BUYER: Anthony Kiedis
SELLER: Waldo Fernandez
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
SIZE: 2,679 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: A little birdie we know on the down low that’s often in the know about celebrity real estate doings recently chirped in Your Mama’s ear that the new owner of A-list decorator Waldo Fernandez’s latest property flip above the Sunset Strip is none other than Red Hot Chili Pepper lead singer/lyricist Anthony Kiedis who just shelled out $3.65 million for the petite and pedigreed villa. The walled and gated residence, built in 1940 and nestled into a steep down slope on a curvaceous and narrow street just above the Sunset Strip, was originally designed by architect F. Pierpont Davis and re-worked by Hollywood Regency honcho John Elgin Woolf. The house has popped up in the glossy pages of Architectural Digest “at least thrice” according to the kids at Curbed.
In late June, 2012, after a couple of years on and off the market with a cornucopia of price tags as high as $3.695 million, the property was purchased for $2.4 million by the renown and regularly published Waldo Fernandez, a Cuban-born decorating dervish who’s worked over rooms and homes for a panoply of celebrities like Brad Pitt, Darren Starr, and Tobey Maguire.
Mister Kiedis—now fifty, fit, and still sexy in that dangerous, middle aged rock star sort of way—spent his early years in Grand Rapid, Mi with is mother and teen years in Los Angeles with his bit-part actor father, Blackie Dammett. Poppa Kiedis, whose autobiography, Lords of the Sunset Strip, was recently released as an e-book, moonlighted as a drug dealer for rock stars (and others). He famously palled around with high profile peeps like Cher and Sonny Bono, the latter of whom, may he rest in peace, was named young Anthony’s godfather. How’s that for a whackadoodle Hollywood pedigree?
As Mister Kiedis grew up fast and loose on the gritty streets of Los Angeles he eventually hooked up with his future Red Hot Chili Peppers band mates. In classic rock star fashion, Mister Kiedis dabbled in drugs—okay he more than dabbled he developed a raging addiction, and, along with his band mates, earned a special kind of notoriety in the early 1980s for performing in nothing but a jock strap and boots or, even more suggestively, wearing nothing but boots and a tube sock tied around his junk. Naturally he bedded and dated and hooked up with a beautiful battalion of lithe and lusty young models, musicians, actresses, and other female hangers-on. There was Nina Hagan, Ione Skye, Sinéad O’Connor, supermodels Heidi Klum and Jessica Stam, actress Laura Prepon, and, most recently, a stunning and very young looking brunette usually identified in the tabs and gossip glossies as model Helena Vestergaard. Along the way Mister Kiedis, sober for more than a dozen years, and his Chili Pepper pals won three AMAs, eight VMAs, one BMA and seven Grammys. Last year (2012) the band and all is members were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The most recent digital listing details for the Sunset Strip property recently acquired by Mister Kiedis don’t indicate the square footage. The L.A. County Tax Man puts it at 2,679 but that may or may not be accurate. Listing do, however, show the sophisticatedly staged, two-story Euro-style villa has three bedrooms, four bathrooms, three fireplaces, and garage parking for two cars.
High walls, locked gates, and a closed circuit t.v.-equipped security system that will record your ass if you so much as slow down in front of the house enhance the privacy and security of the residence that sits below street level down a serpentine, wrought iron-railed brick stairway.
A compact foyer leads into the main living room that isn’t particularly large but is undeniably grand and voluminous with a 14-foot hard-carved ceiling imported from a cathedral in Europe, a 10-foot tall solid limestone fireplace that was probably snatched from some old building in Europe, too, and an arched window that extends to the floor and almost reaches the ceiling is flanked by normal-height glass doors that lead out to an awning-shaded and wrought iron-railed dining balcony with a perfectly lovely but hardly overwhelming over-the-tree-top city view.
A archway—it looks to be the exact same height as the arched window in the living room—leads into the groin-vaulted dining room where Mister Fernandez replaced a ticky-tacky wall of mirrors with an aged-looking mural that depicts what appears to Your Mama to be—but is surely not—a Victorian-era Florentine street scene.
The adjoining kitchen is oddly shaped and quite tight given the property’s $3.65 million sale price, but it is well-equipped with high-quality stainless steel appliances, rough-edged stone counter tops, and cabinets that appear to be—but may not be—constructed of—or maybe faced with—some sort of rustic, reclaimed barn wood.
At the bottom of a stair well that looks dark and narrow in listing photos, there’s a library/den/possible bedroom outfitted with a quaint corner fireplace and a spine-tingling, sky-lit 16-foot ceiling. Elsewhere there’s a small guest bedroom and a second, much larger bedroom with a private sitting area, an awning-shaded Juliet balcony, and a full wall of windows—floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall—that overlook the swimming pool. The third bedroom suite is smaller and cozier with a fireplace, private terrace accessible through two sets of French doors, and an en suite abutting facility.
The lower level of the house opens at the tree- and shrubbery-ringed backyard where a series of wrought iron-railed red brick terraces step down the hillside. A corkscrew spiral stair links the dining balcony off the upper level living and dining rooms to the plunge-sized dark-bottomed swimming pool and spa.
As one might expect, often mustachioed and sometimes soul-patched Mister Kiedis maintains a rock-star size property portfolio that in addition to his latest acquisition above the Sunset Strip also includes: a gated mini-estate with a blade-shaped swimming pool in the Point Dume area of Malibu purchased in October 2005 for $4,825,000; An ocean front house near Hanalei Bay on the North Shore of Kaua’i picked up in April 2005 for $2.6 million; A two bedroom and 2.5 bathroom townhouse type residence in a affluent guard-gated development in Las Vegas that he snatched up in December 2005 for $570,000; And a lake-front residence on the outskirts of Grand Rapids, MI bought way back in 1996 for $220,000.
listing photos: Everett Fenton Gidley for Westside Estate Agency