Although the transaction actually closed late last year, it’s only now that former gang member-turned-musician and hit TV show creator Elgin James‘ stealthy acquisition of a flat-roofed midcentury residence has come to public attention. Records show that the “Mayans M.C.” head honcho paid Peabody Award-winning “Transparent” writer Bridget Bedard nearly $1.3 million for the well-preserved property.
Tucked into the hills of northeast L.A. about midway between the once-gritty now quickly-gentrifying neighborhoods of Eagle Rock and Glassell Park, the effortlessly mod house offers just over 2,100 square feet of living space and clings to a notably steep cliff with long views over and across the ravine below.
There’s a two-car garage with smoked-glass door, and plenty of additional street parking for family and guests. Inside, a proper foyer lies just around the corner from a dining room with eye-catching dark grey slate flooring and attached kitchen flaunting stainless appliances, bar-style seating for casual meals and chicly industrial-looking concrete countertops.
Just off the dining room is a spacious living room with stone fireplace, honey-hued hardwood flooring and groovy collection of midcentury furniture. All three of the home’s bedrooms feature retro cork floors — the two guest rooms share a bathroom, while the master has its own ensuite unit with glass-enclosed shower.
Below the home’s main level, accessible via a narrow staircase, is a large semi-subterranean level that could easily be converted into a spacious at-home music studio, office, gym or movie theater.
Outside, a vine-covered wooden pergola allows for alfresco dining, while a separate dirt patio provides views over the canyon below. The low-maintenance grounds front and rear additionally feature native and drought-tolerant plantings, a variety of potted plants and mature trees for privacy.
James, now in his late 40s, took a highly unconventional route to Hollywood fame and fortune. The multi-racial filmmaker grew up in an adoptive home where alcohol and drug abuse was prevalent, was arrested for the first time at age 12, and later became homeless.
Eventually, after spending almost two decades leading the hard-core punk gang known as FSU, James served prison time for extortion. He wrote and directed 2011’s Little Birds, a loosely autobiographical indie film that led to Variety terming James “a promising new helmer.”
With Kurt Sutter, James co-created the hit FX show “Mayans M.C.” That crime drama series, now in its second season, was co-helmed by the unlikely pair until last month, when Sutter was abruptly fired from his role following cast and crew complaints regarding his on-set behavior. As of this publication date, James has sole showrunner status at the show.