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Hotel decadence is as mythologised a component of rock's heyday as big hair and leather trousers, before bands in the 21st century seem to become better behaved. Some hotels are famous for one great rock'n'roll story: the Hilton Hotel in Amsterdam where John Lennon and Yoko Ono staged their Bed-In, for example, or the Holiday Inn in Flint, Michigan where Keith Moon claimed to have driven a Lincoln Continental into a swimming pool. Others, however, become regular playgrounds for pop and rock stars, and have a book's worth of tales and secrets hidden in their walls, like the Chateau Marmont, Los Angeles, about which Jarvis Cocker and Chilly Gonzales recently released the concept album Room 29. But the Chateau isn't even the only rock haven hotel in Hollywood. Here's some more of what the chambermaid saw...

Continental Hyatt House (now Andaz West Hollywood), Los Angeles

Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant and friends at the Continental Hyatt House, July 1973
Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant and friends at the Continental Hyatt House, July 1973

Originally opened by singing cowboy Gene Autry, the Continental Hyatt House's prime position towards the eastern end of Sunset Strip made it handy for the rock clubs. It was its forgiving attitude towards excess, though, that made it a firm favourite with musicians. Little Richard lived at the hotel in the 80s and 90s, and Lemmy wrote the song Motorhead there while still a member of Hawkwind. Jim Morrison was moved to a back room after dangling out of the window over the Strip, while Spinal Tap were interviewed by the Hyatt pool in This Is Spinal Tap (the hotel also features in Cameron Crowe's film about a teenage journalist writing for Rolling Stone, Almost Famous).

The Riot House, as it became known (it was renamed the Hyatt on Sunset in 1976 and the Andaz West Hollywood in 2009) is perhaps the most notorious in a city full of hotels with a rock'n'roll reputation (despite keen competition from the Sunset Marquis, just around the corner, where the Red Hot Chili Peppers once cannonballed from the roof into the pool on a video shoot). And the band probably responsible for most of its legends are Led Zeppelin, who travelled with an accountant to tot up damages. They could have afforded a much more luxurious hotel, but preferred to rent out whole floors of the Hyatt and throw foam parties in the rooftop pool.

John Bonham rode his motorbikes down the hotel’s corridors, while Robert Plant allegedly shouted, "I am a golden god!" from one of the hotel's balconies (a scene repeated by character Russell Hammond in Almost Famous). They were also generous with their destruction: according to their tour manager Richard Cole in the documentary Sunset Strip, when a hotel employee told them how envious he was that they could smash the rooms up, they told him to pick a room of his choice, vent his frustrations to his heart's content and add it to their bill.

Hotel Chelsea, New York

[WATCH] BBC Arena - Chelsea Hotel (1981)

New York's most legendary hotel, the Chelsea was originally built as a commune inspired by the ideas of French philosopher Charles Fourier, a radical utopian socialist credited with the coining of the word 'feminism', but also with the belief that mankind, on achieving the perfect social order, would grow tails with little hands at the end.

Things initially didn't get that weird at the Chelsea, but after its conversion to a hotel in 1905, it certainly thrummed with creative energy and attracted residents such as musicians Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Nico, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, and writers Arthur C. Clarke, who wrote 2001: A Space Odyssey there, Dylan Thomas, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Arthur Miller and William Burroughs. Madonna shot photos for her Sex book at the Chelsea, while Andy Warhol superstar Viva, on deciding that her room should be bigger, simply knocked a hole through to the empty room next door. Sadly, the hotel is also notorious as the place where Sid Vicious stabbed his girlfriend Nancy Spungen and the hotel is namechecked in many songs, including Dylan's Sara, Nico's Chelsea Girls (written about Warhol's film of the same name) and Graham Nash's The Chelsea Hotel.

Then there's Leonard Cohen's Chelsea Hotel No. 2. Written two years after Janis Joplin died of an overdose in a Hollywood hotel, the Landmark, it recounts an encounter between the two young stars. According to Cohen, as reported by Rolling Stone, the two met in the elevator. Joplin told Cohen she was looking for Kris Kristofferson. "Little lady, you're in luck, I am Kris Kristofferson," he told her. One floor led to another, and, as the lyrics put it: "I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel / You were famous, your heart was a legend / You told me again you preferred handsome men / But for me you would make an exception."

In 1994, Cohen told the BBC he regretted linking Joplin to the song publicly. "I've always disliked the locker-room approach to these matters… it's an indiscretion for which I'm very sorry, and if there is some way of apologising to the ghost, I want to apologise now, for having committed that indiscretion."

