What do you do with yourself after you’ve taken over the world? After you’re in a legendary band like Led Zeppelin, or after you’ve attained pop stardom? Some artists, of course, ride that out into their elder years. But some, at least, seem to lose interest. You get all kinds of vanity projects or experiments in other media. You get musicals nobody asked for. It’s understandable, on some level — having scaled those heights so few of us can imagine, who’s to say what makes sense for an aging musician to spend their time on. For example: Maybe they want to spend half a fucking decade arguing about property renovations.
The saga of Robbie Williams and Jimmy Page has been a long one. Williams moved in next door to Page back in 2013, and the ensuing debacles between them have played out in the British tabloids ever since. Basically: Williams wants to make a bunch of updates to his mansion, which Page has repeatedly pushed back against claiming they could cause damage to his mansion. There was that one time, after Williams had been allowed to commence some work on the property, when the singer accused Page of spying on him and called him “mentally ill.” Williams later apologized.
While the preservation of super old buildings can be a worthy issue to take into consideration, the whole story of these two has played out like a satirically British tale: Two aging and/or inactive musicians with ludicrous amounts of money griping about whether or not one of them can build a goddamn pool. Page, in particular, comes across like a cartoonish grump in all this. Like, have you actually stopped to picture the image of him sitting on his porch taking field recordings of the workers at Williams’ house, preparing to lodge noise complaints? The former guitarist of Led Zeppelin, trying to beat his neighbor on noise level stipulations. What a world.
Well, today we have arrived at a decisive turning point in the feud. As The Guardian reports, Williams has been granted conditional approval to begin building the underground pool and gym he wants, as long as the process adheres to certain regulations and practices. Jimmy Page is probably not going to be happy about this. A councillor on the local committee that needs to sign off on these things even went as far as to compare the impossibility of these negotiations to the disastrous Brexit proceedings. At least, hopefully, we’ve now reached a somewhat peaceful conclusion to this particular disagreement tearing Britain apart.