The famously quirky Hollywood Hills compound of the late, great, and widely influential musician Frank Zappa sold for $5.25 million and, though the buyer’s identity is shielded behind an inscrutable trust, word on the celebrity real estate street is that the beneficiary is none other than modern-day music industry iconoclast Lady Gaga.
Zappa purchased the property in the mid-1970s for around $75,000, and he lived, worked, and raised his family there until his death in 1993. The property remained in the hands of his widow, Gail Zappa, until she died in October of 2015, and the following June, the Zappa children — Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet, and Diva — engaged in some infighting about who controls what in regards to professional usage of the family name and their father’s vast and valuable archives, at which point the compound came up for sale in a swarm of publicity with an asking price just short of $5.5 million.
The property, on just over half an acre, includes a rambling, quasi-Tudor-style main house of more than 6,700 square feet with six bedrooms and seven bathrooms plus an attached staff apartment and two very contemporary detached guesthouses. The main house features what listing details describe as “many one-of-a-kind embellishments” such as an elaborate dragon mural in the dining room and “porthole windows and doors salvaged from vintage submarines.”
Other unusual amenities include a double-height art gallery, a sizable storage chamber where Zappa kept his archives under lock and key, and, no doubt of great appeal to the new music-making lady of the house, the so-called Utility Muffin Research Kitchen — Zappa’s sprawling recording studio. The terraced grounds offer a hodgepodge of decks and patios along with a greenhouse, a swimming pool, a rooftop tennis court, and gardens that feature “one-of-a-kind mosaic art.”
Lady Gaga, an increasingly busy actress who took home a Golden Globe this year for her role on “American Horror Story: Hotel,” was recently photographed palling around with her soon-to-be “A Star Is Born” co-star Bradley Cooper in Malibu where, in 2014, she splashed out $23 million for a six-acre, ocean-view estate with a 10,000-plus square-foot Mediterranean villa. That shack includes, according to marketing materials from the time, five bedrooms, six full and six half bathrooms, a safe room, and a 1960s-style two-lane bowling alley in the basement.
listing photos: Hilton & Hyland