Rock Legend Rents Out Antigua Home

ST. JOHN'S, Antigua ( TheStreet) -- If you can be the Beatles in a video game and be buried in a Kiss coffin, why shouldn't you be allowed to rent Eric Clapton's house?

Such is the state of rock music, where enough nostalgia and expendable income can turn even the most fallacious logic into sage wisdom. Viacom ( VIA), Paul and Ringo are more than happy to offer The Beatles: Rock Band; Gene Simmons seems willing to sell pints of Kiss blood if the price is right; and now the artist also known as Slowhand will give visitors the run of his Antigua residence for $50,000 a week.

Eric Clapton is planning to rent out his Antigua property for $50,000 a week.

When the boomer guitar deity and former Yardbirds and Cream member was recovering from the gallstone procedure that prevented him from playing the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 25th anniversary shows in New York last week, his Standfast Point island retreat would have been a great place to convalesce. Built on 45 acres overlooking English Harbor, the property allows guests to view neighboring Montserrat and Guadeloupe without leaving their lounge chairs.

The $14 million, 8,000-square-foot villa in Southeast Antigua was built in 2000 with the help of Scottish masons, who carved every stone on the property. Barbara Japal of CaribRep Villas Antigua, which represents Standfast Point, says Clapton's former winter home can accommodate 14 people comfortably. For $50,000, those 14 people get to swim in Clapton's two pools, lounge on his terraces and eat meals prepared by his personal chef in an outdoor kitchen.

What guests don't get, however, is license to party like a rock star. If all of the 1970s memorabilia makes renters want to go on a weeklong bender straight out of the "Layla" tour, the property owner may be the first to suggest they're about 35 years late to the party. Not only is there no music room or any sign of his famed Stratocasters "Brownie" and "Blackie," but many of Clapton's guitars were auctioned off to raise money for his Crossroads Centre drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility -- just a quick shuffle away from his Antigua villa.

Crossroads actually precedes the villa by three years or so and Clapton, who himself battled heroin and alcohol addiction, is active in its operation and fundraising efforts. He doesn't get Sheryl Crow, Steve Winwood, Buddy Guy and Willie Nelson together for benefit shows just so a bunch of libertines can trash his house and become "guests" of his other Antigua property.

That's the catch of renting the house that Warner Music Group ( WMG) built: You're not renting a vacation house, you're renting a big-ticket museum. While rentals at this price are in high supply in the Caribbean and elsewhere, the same folks who go to "rock camp" during the summer and compete in the Fortune Battle of the Corporate Bands will fill the guest book at the Clapton estate. With the closest Hard Rock Cafe 295 miles away in Puerto Rico, die-hard fans won't have much choice in the matter.

-- Reported by Jason Notte in Boston.

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Jason Notte is a reporter for His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post,, Time Out New York, The Boston Herald, The Boston Phoenix, Metro newspaper and the Colorado Springs Independent.