Famous Homes Of Rock n Roll Legends
It’s surprising to realize that a rock star’s home and practice studio could exist right down the block. But every Rock n Roll legend began somewhere. You can visit the house that inspired both of Bob Dylan’s albums Music from the Big Pink and The Basement Tapes.
If you want to visit the Grateful Dead’s rehearsal ranch or where Guns N’ Roses lived with no bathroom while creating their hit song, look no further. These are famous houses of famous Rock n Roll legends. Keep these in mind while you’re looking for your band’s next studio!
Elvis Presley’s Bel Air Home, Where He Entertained The Beatles
In the 1960s, Elvis Presley lived in the East Gate area of lower Bel Air. His home once belonged to Hugh Hefner, but later became Presley’s party hub where he entertained guests such as the Beatles. The property has almost 8,900 square feet of living space, and its monthly mortgage comes out to $95,000 a month.
While he lived in this house, Presley recorded hit songs such as “Stuck on You” and “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” He also won his first Grammy Award while staying in the home. In August 2018, the property went up for sale for $23.45 million.
Guns N’ Roses Very Scary House
In 1985, Guns N’ Roses returned from their first tour to Seattle. Broke and unemployed, they settled in a 12-square-foot warehouse behind Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. The property had no bathroom, kitchen, or air conditioning. The band members dubbed it “Hell House.”
Despite living off of a $4 daily budget and walking 50 yards to the nearest bathroom, the band still managed to write their album Appetite For Destruction. The house may have even inspired their hit song “Welcome to the Jungle.”
The Beacon Street No Doubt Collection
In the late 1980s, Gwen Stefani gathered several musicians together to form the band No Doubt. The group practiced in her garage at her house on Beacon Avenue in Anaheim, California. They even recorded some songs for The Beacon Street Collection there.
The band shot two music videos at the house as well, which granted the band commercial success. In 2011, the house went on the market for $325,000–and was sold to someone who has no idea who No Doubt is.
Bob Dylan’s “The Basement Tapes” Were Recorded In This Basement
If you’re a Bob Dylan fan, you may recognize the name “Big Pink.” The house named Big Pink resides in Saugerties, New York, and gives all the credit to Music from Big Pink, The Band’s debut album. In 1967, Bob Dylan and the Hawks wrote the 1975 album The Basement Tapes in this home as well.
Rick Danko, a member of The Band, found the property for Bob Dylan after his 1966 motorcycle crash. By 1969, the group still had no official name, so Bob Dylan told Rolling Stone that they were “the band from Big Pink.”
John Lennon’s Final Home
From 1973 to 1980, John Lennon lived with Yoko Ono and their son in the Dakota apartments in New York City. Just outside of this house, Mark David Chapman killed Lennon on December 8, 1980.
During this time, Lennon underwent a five-year hiatus where he focused on his family. He broke the hiatus in 1977 and released his single “(Just Like) Starting Over” in 1980 before his death. Yoko Ono still lives in that building.
Michael Jackson’s Zombie Thriller House
If you felt spooked by the 1983 music video “Michael Jackson’s Thriller,” don’t visit this house. This Victorian-style home in Angelino Heights, Los Angeles, served as the video’s set. You can see it where Olay Ray runs from dancing zombies in the video.
The Library of Congress recognizes the Thriller video as “the most famous music video of all time.” The video’s house was also a set in the Charmed episode “Size Matters,” and in the 1983 movie Teen Witch. Dating back to 1887, the property spans over 3,500 square feet.
The Grateful Dead’s Unofficial Rehearsal Hall
In 1969, Mickey Hart, one of the drummers for the Grateful Dead, discovered a ranch in Novato, California. He rented this ranch for 12 years to use as the band’s unofficial rehearsal hall. Here, they rehearsed albums such as American Beauty, Grateful Dead, Blues for Allah, In the Dark, and Workingman’s Dead.
Later, the band New Riders of the Purple Sage used the same ranch as their practice ranch. The “rehearsal hall” has since burned down, and the property is now a state park.
Aerosmith’s Record Deal Apartment
In 1970, Steven Tyler proposed that the bands Chain Reaction and Jam Band combine to form present-day Aerosmith. While the band members prepared their early work, they lived together in this Boston, Massachusetts apartment on Commonwealth Avenue.
After they finalized the lineup in 1971, they began playing live. By 1972, Aerosmith had signed a music deal with Columbia Records. They moved out of the apartment shortly after, likely due to their $125,000 contract. The band returned to the building to perform a free outdoor concert in 2012.
Where Prince Lived, Recorded, And Died
Following the success of Purple Rain, Prince founded Paisley Park Records right in his home in Chanhassen, Minnesota. He recorded many songs in this home, including “The Beautiful Experience,” “Sign ‘O’ the Times,” and “Wonderboy.” Several other artists recorded their songs here, like Madonna recording “Like a Prayer” and R.E.M. recording “Out of Time.”
In 2016, Prince was found dead in his elevator after an overdose of fentanyl. Paisley Park opened as a public museum that same year. Prince had lived there for 31 years.
Jim Morrison’s “Love Street” House
Lead singer of the Doors Jim Morrison lived in this house with his girlfriend, Pamela Courson in Los Angeles. The couple referred to their street, Rothdell Trail, as “Love Street” because they would watch numerous hippies walk by from their balcony.
