Many famous musicians’ homes become shrines to them after they pass away and for some, this even happens while they are still alive. Fans gather to pay their respects to music icons and scramble to get a look at the most popular musicians of today. This list has the most famous rock star houses, from boyhood homes to places of assassination. We’ve got it all!
Guitar icon Jimi Hendrix has long reached legend status within rock-n-roll and even the pop culture lexicon at large. However, back in his heyday, Jimi wasn’t famous for long as he passed away at the very young age of twenty-seven years old. This house is not where Jimi ended up, but rather where he got his start. Jimi grew up quite poor and had a difficult childhood. Both of his parents struggled with alcohol and the family, including Jimi’s four other siblings, was often split up. The younger siblings were often sent away to foster care. Needless to say, this house was at one point Jimi’s home base. It was also here that his love of music first started. His first instrument was a one-stringed ukulele found in a neighbor’s trash. He soon acquired his first cheap guitar and began to train himself on blues records. Sadly, the house, located in Seattle Washington, became the source of some contention between the city and Jimi’s estate and it was ultimately torn down.
Jim Morrison was the front man for the legendary rock band The Doors, and was also engaged in a rather tumultuous relationship with his girlfriend Pamela Courson. The two lived in this house, dubbed “the Love Street House”, which Jim wrote the famous song “Love Street” about. The house is located off Laurel Street Canyon in Los Angeles, California. The two were said to sit outside and “watch the hippies go by. The two would not remain in the house, nor were they together, for very long. Ultimately, Jim died of a drug overdose in Paris France. Pamela would follow several years later, also of a drug overdose. Both Pamela and Jim were only twenty-seven when they died.
The last home where Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia lived in before his 1995 death was located in Nicasio, California. Jerry was known for his hippie lifestyle and for inviting many fellow musicians to his home. However, that doesn’t mean that he would skip on the luxury. His last home was pretty much a mansion with a Spanish tiled roof. The home was surrounded by trees and also had a magnificent pool. Jerry was not at home at his time of death but rather he was at a treatment center attempting to get help for his addiction to heroin and cocaine. He died of a heart attack at age fifty-three.
Eccentric rocker Frank Zappa lived in this amazing home from 1968 until his death in 1993. The home is located in the Hollywood Hills and contains a host of amenities you would expect to find in a mansion, such as a tennis court, a pool, and a guest cottage. However, there is also something out of the norm, which is to be expected with unusual a man like Frank. He also outfitted his house with a recording studio, which he dubbed the Utility Muffin Research Kitchen, in the 1980s. Many musicians including Frank recorded their albums there. He also had the house outfitted with a special storage unit which he called “The Vault” where all of his music was stored.
Ray Charles was born in 1930 in Georgia. However, he spent much of his youth in Greenville, Florida which is where he actually learned to play music. This is the small home which he has called home. Ray was first drawn to music when he heard Wylie Pitman play the boogie-woogie on the piano at the Red Wing Café. Wylie was the one who first showed Ray how to play the piano. His childhood home has been restored with the help of the Florida Bureau of Historic Preservation, which is unsurprising since Ray Charles is a music legend and icon. The home also now sports a plaque in front of the home with a message about Ray Charles and early life in the community.
Punk rocker Patti Smith and controversial photographer Robert Mapplethorpe once shared an apartment in Lincoln Township, New York City. The two were extremely close when they were young and much one another’s early work were inspired by one another. Patti wrote about their friendship in her book Just Kids. Their first apartment was at 160 Hall Street and Patti said, “We had the entire second floor … but its aggressively seedy condition was out of range of experience. Robert cut a deal with the landlord, agreeing to clean and paint it himself provided we pay only one month’s deposit, instead of the required two. The rent was eighty dollars a month.” Although the two later parted ways and left the apartment they are said to have regarded one another as “creative soul mates”. The two stayed close over the years with Patti even penning a heart-wrenching letter to Robert when he lay in his deathbed in 1989.
John Lennon and wife Yoko Ono lived at the famed Dakota apartment building in New York City. Sadly, after arriving back home after being at a recording studio, he was shot by Mark David Chapman. The Dakota is quite an interesting building having been built back in 1884. While alive, John reportedly told Yoko that he saw the ghost of a woman crying in the hallway. Yoko remained in the building after his death and has since said that she has seen the ghost of John. John’s ghost was reportedly sitting at his white piano and said, “Don’t be afraid, I am with you”. Other famous people have also lived in the building including Lauren Bacall, U2’s Bono, Jack Palance, Lillian Gish, Boris Karloff, Rosemary Clooney, Connie Chung and Maury Povich.
In 1967, Bob Dylan and members of The Band lived in this home located in Saugerties, New York. The musicians recorded the famous “Basement Tapes” here, using only a 2-track recorder in the basement. This is definitely the case of appearances can be deceiving, because you would never look outwardly on this modest house and think it was the place of such iconic work. The Basement Tapes were later used to form The Band’s album “Music From Big Pink” which may or may not allude to the color of the paint on the house, which is how it still remains to this day.
You certainly can’t have a list of famous musicians and their homes without including one of the most famous estates of all – Neverland Ranch. Michael Jackson purchased what had previously been a ranch and created Neverland to become an escape for him. The mansion was named aptly after Neverland from Peter Pan, a place where you never grow up. Michael was even said to mimic the cartoon character of Peter Pan with his numerous plastic surgeries. He outfitted the ranch with an amusement park which even had roller coasters and other rides. Towards the end of his life Michael nearly lost the ranch, after having financial problems. It fell into a state of disarray. Not long after, Michael died of a drug overdose at age fifty, shocking the world. The estate has subsequently been placed up for sale.
