He only bought it only about six months ago, and then he spent a few coins having it outfitted in a moody-masculine manner by L.A. designer Trevor Goff, but rock icon John Mellencamp has already caught a classic case of Celebrity Real Estate Fickle and hoisted a secluded mountaintop retreat at the eastern edge of Santa Barbara, Calif., back on the market at $4.5 million, almost twice the $2.45 million tax records show he paid.
Set on six rugged acres with Olympian views that sweep over the Pacific from Gaviota to the Channel Islands, the comfortably rustic, authentic adobe residence is sequestered on a slender, sky-high ridge at the end of a gated, olive tree-lined driveway. Built in 1980, the modest single-story hideaway has three bedrooms and two bathrooms in about 1,800 square feet. Listings, which make no secret of the home’s famous owner, are held by Eric Sadler of Luxton Real Estate.
Inside are exposed adobe walls, vaulted wood-beamed ceilings, polished Saltillo floor tiles, and huge picture windows that capture tantalizing mountain, coastline, and ocean views. The great room, where there’s a black-and-yellow vintage motorcycle parked in front of a huge window — vintage motorcycles as décor is a recurring motif in Mellencamp’s various homes, includes a living room warmed by a simple fireplace, and an open kitchen that showcases up-to-date appliances and a stained-glass window. Guest bedrooms are nicely unfussy, and the primary bedroom, where a giant crucifix hangs behind the four-poster bed, includes a sitting cozy sitting area dominated by rounded raised-hearth adobe fireplace.
About four miles from the ocean, up a winding canyon road, the unusually private property also includes a large view deck with hot tub, a horse stall, riding trails and a charming shed Mellencamp converted to an artist’s studio. Besides his vaunted 40-year career as top-selling musician who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame almost 25 years ago, the “Jack & Diane” singer is a dedicated and accomplished painter whose work was once described in a review on Art Space by art writer Doug McClemont as “handsomely grotesque portraits in oil that are as solemn and stirring as his hit songs are catchy and inspirational.” Several of his pensive and even gloomy portraits can be seen hanging throughout the house.
Though the rocker has long made his primary home a vast, densely wooded estate on the serpentine shore of Lake Monroe, on the outskirts of Bloomington, Ind., where he owns numerous properties as well as a vintage gallery, Antiquated Fine Arts, Mellencamp presides over a sprawling portfolio that includes a small condo in West Hollywood, a recording studio in Nashville, Tenn., a church-inspired oceanfront home on South Carolina’s Daufuskie Island, featured in Architectural Digest some years ago, and an 1,800-square-foot live-work loft in New York City’s Soho neighborhood that he scooped up about four years ago for $2.3 million and, after it was decoratively worked over by Mr. Goff, also photographed for Architectural Digest.