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Tony Pike: a life in images and words 

A retrospective of the life of an Ibizan legend


When modern Ibizan legend Tony Pike died, the world took note. Obituaries appeared in newspapers worldwide from London to Sydney to Washington DC, not bad for a lad from Hertfordshire, UK.

On interviewing him for Ibiza Spotlight in late 2017 and before the world learned of the cancer that would eventually take his life, I encountered a man still full of life and many, many salacious tales.

Tony in the last month of his life, ever the fun lover - pictures by George Seidel, Optica la Mar

In the first five minutes of the interview Tony told me that he'd had sex with George Michael and started an affair with Grace Jones after meeting her at an orgy in New York.

Of Kylie Minogue, who the old devil wanted to add to the list of the 3,000 women he'd slept with, he could not have been more praiseworthy, though he assured me, “We were close, but I didn't f**k her”. One of the few women to have turned Tony down.

One of the most famous celebrities he developed a friendship with was Freddie Mercury, who first performed Barcelona, the duet he did with Montserrat Caballé, at the Pikes Hotel. Tony also organised the singer's notoriously debauched 41st birthday party. Read Tony's book, Mr Pikes: the story behind the Ibiza legend, if you want the full details.

Tony working on the construction of Pikes Hotel in his swimming trunks

Pikes Hotel came into being after Tony Pike bought an abandoned finca, or farmhouse just outside San Antonio, shortly after arriving on Ibiza.

He converted an old bread oven and made roast lamb, rubbing it with the wild rosemary and thyme he found growing around the finca and invited people round to eat it. Later on, on the suggestion of his wife, he began charging for soirees like these and then went on to build the hotel room by room.

Although Boy George famously dubbed him the Hugh Hefner of Ibiza, his biggest legacy would be to create the boutique hotel concept, an accolade that would eventually go to Ian Schrager, though Tony was first.

Tony with Grace Jones, who he said "was one tough cookie, but also could be wonderful and entertaining and warm."

He made it several times in business and was proud of his achievements, as he said to me “I'm an atheist. No one has ever helped me, only me. I'm my own god.”

This sentiment perhaps sums Tony up best because he really did make his own success. He came, he saw, he most certainly conquered and his legend lives on.

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