“Life’s Been Good
To Me” – By Joe Walsh
From His Album –
“But Seriously Folks”
This is an
autobiographical song that Alvin Lee himself wished he had
written, but Joe Walsh beat him to it. This was one of
Alvin’s top ten picks on a radio show that he was hosting
many years ago called: “Deserted Island Picks”. If you
were stranded, or going to a deserted island, which ten
songs would you choose to bring with you?
Life’s Been Good:
I have a mansion,
forget the price, ain’t never been there, they tell me
I live in hotels, tear out the walls, I have
accountants pay for it all.
They say I’m crazy, but I have
a good time, I’m just looking for clues at the scene of
Life’s been good to me so far.
My Maserati does
one eighty five, I lost my licence, now I don’t drive.
have a limo, ride in the back, I lock the doors in case
I’m makin´ records, my fans they can’t wait.
They write me letters, tell me I’m great.
So I got me an
office, gold records on the wall. Just leave a message,
maybe I’ll call.
Lucky I’m sane after all I’ve been
through – everybody says I’m cool…He’s Cool !
complain, but sometimes I still do.
Life’s been good to me
I go to parties, sometimes until 4:00 It’s hard to
leave when you can’t find the door.
It’s tough to
handle this fortune and fame, everybody’s so different, I
They say I’m lazy,
but it takes all my time. Everybody says oh, yeah… OH YEAH
! I keep on going, guess I’ll never know why.
good to me so far…yeah, yeah, yeah.
LEE'S MANOR HOUSE - SPACE STUDIOS
Inside of Hookend Manor
- looking out
|click pictures to enlarge
History of Hookend Manor
happened to the gigantic monasteries
of England when the Monks have left them vacant?
A prime example is Buckland Abby that was founded by the
Cistercian Monks back in 1278. It was converted into a house after
the dissolution of the monasteries. In 1581 Sir Francis Drake
purchased it and it was in the Drake family until 1946.
was built in 1580 for use as a Tudor Monastery. The Tudor
era has given us some of the most captivating and enduring images in
an interview with Morrissey, former lead singer with the Smith's,
here are his personal comments about Hookend Manor and his encounter
with a friendly ghost.
Manor is the former stately home and domicile to flying fingers
Alvin Lee and later David Gilmoure, originally it was a home for
Monks as if monastery was a dirty word".
I've been here several people have had certain visitations at night
time, including me" ".....It happened for each
person at ten past four in the morning" "It felt
like a hand on your chest as if you were being woken or stirred. The
conclusion I've come to is that it's the ghost of some misguided
monk going round waking people up for prayers"
the interview with Morrissey concludes,
"It was time to try a different bed and the one here's
quite comfortable" Despite the Monk? "Because
of the Monk".
in this list there is also rumour that the house may have been used
to house the mentally ill or the mentally
insane we don't know how true that is but it would make
perfect sense to have such a samatarium located in such a remote
has it that Alvin purchased the estate from a dentist or doctor I
only mention this as part of the long and vivid history that this
house has had.
next owner was
Sir Charles Clore:
Born: 1904 Died:
was Sir Charles Clore:
Charles Clore was one of Britain’s most successful and powerful
financier, post war businessmen-multi-millionaire and one of the
most generous philanthropists of his day, and property magnet.
1954 Sir Charles bought J. Sears and Company, a shoe manufacturer
founded in 1912, he paid four million and changed its name to Sears
Holdings in the following year. It also should be
known that he built the Sears retail empire from next to nothing
starting in the 1950's and 1960's. Sir Charles was also one of the
most prominent men in the Jewish West End of London.
also owned a pharmaceutical company in the early years and later
Selfridges's in London.
Charles was also a serious collector of fine art, part of his
collection consisted of an early 16th century Italian Bronze
Plaquette of David. Also included were Impressionist, Modern and
Contemporary paintings, Drawings, Water Colours and Sculpture's.
Some of his vast collection was sold at Christies.
Charles, had only one daughter, her name is
Vivien Duffield who proceeded to carry on the work of her father.
The Clore Foundation was established in 1964 by her father and
she became the chairman of the foundation in 1979 and created her
own foundation in 1987. In addition, named after them is the
“Clore Foyer” and the “Duffield Room” in Britain.
there’s the Charles Clore Jewish-Arab Community Center, The
Charles Clore Memorial Street, and he has a Hospital in his name,
not to mention the
Charles Clore memorial
London’s Royal Opera House is ditching its greatest benefactor,
Dame Vivien Duffield who has raised more than 100 million dollars
for it and has personally donated millions more—perhaps as much as
next owner is Alvin Lee:
bought the house and then proceeded to build a complete recording
studio with the help of his father Sam in the barn, it was the
original Space Studios but is now being run by his ex-girlfriend
Suzanne and their daughter Jasmine who also is working in the music
about the same time of the death of Sir Charles Clore in 1979 Alvin
decided to give up his prized posession
Hookend Manor and moved elsewhere.
