Lady Gaga Goes Gaga for Quirky Frank Zappa Compound (EXCLUSIVE)

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

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  1. gridsleep says:

    At least it went to someone who can appreciate its legacy.

  2. Frank J Ross Jr says:

    Lady Gaga Much of Luck to your new HOME his children are they of Charlie type Las Vegas or Passaic.

  3. Frank Lattermann says:

    I believe he bought the house in 1968/69, not in the mid 70’s, which might explain the price.

    • cc Pauline Butcher (Bird) says:

      6th September 1968 to be precise. The price was $74,000. Details from ” Freak Out! My Life with Frank Zappa ” By Pauline Butcher (Bird) pub 2011 Plexus.

  4. JamaicaJoe says:

    I give Lady Gaga thumbs up for buying the Zappa home. She has unique talent and will probably preserve the legacy of the home. There are plenty of other buyers with money who would buy the property for its “potential” and ether demolish it or strip it of its legacy. I am hopeful this news will help heal the Zappa kids dumb rift.

  5. P says:

    And this is newsworthy?

    • Me says:

      I agree. Watch (do not pay for it) a gaga live concert to see how untalented she is. No voice. She defiled Mr Mercury by stealing her name from his song.

      • deepignosis says:

        I find the notion that someone is capable of ‘defiling’ Freddie Mercury amusing in the extreme. gaga is quite a good word but not as good as Dada; which is somethinf Mr Zappa was highly attuned towards.

    • cc Pauline Butcher (Bird) says:

      In which case why are you reading Variety? No news of any importance is here. Please go to the BBC or NPR for news.

      • deepignosis says:

        I would say that the acoustic spaces built by Mr Zappa are of sound and architectural importance to music lovers. It has definite merit. The fact that the cited musician has purchased the space if newsworthy for hard core Mothers freaks

  6. cc Pauline Butcher (Bird) says:

    Frank Zappa bought the house for $74,000 and moved into it on September 6th 1968 where he lived for the next 27 years until he died in 1993 at the age of 52. Gail Zappa lived there until her death last year. Based on diary entries and letters I wrote at the time, I describe Frank’s life there during those early years in my book, Freak Out! My Life with Frank Zappa, something not told in any other biography including Frank’s own book.’

  7. Phillip says:

    in regard, not “in regards.”

  8. deepignosis says:

    The article is incorrect. The house was purchased in a different decade. The price and mortgage details was published in Pauline Butchers book ‘ Freak Out! My life with Frank Zappa. Plexus 2011. This article has the $$ sum and the decade wrong. The correct details are in her book, she was FZ’s Secretary. So would have written things down in an age before facebook and twitter AND from primary sources.

  9. Robert Green says:

    Gaga is talented though no one could match Frank of course. Besides, Frank would have hit that, no question.

  10. David Golden says:

    I hope she shows some respect for the incredible musical history of that house.

  11. MightyFee says:

    This is horrible. Gaga represents everything that Zappa was not. The thought of her tramping around Frank’s old house or worse, recording in what used to be his studio, makes me sick.

    • nameismike69 says:

      Yeah that is freaking sad isn’t it… But why her ??? Why not um….Sir Paul…. He’s worth about a billion… She wants to think she’s avant garde like Zappa or maybe in the same league… I mean think about it what made her buy The Zappa House because it’s The Zappa House… Is she friends with Ahmet…. Maybe there’s a deal going on….. She already has a 23 million dollar somewhere else… Maybe she bought it so Ahmet could continue to work at the house…. Who knows…. I think this is not some ordinary sale….

    • TheGrandWazoo says:

      MightyFee, I agree for the most part. That’s a working musician’s home. But honestly it could have been a lot worse. It could have been Kanye, or any of the “Young Money” crew. Gaga has real talent — when she chooses to actually use it. As she gets older and more mature I’m hoping we start to see more of it.

      • JamaicaJoe says:

        Oh man, could you imagine if Kanye or some other “aspiring rapper” had bought it? Frank would take time off his heavenly jam sessions and make a special trip back to haunt the place,

      • MNG says:

        Ditto. I’m a huge Zappa fan and I agree. I think this is good news. Gaga is not a simple hack – she has considerable talent and has matured a great deal over the last few years – she now works with Tony Bennett.

  12. Like to hav got10 a gander @ that art gallery to see the paintings which The Maestro had stored there. The Dude was a notorious slave to the avantgarde – u know, that cold place where the icicles sometimes grow – the cat just KNEW WHERE IT’S @.

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