The author of Rock & Roll Hotels, a new guidebook that lifts the lid on what rock stars get up to after the after-party, on the most rock’n’roll hotel of them all, Chateau Marmont in Hollywood
A night at the infamous Chateau Marmont, which rises above the Sunset Strip like a leviathan of gothic glamour, is part of the quintessential Hollywood experience. Actors, musicians, writers and the affluent elite have all been known to hole up in this legendary paparazzi-free zone in order to revel in romantic rebellion. Indeed, many guests even became habitués in order to blaze a trail with reckless abandon seven days a week.
The tales from the Chateau have become so legendary that anyone with even a passing interest in rock’n’roll – or any facet of the entertainment industry for that matter – will have heard a Hollywood story related to Chateau Marmont. If you think you haven’t, maybe this by no means comprehensive list will jog your memory. James Dean hopped through a window to audition for Rebel Without a Cause; Judy Garland sang by the grand piano in the lobby; Canyon cowboy Gram Parsons lived here for a short time; Blues Brother John Belushi overdosed in bungalow number three; Led Zeppelin drove their Harley Davidsons into the hotel lobby; The Doors’ Jim Morrison dangled precariously from his window; esteemed record producer Rick Rubin lived here for nine months in the 1990s after relocating from New York; John Frusciante, guitarist with Red Hot Chili Peppers, took up residence here in 1996, only to descend into a drugs hell that nearly claimed his life; Anthony Kiedis, also of Chili Peppers, recorded his vocals for By the Way in his room at the hotel; Ville Valo of Finnish rock band HIM, recorded his vocals for the track Song Or Suicide here; Lindsay Lohan checked in following her arrest for drink driving in 2007; Lily Allen wrote the song Fuck You while at the hotel; Heath Ledger partied here the week before he died … Deep breath.