Kurt Cobain shot to fame with Nirvana, however, fame was something with which he could never become comfortable. Only one month before Kurt’s death, his friends and family attempted to stage an intervention for him. He reluctantly agreed to go to a detox program in Los Angeles. However, he later escaped from the facility by scaling a six-foot-high fence and flew back to Seattle. However, after this no one could find where Kurt had disappeared to. Reportedly, his wife Courtney Love even hired a private investigator. Because of this Nirvana pulled out of Lollapalooza, and there were even rumors that the band was breaking up.
On April 8th it was discovered that Kurt had returned to a home he owned at 171 Lake Washington Blvd East Seattle. He was discovered by electrician Gary Smith, who was there to install a security system. Kurt had committed suicide. There was a note found, that Kurt had addressed to his childhood imaginary friend named Boddah. Kurt said that he had not “felt the excitement of listening to as well as creating music, along with really writing […] for too many years now”. This is considered one of the most tragic ends in rock music history. The home is currently inhabited by new owners who ask that the public not disturb their privacy.
Punk rocker Sid Vicious hit it big with his band the Sex Pistols. He lived in this home in Haight Ashbury, San Francisco, which was famous for being an epicenter of hippie culture throughout the 1960s. Sid famously suffered from drug addiction and was involved in a now-legendary romance with girlfriend Nancy Spungen. In 1978, Sid lived in this home. After performing with the Sex Pistols for their last show, he suffered from a drug overdose in the house. However, only some months later, he was later in New York City when he reportedly murdered his girlfriend Nancy. He was arrested and released on bail, and only hours later suffered a fatal overdose. He died in February of 1979.
Another one of the most famous musical estates in all of history is definitely Elvis’ Graceland located in Memphis, Tennessee. Elvis purchased Graceland in 1957, and it has become synonymous with the singer’s legend. One of the many rooms in the mansion was called the Jungle Room which was later converted into a recording studio sometime in the 1970s. Elvis recorded the majority of his last two albums in this studio and they were his final recordings in any kind of studio setting. Elvis also died at Graceland, after a struggle with prescription drugs. He is buried on the site. Graceland has since been open to the public where it remains the second most popular place to visit in the United States, after the White House. Elvis’ daughter Lisa Marie still retains ownership of the property today.
Actress Sharon Tate and four other people were murdered in a heinous crime committed on the order of Charles Manson and his followers. The house was subsequently regarded with horror after the crime. Manson was said to be partially disturbed because of the failure of his music career. However, later other musicians moved into the home. Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails lived in the home and recorded his album “Downward Spiral” there. He then invited Marilyn Manson to record his 1994 album “Portrait of An American Family” in the home, which was also produced by Trent. These two are both known for their macabre sounds so their choice of recording in the home is not particularly surprising.
Prince designed his very own version of a legendary musician’s home, with Paisley Park Studios located in his hometown of Chanahassan, Minnesota. As suggested by the name, the place was an actual recording studio where Prince recorded the bulk of his music – much of which is said to remain unreleased as of today. There are also studios for recording film on the property. Sadly, Prince also lost his life on the property due to an overdose. The park is also open to the public and people are able to go on tours and find out more about Prince’s life and the place he called home.
Back in the late 1960s George Harrison rented this Hollywood Hills home. He subsequently wrote the song “Blue Jay Way” which appeared on The Beatles album “Magical Mystery Tour”. The song is named after the street which the house is located on. The song talks about attempting to find your way through the Hollywood Hills in the deep fog that sometimes covers the hills in Los Angeles. Apparently, it’s hard to tell if you have found the actual street because people regularly still the sign (probably Massive Beatles’ fans). The home is still a private residence and people request not to be disturbed by the public.
Crazy rocker Ozzy Osbourne is probably best known for his insane antics like biting the head off of a bat and urinating on the Alamo. However, these days he might be equally well known for his famous family. Ozzy and family lived in this mansion throughout the 1990s and 2000s including when the rest of the family first shot to fame during the filming of their show from 2002 to 2005. Since then, another famous singer has taken a hold of the residence, the very famous Christina Aguilera. She purchased the property in 2007 and has lived there with her family since.
Folk musician Joni Mitchell lived in this dreamy abode back in the 1960s and wrote several of her albums here including “Ladies of the Canyons” and “Clouds.” Musician Graham Nash also lived in the home with her and also recorded the song “Our House” while living here. The area became somewhat of a musician’s haven at some point with Frank Zappa living on the same street. Frank later had to move due to many crazy people knowing that he lived there. Members of the Doors, including Jim Morrison, Robby Krieger and John Densmore also lived in a house on the same street in the late 1960s.
Ike and Tina Turner had a famous marriage for all the wrong reasons. Ike repeatedly inflicted physical abuse upon Tina before she finally left him in 1978. During the 1960s and 1970s the couple lived in this home in Los Angeles, California. In 1972, Ike created his own record studio called Bolic Studios which was located near this house. Due to a high number of successful African American people living in the area the neighborhood was nicknamed “The Black Beverly Hills”. After their divorce, the two left the home and Tina forged an extremely successful career as a solo artist.
Before Axl, Slash and the rest of Guns N’ Roses hit it big, they lived in this humble abode which looks better suited to familial life. The band lived here in 1987 while they recorded their album “Appetite for Destruction.” The album was not recorded inside the home. The guys often referred to the house as “Hell House” and with a reputation like the one Guns N’ Roses had back in the 1980s it’s not hard to imagine why. Of course, the band hit superstardom and all now live in their own very amazing mansions. This house is located on Fuller Avenue in Los Angeles and is now a private residence.