Everyone loves a good artistic beef. So when, over this weekend, it was alleged that famous-everywhere-except-the-USA pop star Robbie Williams now spends his days vindictively blasting Black Sabbath and Pink Floyd at the home of Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page, the media couldn't resist the opportunity to write the exact same article over and over again.
There's one slight problem with this story: It's probably untrue.
These allegations weren't sourced directly from Page or Williams. They come from an email that was sent to the local government by someone ("Johnny") claiming to be a neighbor of the pair. We say "claiming" because despite "Johnny" being disturbed enough by Williams' apparent psychological warfare campaign to write an email to his representatives, he asked for a response via post ... and never put in his address.
We checked, and you don't even have to be a local resident to make the exact type of complaint that "Johnny" did. It's literally just a form on a website. Anyone can do it. Even you! (Please don't, though.)
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
It's true that Williams and Page are engaged in a pretty vicious feud. For the last five years, the pair have been fighting in the courts over Williams' plans to build a swimming pool and gymnasium in the basement of his home -- a development that, according to Page, runs the risk of damaging his 1875 mansion. While we can understand why Williams is so eager to make this happen -- we wouldn't want our children swimming in full view of Page either, lest he try to kidnap one -- it's hardly the sort of thing to start Noriega'ing over.
It's also worth mentioning in 2017 Williams called Page "mentally ill" -- which he immediately walked back and apologized for. You'd also think that Page might've had something to say to the press about Williams' recent loud music and his, um, wearing a "long hair wig and stuffing a pillow under his shirt" to imitate Led Zep singer Robert Plant, but nope. He never complained once.
In December 2018, Williams won his case against Page and was granted conditional approval to begin construction on his subterranean fun palace. Considering that the email containing these allegations was sent a few days later, it's likely that this story is the work of a vindictive prankster, fanboy, or neighbor who just wanted to start shit. (The email literally begins, "It has come to my attention of [sic] possible new evidence that could have a bearing on the ruling [sic] any appeal process.")
It's a good job, then, that the media was happy to oblige their spite. And why shouldn't they be? It's not like there's more important stuff to be talking about right now.
Adam Wears is on Twitter and Facebook, and has a newsletter dedicated to depressing history facts. It's not as heartbreakingly sad as it sounds, promise!
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