Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page at Headley Grange 1970
As a music fan, I enjoy reading of how artists go to special locations to write and record music. Many classic albums were created in this way, and have stood the test of time. Like many Led Zeppelin fans, the bands' fourth album is high on the list of all-time great albums.
This album's unique sound was achieved by the group's recording in Headley Grange. The fine acoustics from this three-story stone structure offered exceptional accoustic qualities as well as encounters with the supernatural. Who else but the great guitarist Jimmy Page, who has famously been interested in the supernatural, would have an interesting story about one of Headley Grange's other-worldly occupants to share?
This story is from Guitar World Magazine, January 2002 edition, The Fab IV, by Brad Tolinski with Greg Di Benedetto, pages 61 and 62.&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
... Page had heard about an old house in the English countryside a few hours outside of London that Fleetwood Mac had used as a rehearsal space, and he decided to check it out. Built in 1795, Headley Grange was a rather large three-story structure that was originally used as a workhouse for the poor and the insane. It was far from lavish, but its rough Victorian charm suited the guitarist just fine. Plus, the 200-year-old building offered something much better than creature comforts--it had presence.
"It was very Charles Dickens," says Page. "Dank and spooky. The room I chose to live in was at the very top of the building, and the sheets were always sort of wet. Headley Grange freaked Robert and John Bonham out, but I liked it, actually. I'm pretty sure it was haunted. I remember going up the main stairway on the way to my room one night and seeing a gray shape at the top. I double-checked to see if it was just a play of light, and it wasn't. So I turned around pretty fast, because I didn't really want to have an encounter with something like that. But I wasn't surprised to find spirits there because the place had a miserable past. One real positive outcome of us recording there is that, I believe, we revitalized the energy at Headley. The place became lighter as a result of our stay there@@@@@@
The next time you listen to Led Zeppelin's classic fourth album, pay special attention to "When the Levee Breaks," the last song on the album. The sound of John Bonham's drums was recorded at the top of Headley Grange's staircase. It was reportedly the only time the drummer was happy with the sound of his own recorded drums...