GoldenEye History, Part One: Ian Fleming
Ian Fleming first came to Jamaica during WWII, sent by Naval Intelligence to investigate U-Boat activities in the Caribbean. It was difficult for him to keep his mind on the war, such was the beauty of the place and its people. It was love at first glance. Paradise on earth. He knew that when the war ended, it was there that he would live out his life, in the sun, by the sea. He had visited a property on the sea in the little village of Oracabessa Bay, which means “golden head.” By chance he had been working on a naval operation called GoldenEye. He bought the property, and when the war ended, built his dream house–a perfect place to heal the psychic wounds of war and escape the civility of civilization. Above all it was a place to dream. And it was at GoldenEye that he dreamed up James Bond, 007, who turned out to be an escape for millions of readers.
GoldenEye History, Part Two: Chris Blackwell
If any man is an island it’s Chris Blackwell, who founded Island Records in 1959. A brilliantly independent label just off the coast of the music industry, Island did more to change the cultural landscape than any record label in history. Island Records brought reggae music to the world outside Jamaica, with Blackwell himself producing Bob Marley and the Wailers. Island broke British acts like Traffic, Bad Company, ELP, Free, Fairport Convention, King Crimson, and the greatest of world music from the Irish traditionalists The Chieftains to Africans like King Sunny Ade. It brought us such independent spirits as Roxy Music, Brian Eno, Sparks, Grace Jones, Marianne Faithfull, Tom Waits and that Irish band, U2. Blackwell purchased GoldenEye from the Fleming estate in 1976. Since then, he has grown the original 19 acre property, with just Fleming’s Villa, into a 52-acre world class property that is the flagship of Blackwell’s Island Outpost properties.