Best known for partnering Annie Lennox in pop-rock band The Eurythmics, the English musician has sold more than 100 million albums, and won numerous Golden Globe and Grammy awards. He is also an author, director, film-maker, photographer, philanthropist and hotelier, who co-owns The Hospital Club (thehospitalclub.com), a private members’ club in Covent Garden, with Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft.
The club, which opened 15 bedrooms in January, is described by Stewart as a “talent brothel: a high-tech place where people from film and theatre, TV and music can work, be creative, and perhaps have a martini and something to eat, and then sleep”. He talks here about how travel has influenced his life.
1. Jamaica is a place where I always feel inspired, which is why I have built a house there, in the hills, far from tourists. I particularly love being there at night, when it’s still warm outside, and all you can hear are the sounds of crickets, the waterfall in the garden and a low thud of music from the village.
2. Travelling to me as a kid in Sunderland meant going two streets, from Barnard Street to Cleveland Road where the sweet shop was. Then my dad got a car: a Morris Minor, registration WVK417, gun-metal grey with red leather seats. It was a phenomenon. We’d drive to Scotland, usually Dumfriesshire, and stop at Gretna Green, and Moffatt to buy toffee.
3. One of the happiest periods of my life was in Paris as a young man. I had a tiny apartment and, although I had to climb seven flights of stairs to get to it, it was between Montparnasse and St Germain, just above a fantastic boulangerie. The Eurythmics had become hugely successful, I was free and single, and within walking distance of la Coupole and Café de Flore. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.
4. I often stay at the Hotel Fasano (fasano.com.br) in Rio. Everything about it is really cool. I love its modern design, the bar, the terrace overlooking Ipanema Beach and the views over the pool to the mountains. Last time I was there, I heard drummers playing out on the street, so I put a microphone out of the window and sampled them; I used the recording asthe basis for a song called Surrender. It’s got great energy.
5. Once, you could go to cities and there’d be lots of great music clubs to hear live sounds: smoky places with chewing gum on the floor and real characters who lived and breathed music. Sadly, they’ve mostly gone. There are a few left: in London, Ronnie Scott’s and our studio in The Hospital Club, where Radiohead recorded In Rainbows. In New York, Joe’s Pub (publictheater.org), where you can see people from Youssou N’Dour to Dolly Parton. And in Los Angeles, The Hotel Café (hotelcafe.com), which is tiny, but where so many people have played, from Mumford & Sons and Katy Perry to Leonard Cohen.
6. I like the Soho Hotel in London and Crosby Street Hotel in New York (firmdalehotels.com); they’ve both got those great industrial-style windows.
7. When I got pocket money at 11 or 12, I’d go to the station and say: “Where can I get to with a sixpence?” at first it was just Durham. But as my pocket money went up I’d go to leeds or york to walk around the cathedral and explore and go to folk clubs. It was an exploration not just of a place, but of its music.
8. If I’m going to go to a museum, it will be something modern: the Museum of Modern Art in Paris (mam.paris.fr) or New York (moma.org). Or the Gagosian (gagosian.com), White Cube (whitecube.com) or Whitechapel (whitechapelgallery.org) galleries in London. I love new artists, particularly Kehinde Wiley (kehindewiley.com).
9. Sometimes, the beauty of a city isn’t just in its historic buildings. It’s in other things, like what you’re walking on – the cobbles of Paris that have been there since the 16th century, or the way a city has been laid out. Sometimes it’s good to sit on some steps and take in the world from that level, too.
10. In London, I daren’t go near Denmark Street. Buying guitars is a dangerous habit. I’ve got about 70, from Mexico and the Village in New York to Brazil and LA.
Source: The Aficionado: Dave Stewart’s favourite haunts around the world – Telegraph