Columbia Hotel, London

It was just me and Bonehead and Sid left drinking, and for some reason, all the furniture in the bar started getting thrown out of the windows
Owen Morris

This Bayswater building has been frequented by the likes of Iggy Pop, Johnny Marr and Amy Winehouse. Its popularity with the musical world stems from the 1980s patronage of The Teardrop Explodes; they would later write a soundtrack for a radio documentary about the hotel (which is also namechecked in The Auteurs' Tombstone). Subsequent guests included Simple Minds, Eurythmics, The Human League and Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Oh, and Inspiral Carpets, with their roadie Noel Gallagher. He later named the first track he wrote with his brother's band Oasis Columbia after the good times he remembered at the hotel. Oasis would later make their own Columbia history, being banned from the hotel during the recording of Definitely Maybe, manager Michael Rose told the Independent in 1996, for behaviour that was "more than a tolerant hotel can cope with".

Definitely Maybe mixer Owen Morris later gave Q magazine more details: "By six in the morning, it was just me and Bonehead and Sid left drinking, and for some reason, don't exactly know why, all the furniture in the bar started getting thrown out of the windows… chairs, tables, sofas, pot plant, etc... very archetypal rock'n'roll sad behaviour. It suddenly escalated when a Mercedes car in the car park got trashed by something landing on it. The Mercedes belonged to the Columbia Hotel manager. The hotel rang the police, who arrived in force, but by which time we'd all packed our bags and walked out."

It was just me and Bonehead and Sid left drinking, and for some reason, all the furniture in the bar started getting thrown out of the windows
Owen Morris

Swingos, Cleveland

Another hotel featured in Almost Famous, Swingos didn't start out with rock'n'roll ambitions. Proprietor Jim Swingos opened the hotel in the early-70s with the focus on its restaurant, but business was poor. When Elvis's promoter phoned up to make a booking, all that changed. The King booked up three floors and ran up a $20,000 bill, and Swingos's fate was sealed. The decor and menus were reworked to appeal to rockers, and guests from Frank Sinatra to KISS to Led Zeppelin flooded in.

Jim Swingos told that he once had to referee a fight between Deep Purple's Ritchie Blackmore, who was partying in the hotel, and actor Yul Brynner, who objected to both the noise and being called "a little Frenchy gypsy" by Blackmore. Perhaps his oddest story, though, is the time that imperial-era Elvis ordered a steak, asked Swingos to personally cut it into tiny pieces for him, only to then command him to reassemble it like a meaty jigsaw.

Recently, a documentary was made about the hotel, The Swingos Celebrity Inn. Watch the trailer, above.

Pikes, Ibiza

Ibiza was a decadent getaway for hedonists long before it became the pulsing centre of dance music. And when Wham! went there looking for the perfect luxury night-spot for their Club Tropicana video, they settled on Pikes Hotel, now linked to Ibiza Rocks, the promoters who've become famous in recent years for their gigs and pool parties.

Shortly after learning that he had contracted HIV, Freddie Mercury threw the 41st birthday party for the ages at Pikes. There were 350 bottles of champagne, the hotel baked a six-foot cake with the words to Mercury's Barcelona on it (a replacement for the original cake in the shape of Gaudi's Sagrada Familia, which collapsed under the weight of its own grandeur) and took three days just to inflate the balloons. Exotic and flamenco dancers writhed alongside guests including Julio Iglesias, Grace Jones, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Kylie Minogue, Bon Jovi, Boy George, Tony Curtis, Naomi Campbell, Spandau Ballet and, as perhaps seems inevitable, Robert Plant.

The firework display at the end of the night could reportedly be seen from Majorca. Hotel manager Tony Pike told the People newspaper that when he presented the mammoth bill to Queen's manager Jim Beach, there were some quibbles. "There were items like 232 broken glasses - and suddenly he pointed to one entry of four vodka-and-tonics, and said, 'Take it off. We didn't have any vodkas.' Pike pointed out that if it was on the bill, someone must have ordered them. Beach stood firm, and things were about to get heated, when a quiet voice cut in and asked, 'Is there a problem here?' It was Freddie. I explained the situation and he replied: 'Yes, it's correct. I bought those myself for the bar staff.'"

Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok

The traditional stopover for rock stars visiting the Thai capital, the Mandarin Oriental's tolerance was tested by bleached punk rocker Billy Idol during a three-week stay in 1989. Idol's debaucheries costs thousands of dollars worth of damage. On being told he had to vacate the penthouse suite of the imposing riverside hotel for a visiting dignitary, Idol, who had run up a $200,000 bill, according to the book Rock & Roll Hotels, refused to leave. Taking a rather more robust approach than reception staff in the US and UK, the Oriental called the Thai army, who shot the recalcitrant rocker with tranquiliser darts. He was duly checked out on a stretcher.

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