The Rolling Stones in Paris: the Stones love France

The Rolling Stones in Paris: the 14 On Fire Arena Tour reaches the French capital next week. The Friday 13 June Stade de France gig will be special for the Rolling Stones: they clearly love the country, visiting throughout their 52-year career – to record, play gigs and simply hang out. Evidence? Loads – and an abundance of intriguing images.

Exile On Main St.

Remastered Exile on Main St by the Rolling Stones

Exile on Main St, © Promotone BV 2010

The best-known Rolling Stones link with France is their extended visit to the French Riviera in 1971, when they recorded Exile On Main St., released the following year.

Villa Nellcote

Villa Nellcote, rented by Keith Richards in 1971, used as studio for recording Exile on Main St.

Villa Nellcote, © Gerald Smith 2014

Villa Nellcote, Villefranche-sur-Mer, where the Rolling Stones recorded Exile on Main St.

Rolling Stones fan at Villa Nellcote, © Gerald Smith 2014

The recording venue was Villa Nellcote, a mansion rented by Keith Richards. It’s a large, secluded house, just across the bay from the picture postcard town of Villefranche-sur-Mer, a few miles east of Nice.

My photographs show Villa Nellcote from the public beach, and the imposing gates on a quiet lane adjacent to the Cote d’Azur’s main railway line.

Next week: The Rolling Stones in Paris: the Stones love France #2

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