In the song, the line “There’s this store where the creatures meet” references the Canyon Country Store just across from this house. Along with “Love Street,” Morrison wrote much of Waiting for the Sun here.
Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch And Amusement Park
From 1988 to 2005, Michael Jackson owned the Sycamore Valley Ranch in Los Olivos, California. He named it Neverland Ranch, although the ranch has recently re-adopted its original name. He transformed the property into an amusement park, complete with gardens and petting zoos.
Jackson left the ranch after police officers connected to the People v. Jackson case searched the property for signs of sexual abuse. Afterward, Jackson stated that he would never live there again as he did not consider it a home.
Janis Joplin’s Childhood Home Literally Has Her Name On It
Janis Joplin’s childhood home in Port Arthur, Texas, still stands. She and her sister carved their names into wet cement in the backyard, where the autographs remain. In 2008, a historical marker was erected in the front yard.
In this house, Joplin listened to her friends’ albums including blue artists Bessie Smith, Lead Belly, and Ma Rainey, whom she later credited as influencers. She even began singing folk and blues music at Thomas Jefferson High School. Joplin left the house upon graduating in 1960.
The Famous Grateful Dead House
Every Deadhead should know The Grateful Dead’s home on Ashbury Street, San Francisco. The band only lived here from 1966 to 1968, but made history in that time. In 1967, they released their first LP, The Grateful Dead. They also added a second drummer and keyboardist in this time.
Right down the street, artists Alton Kelley and Stanely Mouse resided, where they created the band’s famous album covers, notably “Skull and Roses.” The house is now a historical landmark and offers tours.
Glenn Frey’s Kirkwood Casino And Health Club
Founding member of the Eagles Glenn Frey lived on Kirkwood Drive in Los Angeles in the late ’60s. His friends called the house “The Kirkwood Casino and Health Club.” During this time, Frey began his career with J.D. Souther by co-writing an eponymous album with him.
In 1970, Frey met drummer Don Henley and co-wrote several popular songs with him, including “Take It Easy,” “Tequila Sunrise,” “Heartache Tonight,” and “Already Gone.” The homes in this neighborhood now sell for over $1 million.
Kurt Cobain’s Childhood Home
Kurt Cobain spent his entire childhood in this house in Aberdeen, Washington. He and Krist Novoselic practiced there in the 1980s, sparking the inception of Nirvana. For a while, he left the house to live with his father, but returned to the home in his second year of high school.
Two weeks before graduation, Cobain dropped out of high school. Since he didn’t have a job, his mother threw him out. He lived with his friends and never returned. Cobain’s mother owned the property until 2013, when realtors put it up for $211,283.
Jimi Hendrix’s Tumultuous Boyhood Home
On the corner of MLK Way and Derby Street in Berkeley, California, Jimi Hendrix grew up. Hendrix grew up in a military family where his father was deployed for most of his childhood. In 1945, Hendrix went to live with his family friend, Mrs. Champ, at this house.
Hendrix had a small amount of solace from his harsh childhood in this home, which would reflect in his later songs. Mrs. Champ requested that the school pay for his guitar, insisting that leaving him without one would result in psychological damage. Her efforts failed, and Hendrix didn’t acquire a guitar until age 15.
The Musicians Of The Canyon
In the late ’60s and early ’70s, Joni Mitchell lived on Lookout Mountain Ave in Los Angeles. The location inspired two of her albums, Clouds and Ladies of the Canyon. Her roommate, Graham Nash, wrote Our House at the same time.
Mitchell wasn’t the only one inspired by this road. Members of the Doors also lived on the street in 1966. They produced their promotional film for “Break on Through (To The Other Side)” while living there.
Sid Vicious’s Death Bed
Like many rock stars, Sid Vicious lived in the Haight-Ashbury area in San Francisco. He lived in the house when the band invited him to replace Glen Matlock in 1977. In 1978, the Sex Pistols’ lead singer, John Lydon, suffered a non-fatal overdose and died a year later.
Despite his credit, Vicious rarely showed up to work on the album Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols album due to being hospitalized with hepatitis. The Sex Pistols fell apart shortly after the album’s release, and Sid Vicious moved on to his solo album Sid Sings.
Sly Stewart’s DJ Start
Sly Stewart of Sly and the Family Stone lived on Haight Street in San Francisco in 1964. While there, he worked as a DJ at KSOL, a soul radio station (now known as KSAN 107.7). He was also producing records for other bands under Autumn Records, such as The Mojo Men and Bobby Freeman.
These encounters with soul and rock bands inspired his unique genre when he formed Sly and the Family Stone in 1966. The group moved on to become pioneers in ’60s and ’70s funk.
The Home Of Metallica’s Inception
When Metallica formed in the early 1980s, they often practiced in a garage in El Cerrito, California. Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield formed the group five months after meeting, and created their first original song, “Hit the Lights.”
Metallica also struggled to find a fitting record label during this time. Johny “Z” Zazula heard their demo No Life ’til Leather and tried to arrange them with several record labels until he made his own, Megaforce Records. At this time, Metallica left the El Cerrito house to record their first album in New York.