According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, rock 'n' roll music has the power to bring people together and motivate them in special ways. No other form of music has proven to be as controversial and influential to generations of people all over the world. The development of rock 'n' roll is constantly evolving, but at its roots are memorable musicians creating incredible moments and infamous places.
There’s the Chelsea hotel in New York City which held host to room parties with The New York Dolls, the Sex Pistols, Iggy Pop, Bob Dylan and the place where Sid Vicious allegedly stabbed his girlfriend Nancy Spungen to death (although Ibiza Rocks can confirm after much investigating this actually wasn’t true). The Columbia hotel in London where Ibiza Rocks has joined in partying with the likes of Primal Scream, the Strokes, Oasis and the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, and now, you have the Ibiza Rocks House at Pikes.
Tony Pike (the hotel's founder) can recount many a tale of flamboyance and excess occuring within these walls across the years but none are more prominant in Tony's mind than those involving one of the Hotel's most famous rock n roll residents, Freddie Mercury.
When questioned by Tony about what budget he had to play around with to organise the Queen frontman's now legendary 41st birthday party Freddie famously retorted ‘Did I mention budget? I want the party to start at 7.30 my time, not Ibiza time, Freddie Mercury time. And I want every guest (500) to be welcomed with a cold glass of the best champagne.’
So Tony set to work to create a party still talked about to this day, consisting of Flamenco dancers, a huge firework display spelling Freddie’s name, and the whole hotel covered in black and gold helium balloons. But the night didn’t go without... incident.
On the fateful day, at 6pm, after showering and sprucing himself up, Tony discovered his six industrial sized rubber tubs, filled with ice, but minus the champagne. ‘We thought the ice was for the cocktails’ a member of staff pleaded, helping a now fraught and dishevelled Tony throw bottle upon bottle of expensive champagne into the containers. Freddie’s gigantic cake in the shape of Gaudi Cathedral which had been flown in via a private jet, as the result of a bad landing had turned into a big sludge of sponge, marzipan, candles and baubles.
If that wasn't enough to deal with Tony recalls that Freddie and his collection of the who’s who of the 80’s could have all met an untimely sudden end. One guest, with a pretty girl perched on his lap, lit a cigarette and showing off went to pop a balloon. As the helium induced flames crescendoed up to 100 feet high, luckily no one was injured. ‘People were trapped in the toilet. Cables carrying 20,000 volts of power were fused but thankfully the wires didn’t touch, else it would have been bon voyage Pikes!’ Tony reminisced. ‘And Freddie remained blissfully oblivious.
Freddie Mercury is one of hundreds of celebrities that have graced the doors of Pikes hotel. You only need to look at the archive of photos in reception to see they clearly enjoyed their stay, and the VIP treatment Tony Pike provided them with.
And what of our infamous host who Ibiza Rocks House are delighted to continue working with? Boy George, another of Tony’s guests described him as ‘Ibiza’s Hugh Hefner’ and listening to the man’s tales, his five wives (none of whom he’s been faithful to, and all of which he’s now divorced) and many mistresses you can see why the comparisons are obvious. But Tony’s not all Playboy, he grafted every step of the way to make his vision a reality.
Pikes was put on the musical map by providing the set to Wham’s infamous Club Tropicana video. The song was released in July 1983 and peaked at #4 in the UK, going on to become the 39th best selling single of 1983. Soon after its release stars started flocking to Pikes’ luxurious offerings, eagerly wanting to experience firsthand lounging by the pool with cocktails (ala an 18 year old adonis George Michael), and bask in the sun, sand, and scantily clad sights, which make up this magical island of Ibiza. With the stars came the paparazzi. ‘Julio Iglesias would often exercise by the pool and the sun would reflect off the cameras lenses hidden in the bushes, so I’d set the dogs on them. When Jon Bon Jovi stayed he needed six security guards, to keep the screaming fans at bay. ‘He’s a very charming man, and his whole crew loved him.’ Pikes being a hidden retreat set in the hills of the back of San Antonio, meant however, the celebrities could relax without too much unwelcome attention.
Tony makes no secret that his favourite guest was Freddie Mercury. ‘That man had so much flamboyance; he was a true entertainer, the most colourful character I’ve ever met. The greatest man I’ve encountered in my life.’ But who was the worst? Without hesitation Tony answers ‘That Spice girl. Not Victoria...’ Ibiza Rocks lists them all. Scary? No. Baby. No. Ginger? No. Sporty? ‘No, she stayed here too but was really nice.’ Hmm, we’ve run out of spices... ‘She shot a music video in Ibiza. Wanted to use Pikes but refused to pay a location fee.’ What, Geri Halliwell? She’s ginger... ‘Yes! That’s her; she was incredibly rude, horrible woman.’
And is Tony looking forward to the new rock and roll glitterati gracing the grounds of this infamous location? ‘I’m in the rock and roll world, I get described as a rock and roller, I don’t see myself that way but that’s what people perceive of me. I love music, I’ve always mixed with stars, and I become friends with them, but I treat everyone the same, so let’s see.’
Ibiza Rocks has no doubt in our minds; Tony Pike will have ample more tales for the foreseeable future, and undoubtedly make plenty more musician friends. As the legacy continues we welcome you to join in the party in the place that Freddie Mercury, George Michael, Grace Jones and so many other music legends held so dear to their hearts.
With another set of stars set to hangout and stay over at the Ibiza Rocks House this coming summer, THE ROCK STAR LEGACY WILL CONTINUE ………..