborate tiling and painted ceilings.
In 2018, a compromise was reached and the planning committee granted Williams permission to build his underground fun palace but only with quiet hand tools. He would also have to foot the bill for a “vibration monitoring strategy” that would make sure Page’s home wouldn’t be disturbed by the work next door. The project has stalled since, and now Williams is protesting these stipulations in court, and the battle shows no signs of stopping.
It’s not just peace and quiet that is on Page’s mind. His home, known as Tower House, dates back to the 1870s, and preservation of it and the myriad treasures inside has basically become his full-time job. That’s much to the chagrin of Williams, who on another property once hung up a poster depicting Page with the slogan “Let Me Excavate You” (an allusion to his Williams’s own hit song). Page has even claimed that he never plays any music louder than an acoustic guitar in order to curb excess vibrations.
In a 2016 radio interview, Williams had this to say about the situation:
“I think Jimmy is bored. I’m next door now, I’ve got a studio in my house. We could write songs together…He’s recording the workmen to see if they’re making too much noise. And also two weeks ago, the builders came in and he was asleep in his garden, waiting. Honestly, it’s like a mental illness.”
The latter comments were made on a hot mic while Williams thought he was off the air, and he later apologized for them. Williams also denied an anonymous report that he’d launched a harassment campaign against his neighbor that included blaring Black Sabbath music and dressing as Page’s former Led Zeppelin bandmate Robert Plant.
Now, both Williams and Page are reportedly spending less time at the residences in question, and construction on Williams’s home has ceased pending another legal decision by the planning committee.
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