According to Alvin, his reasons for leaving were simple:
The Manor House being centuries old was impossible to heat properly
in the winter and something always needed to be repaired. The estate
was so vast that Alvin
once found a mate of his living there that he was completely unaware
of. Also according to
Alvin, he found it ridiculous to be living in that big house.
a short conversation about Hookend Manor with the members of Ten
being of psychic ability as the title of his book in progress
suggest “The Reluctant Psychic” told us very simply that he
never felt comfortable there.
never spent the night in the house as he lived so close by and he
doubts the ghost stories or any misguided Monk roaming around the
recollection I found more humorous as instead of being the least
bit concerned with the wondering Monk coming to wake him up at 4:10
in the morning, I get the impression that he was awake most of the night or at least not sleeping very well as
he was just a little uncomfortable for a very different reason.
had waterbeads installed in every bedroom but the one Ric slept on
had no working heater so the water was frijid, have you ever slept
on a water bed with no heater he says?
house was then sold to David Gilmour who used one of the large
buildings out back to store the monster inflateable Pink Floyd Pig.
David also moved out when allegedly, his wife Ginger
couldn’t stand the ghosts any longer.
Manor today is now "Sarms Recording Studios" and run by
Trevor Horn, the producer of "Frankie Goes to Hollywood"
Photo Courtesy of Jasmin Lee (Dean Street Studios, London)
Mainly Music Oriented
Clientele In Real Realty: Is how Alvin Lee and George Harrison became next
door neighbours. Rumour has it, that their estates had adjoining
Press, who was the founder of Pereds, was a close friend of the following:
Beatles, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Ronnie Wood (Rolling Stones), Eric
Clapton, Van Morrison, Rod Stewart, Paul and Linda McCartney, Peter
Frampton, George and Pattie (Boyd) Harrison, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, Peter
Grant, Richard Harris, Alvin Lee, Ric Lee, Leo Lyons, John Entwistle, Roger
Daltry and Keith Moon…the list goes on and on.
of my musician friends had gone to America and come back with some dollars
in their pockets, so they were now in a position to consider buying a house
for themselves, rather than paying rent”. On the one hand, this was a good
time for affluent, hairy upstarts to enter the upper echelons of the
property market, particularly outside of London, where an increasing number
of distinguished old and historical houses were proving to be too expensive
for their now elderly owners to maintain any longer. On the other hand,
reticence or just plain embarrassment would often inhibit these down at the
heel proprietors from putting their country piles on the market. Back in the
early 1970’s – “Almost nobody had any money then, except for the young
creative, and overly ambitious types. The young ones who did have a good
amount of disposable income at hand, didn’t have an appreciation for the
splendour and joys of becoming a homeowner. If they were even the exception
to that rule, they were in no way prepared to undertake the extensive amount
of upkeep and costly maintenance involved on a yearly basis. What some
thought of as glorious seclusion, with the peace and quiet that goes along
with that cultural class privilege, others considered it to be,
unacceptable, too remote and too boring.
Alvin Lee who was the first to lead the way, out into the country, running
from the city as he wrote. The first purchase that Perry completed as a
buyer agent, was when he hunted down a house known as “Robin Hood Barn” that
was near Wokingham for Alvin.
Lee by then, was returning to England as a certified guitar god hero, having
conquered the American, heart and soul, by way of the 1969 Woodstock
Festival. Ten Years After made their mark and never had to look for work or
fame ever again. As Alvin was aptly born and bred in Nottingham. It wasn’t
only Alvin who wanted to advance is lot in life, but the other members of
the band also wanted to be part of the country lifestyle and bought homes in
the countryside. Ric Lee had a big “Manor House” and Leo Lyons had horses,
wagons and a farm of his own. Their needs were promptly fulfilled, in
carefully selected areas within the Chilterns.
special request Perry placed an ad in the personal column of The Times
soliciting a response from anyone wishing to part with their large secluded
country house of character.
search was on to find his good friend George Harrison the perfect domicile,
an estate like no other that would suit George’s desire for the unique,
functional, beautiful, exotic and whimsical. George and Pattie had outgrown
George’s psychedelic bungalow in Esher and very much wanted to move to
somewhere a bit more spacious and defiantly private and secluded. It just so
happened that that a community of nuns replied to the request, as they were
contemplating selling their precious and prized convent. The convent was an
Victorian Gothic Folly” – with lakes and extensive grounds right on the edge
of Henley- on – the – Thames. Called “Friar Park” which duly became George
Harrison’s main home. The gardens became his magnificent obsession, for the
remainder of his life.
was a severe economic down-turn in the early 1970’s which caused a great
deal of major belt-tightening elsewhere, but this in no way affected the
earnings of Britain’s major rock stars who were at the top of their game.
Alvin Lee’s “Hookend
Hookend Manor, was a house near Henley that was originally found for Alvin
as a replacement, when his “Robin Hood Barn” was sold to a land developer
for a kings ransom.
bought Hookend Manor in 1972 and sold it to David Gilmour in 1980.
Entwistle – aquired his home from a very ince Jewish pig farmer.
“Quarwood at Stow-on-the-Wold” in Glouestershire.
Daltry – bought a lovely old ironmaster’s estate in East Sussex where Roger
was able to set up the trout farm that he always wanted.
Moon – who readily saw the merits of houses that Perry selected, there was
merely the risk, that while house hunting, Moonies Pink Rolls Royce would
unexpectedly be diverted while in route, and end up at a topless bar in St.
James. In 1971, Keith did finally purchase a home from Peter Collinson, who
was the film director responsible for the original version of “The Italian
Job” and who blew up a Victorian House at St. Anne’s Hill – filming the
dramatic demolition for a fee, that would amply cover the expected fine, for
failing to secure the proper planning board permit and permission. He
subsequently rebuilt it in contemporary style as a series of pyramids that
he considered to be virtually indestructible. But needless to say, Keith
Moon proved him wrong about on that account.
Moon’s “Tara Estate” in Chertsey, England.