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Wreck’n’roll is over at Iron Maiden's new hotel
Iron Maiden create a hotel for the music elite and the first rule is...behave
FOR half a century rock’n’roll and hotels have been uneasy bedfellows. Stars have thrown televisions from windows or ridden motorbikes up the corridors. The hard-pressed staff have been left to clean up and stick it on the bill.
Not any more. The management of one of the hardest rocking groups has decided to go into the hotel business and open Britain’s first luxury inn dedicated to musicians.
The desk clerk will be dressed in black, the mini-bars will be hidden inside giant loud-speaker stacks and the cinema in the basement will screen films such as Notorious, about the life and death of Biggie Smalls, the American rapper.
The bar will serve cocktails 24 hours a day and the open-air hot tub on the rooftop terrace should give London’s skyline some of its biggest thrills since the Beatles played Get Back live above their Apple headquarters 40 years ago.
The £6.5m project, to be opened in April, has been devised by the management of Iron Maiden, the heavy metal band, and Mark Fuller, the nightclub owner, as a retreat for the group and other musicians playing in the capital.
Protocol will demand that they are well behaved. Today’s pop stars are a less hedonistic bunch than their predecessors. “Does wrecking a hotel room make you look cool?” said Nicola Roberts of Girls Aloud in an interview. “No, it doesn’t. It makes you look like a weirdo. It’s just sad.”
The 30-room boutique hotel, to be known as Sanctum Soho, will have heavy security to keep out the paparazzi and fans. A stay will cost from £150 for a “crash room” to £260 for rooms with names such as Purple Haze and Naked Baroque to £500 for suites called Naked Luxe.
They have art deco-styled interiors with wallpaper costing £600 a roll.
“It’s not a hotel for throwing televisions out of the window. It’s going to be a sexy hotel,” Ben Groom, the hotel’s publicist, insisted.
Iron Maiden will agree. Despite a name taken from a medieval torture device and a penchant for horror stage shows featuring Eddie, its monster mascot, its members are a fairly sober bunch.
Bruce Dickinson, the singer, is an avid fencing fan who moonlights as a commercial airline pilot and is so sensible that he makes his own sandwiches on tour.
Nicko McBrain, the drummer, is a golf fanatic who tried to help Nick Faldo motivate his team to victory over the Americans in last year’s Ryder Cup. Dave Murray, the band’s guitarist for 33 years, once balked at a hotel in Hungary which played Black Sabbath music in the lifts.
Some of the band’s platinum and gold discs could decorate the lobby alongside London scenes by the artist Xavier Pick.
Andy Taylor, who co-manages the group, said: “The hotel will be rock’n’roll at its best. The desk clerk will definitely be dressed in black just as in Elvis’s Heartbreak Hotel.
“It will be a fairly elite environment. The bar will be open for 24 hours to cater for bands who come off stage at venues such as the O2 at 11pm or midnight.
“At the moment they get back to their hotel and find the bar is closed. Now they will be able to come and drink. ”
The BBC has filmed a three-part documentary series called Rock’n’Roll Hotel tracing the development of the hotel from an office building previously owned by Paul Raymond, the late Soho porn king.
It is not the first time rock has branched out into the hotel business. Sam Phillips, who first recorded Elvis Presley at Sun Records in Memphis, invested the money he made into a local hotel business which grew into the Holiday Inn chain.
Chris Rouse, the London hotels expert at CB Richard Ellis, the world’s largest commercial property adviser, said: “What is important to success is a brand. Iron Maiden is a strong brand. Whether their room would be left in the state you would wish to find it, I can’t say.”
THEY CHECKED IN AND DESTROYED
- Keith Moon, the late drummer with the Who, was once playing the band’s music loudly in his hotel room when a manager knocked at the door to complain about the noise.
Moon locked himself in and commenced smashing the room to pieces. After half an hour, he opened the door and waved his band’s latest LP in front of the manager’s face. “That was noise,” he said. “This is the ’Oo.”
- Led Zeppelin raced motorcycles along the corridors of the Hyatt House hotel in Los Angeles, while Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones had himself filmed as he threw a television from the balcony of an American hotel.
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