Though famously a born-and-raised-and-forevermore-eternal Seattleite, hard rock musician and former junkie Duff McKagan actually spends a great deal of time livin’ away from his hometown fog way down here in the LA smog. With the exception of a handful of years, Mr. McKagan has owned a Los Angeles house since 1988. He’s also got a peculiar fondness for the side-by-side San Fernando Valley communities of Studio City and Sherman Oaks, where four of the six LA homes he has owned are located.
Before we digress further, though, Mr. McKagan is quite the interesting individual. Born Michael Andrew McKagan but given the nickname “Duff” by his Irish parents, the high school dropout honed his bass guitar skills from an early age and joined or formed several fledgling punk bands before he hooked up with Axl Rose, Izzy Stradlin, Steven Adler, and Slash.
The LA-based quintet founded what was to become a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame band — Guns ‘N Roses — in 1985. Their debut album, ’87’s Appetite for Destruction, sold nearly 30 million copies worldwide and is one of the bestselling debut albums of all time. Although initially poo-pooed by music critics upon its release, the record is now also regarded as one of the greatest albums of all time.
The band’s success ensured all the members were financially set for life, but their rock-n-roll lifestyles threatened to cut said lives unnaturally short. In 1994, Mr. McKagan fell ill (and nearly died) after his alcohol abuse induced a severe case of pancreatitis. The resulting recovery process, however, spurred Mr. McKagan to quit pills and booze for good.
The now-sober rocker has since turned his topsy-turvy life around and has taken business courses at Seattle University. He even opened wealth management firm Meridian Rock in 2011, although Yolanda is unable to locate a website or address for the business, so we’re unsure if it still exists. In any case, however, Mr. McKagan has an (estimated) net worth of $20 million.
Over his 30 years of fame, Mr. McKagan burned through two childless marriages. But he’s been married to his third wife — model Susan Holmes McKagan — for a whopping 17 years (congrats!) and the couple have two teenage daughters: Grace and Mae, both of whom have tens of thousands of followers on their Instathing doohickeys.
Another thing Mr. McKagan burned through (not literally, hopefully) was Los Angeles real estate. As best Yolanda can tell, he purchased his very first house way back in 1988, just a year after the first Guns ‘N Roses album debuted. The 2-bed/2-bath Studio City cottage — located near the celeb-popular Fryman Canyon area — spans a modest 1,855-square-feet and cost Mr. McKagan $425,000.
In late 1990, exactly two years after purchasing his Studio City house, Mr. McKagan laid out $838,000 for a 4,162-square-foot Traditional in the Hollywood Hills. For unknown reasons, Mr. McKagan held onto both properties for a decade longer before dumping them at financial losses in the early 2000s: the Studio City house was sold for $397,500 in 2000 and the Hollywood Hills house transferred for $820,000 the following year.
Incidentally, Mr. McKagan’s former Hollywood Hills home underwent a recent renovation and was transformed into a Contemporary-style pad. It’s currently on the market for $4,750,000.
In 1999, just before selling his other two pads, Mr. McKagan laid out $1,500,000 for a mansion out in Agoura Hills (CA) that he sold in 2004 for $2,475,000.
Sometime in 2003, Mr. McKagan paid $960,000 for a two-story mock-Med structure in Studio City that he flipped just two years later (at a major profit) for $1,600,000. It appears he then took a four-year break from LA home ownership before he bought his current home. That house — a spanish-style sprawler that is all but hidden from the street in the foothills of Sherman Oaks — cost him $2,975,000 in 2009.
Although Mr. McKagan has not yet sold his first Sherman Oaks house, Yolanda happens to know that he has majorly upgraded his residential circumstances yet again with a recent $4,700,000 blind trust purchase of a bonafide mansion that’s only about a two-minute drive from his other house.
The vaguely plantation-style house spans a celebrity-style 6,760-square-feet of living space with 7 bedrooms and a total of 8.25 bathrooms on a sizable half-acre lot. Originally built in 1936, the structure was expanded and renovated down “to the studs” by a development group that purchased the property two years ago for just $2,175,000.
A classic white walls/black shutters and front-facing two-car garage comprise the facade. The developers admirably left the mature trees alone, although we do wish they hadn’t put that rather hokey white picket fence up. It’s just Yolanda’s useless opinion but we find that a damn eyesore.
(Apparently, so does Mr. McKagan. He’s already hauled it off to the landfill and replaced it with a brick wall. But we digress.)
The front door open to pleasing wide-plank white oak floors that continue on the white-riser-equipped staircase. A step-down formal living/great room is enormously spacious and could probably seat all of Mr. McKagan’s rock-n-roll bandmates and their wives/girlfriends/concubines.
The living room conveniently opens to the kitchen, which features top-of-the-line stainless steel appliances and a barstool-equipped center island. For your choice of dining, there’s also a convenient breakfast nook or a formal dining room with paneled ceiling.
Rather surprisingly, the mansion does not appear to possess a de rigueur home theater room. But it does sport a combo game/media room adjacent to the kitchen.
Two guest/staff bedrooms are located on the ground floor. At the top of the staircase landing lies an informal family room/hangout area with easy access to all five of the upstairs suites.
Mr. McKagan and Ms. Holmes will certainly enjoy the lavish master suite, which features an oversized neutral-toned bedroom with four-poster bed, a master bath with soaking tub and glass shower, a walk-in closet, and even a cozy sitting room w/ a fireplace. Accessible from either the bedroom or the sitting room is a slim outdoor terrace with a few pieces of furniture and views over the lush backyard.
Here’s an example of one of the house’s larger bedroom suites, which we imagine will be used by one of Mr. McKagan’s two daughters.
That bedroom opens to a very slim flagstone terrace overlooking the front yard. And somewhere inside there’s a modern office/study/library-without-shelves-or-books.
Take the party out back to the creature-comfort-laden (and completely private) outdoors with its lounge and dining areas, BBQ and firepit, pool/spa, sports court, separate pool bath/changing room and jewel-toned grassy areas.
Up in Seattle, Mr. McKagan still owns the waterfront house that he purchased way back in 1993 for $1,400,000. The property features a sports court, large pool, and a boat dock (currently outfitted with a boat).
That’s all, folks. If you’ll excuse Yolanda, she’s got the griddle on and those tamales ain’t gonna steam themselves. And trust us, you don’t want to upset the Yakketyyak family with some messed-up Christmas tamales. They’ll cut a beotch. Hasta la vista, babies.