Howard Stern Asked Lady Gaga About Buying And Restoring Frank Zappa’s Old House, A Project Every Serious Music Fan Should Love Her For

By 10.25.16

There are a lot of snarky, self-loathing music fans out there who hate on Lady Gaga simply because she’s popular and commercially successful. These people are not only morons, but also tools who probably sniff their own farts out of chardonnay glasses, South Park-style.

Heavy on the bluesy-country-Americana vibes, Gaga’s new album Joanne showcases the strength of her songwriting and vocal range. It’s heart-aching yet optimistic, easily a shoe-in for Album of the Year for an artist who defies a singular “pop” identity. Records like “Come To Mama” and “Just Another Day” feel like they’re from another era of music production, when composition in pop music actually mattered. And if those don’t convince you, listen to the track “Sinners Prayer “and tell me it doesn’t belong in a dark, moralizing Quentin Tarantino western noir. It’s track #8 on Spotify. Pay close attention to the guitar work in it — It’s damn beautiful.

Maybe I’m biased — I’ve had the awesome opportunity of seeing Gaga twice in the last 12 months and loved every second of it. Just last week she did a surprise acoustic mini-set on Bleecker Street at midnight, serenading a hundred lucky bar-goers who happened to be in the right place at the right time on a Thursday night.

But like I said — You’re just kind of a tool if you hate the great music Gaga is creating because she’s Gaga.

Earlier this week it was revealed that Gaga just bought Frank Zappa’s legendary house and recording studio in the Hollywood Hills for $5 million.  The legendary rock composer/performer lived and worked there from the mid-70s until his untimely death from cancer in 1993. The recording studio where Frank created some of his most legendary albums is a marquee attraction of the property, which reminded in the hands of his family until his widow, Gail Zappa, died last year.

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.”

Here’s what’s really cool about Gaga grabbing the home. Rather than a billionaire buying it to knock it down and reconstruct a modern glass architectural monstrosity, Gaga told Howard Stern today that she’s planning a wild renovation to the property to preserve Zappa’s legacy and thumbprints on the property and recording studio. via Live For Live Music:

In the interview, Gaga claims that: “[t]he house is very special and magical. His studio is in it, and I get to keep the [sound] board! You should have seen me while I was looking at the house. The realtors would be like, ‘No pictures!’ and I’m in there, photographing the compressors…it’s mystical to me that the music he made travelled through this board…the idea is to restore it and help it to be in its best condition and kind of leave it the way that it is and hear the sound that comes out. There’s two studios, the whole basement is recording studios, and it’s absolutely stunning and beautiful and amazing and it sounds incredible… I’ll use it for both [recording and living], you know I have a lot of friends that make music like Mark Ronson, Josh Homme.”

Listen to the conversation here. Good on you, Gaga. Stay cool. And let’s hope that Joanne gets all the gazillion Grammy nods it deserves.


TAGSfrank zappaLady Gaga

Join The Discussion