Keith Richards remembered the Denmark Street studio wryly: ‘We did our early records in a room insulated with little egg cartons. It was a little demo studio, a tiny little back room and it was all done on a two-track Revox.’
The Stones’ studio is to the far left in this picture. Further along Denmark Street, an excitable Italian called on his ex-girlfriend late in 1763. La Charpillon was only 17. The Italian wanted to retrieve some incriminating letters that she had refused to return after their breakup:
‘I put two pistols in my pocket and proceeded to the wretched woman’s abode… I was furious by the time I arrived, but when I passed by the door I saw a handsome young hairdresser, who did La Charpillon’s hair every Saturday evening, going into the house…
‘I waited at the corner of the street for the hairdresser to go… I waited on; eleven struck, and the handsome barber had not yet gone. A little before midnight, a servant came out with a lamp, I suppose to look for something that had fallen out of the window. I approached noiselessly; stepped in and opened the parlour door, which was close to the street. I saw La Charpillon and the barber stretched out on the sofa making ‘the beast with two backs’, as Shakespeare calls it.’
The Italian attacked the hairdresser with his cane. The man fled. So did La Charpillon, spending the night with a friend near Soho Square. The Italian stayed to smash a mirror, some chairs and a china service that he had given her. Then he too left, intending to drown himself in the Thames.
HISTORIC LONDON: X MARKS THE SPOT. Question 20. Italians! Who was this silly fellow?
‘Scintillating’ – Literary Review
‘Sets an example that will be hard to equal’ – Daily Mail
Waterstone’s recommendation of the month