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  • John 8:50 am on July 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: frank zappa, , log cabin   

    Frank Zappa's Laurel Canyon Cabin, Part 2 

    You can see the property in a few of Bonnie’s driving tour videos. It is now a vacant lot with trees, but you can make out a driveway, etc. It is located at the Corner of Laurel Canyon Blvd and Lookout Mountain. Go to the link at the bottom for more photos of the property.

    In my previous Frank Zappa blog post, we learned that after the Tate/LaBianca murders, FZ moved the hell out of here. It was too high profile and not a very secure residence for his young family. The world had changed, overnight. Stars like David Bowie and Jagger were very frightened and would not even stay up in the Hills.

    1968 - Jagger, Captain Beefheart and Marianne Faithful hanging out.

    1968 – Jagger, Captain Beefheart and Marianne Faithful hanging out.

    What's left of "Mick's fireplace" in 2001ish.

    What’s left of “Mick’s fireplace”.

    The building was built in the early 1900’s by silent movie cowboy star Tom Mix who reputedly entertained Wyatt Earp there after the latter had moved to California. Before Zappa took over the place for $700/month it was occupied by (Mothers Auxiliary) Carl Franzoni’s commune, renting from an African-American widow who owned it.

    The famous basement, circa 2000.

    The famous basement, circa 2000.

    The Log Cabin was destroyed in a (reputedly drug related) fire around 1970 long after FZ had moved elsewhere in Laurel Canyon, leaving only the basement and a few other structures to be seen. On the adjacent hillside one can still see an artificial grotto inhabited in Zappa’s days by members of the GTO’s, an all-girl group produced by FZ which included the later Pamela Des Barres.

    Both this band and the Mothers themselves used to practice in the basement seen in the pictures below. The old-time picture of the Log Cabin reproduced below is the only one I have ever seen of the intact building. The property was sold for $1.5 million in 2003 and the basement was filled in as shown below.

    The photos are at the link below. Enjoy.

    Source & Credit


    • dreamweaverjenn 9:23 am on July 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I bet that was a really cool place once upon a time.

      • John 11:17 am on July 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Yes, at the photo link you can see what’s left of the basement fireplace next to where Mick is sitting. Maybe we can convince Bonnie to go out there one day and get some pics.

      • John W 4:16 pm on July 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        I added the recent fireplace photo. It looks like Mick was sitting on the basement stairs!!

    • localarts 11:20 am on July 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Yes! Bonnie is our modern day Laurel Erickson.

      • scabiesoftherat 12:54 am on July 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Sure as hell is! She’s the Patron Saint of all things Wonderland for those who are not there. A time machine. A gifted orator. Can multitask by handling the stereo, a camera, the wheel, a cell phone and a milkshake all at the same time and with great aplomb. She knows the winding roads of the winding canyon Laurel like the back of her magical hand…for these mountains are her home….and it’s inhabitants? Her angels. It is her time of respite….. and these are her people…and they are one.

        At the end of the day, she climbs the summit of Mullholland Drive and parks her car. She turns off the engine, gets out of the driver’s seat….and climbs upon the hood of her vehicle to gaze down upon the city below. All is well,…and somewhat un-well…..in the city of angels.

        A song begins to swell from her car stereo……


        Much respect and many thanks for the films, Bonnie.


    • Bonnie Brae 7:53 am on July 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Hey – I’m definitely in when I get back from my trip. In Des Moines right now. So far I have recorded a Thunderstorm, some baby chipmunks and the attic of the Villisca axe murder house. The last one is uploading now and should be done in like another 30 minutes.

      • John 8:26 am on July 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Sounds awesome!

      • John 2:28 pm on October 4, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Please go here with Gayle and hook us up with some sweet photos, Bonnie!! We love your work!

        • Gayle 9:23 pm on April 13, 2014 Permalink

          I was going to say, hey I want some photo and video credit here! 🙂
          I am not familiar with the Zappa House. Is it still standing? I’ll have to research it.

    • Franky 7:59 pm on April 3, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Hi everybody! Lol I sound like Dr Nick from the Simpson. I’ve been following this website for a couple years. Watched the Wadd documentary and the Wonderland and I was hooked. How could you not. It’s set in the wild ass 80s, the pornstar, the drugs, and the murders. Last but not least Eddie Nash. Bet he has some crazy stories. I remember reading somewhere that Scott Thorson had an eerie convo with Holmes right before the murders, I know Scott isn’t the most reliable source but if it is true I would really like to know what was said. Oh and I’m so obsessed with what all went down and plan on making a trip and go check out the Wonderland house and Nash’s house where the robbery when down. Would also like to make the drive to and from those locations. Bonnie Brae I’m looking at you 🙂 would love a sight seeing your since I’m from TX and haven’t been to LA in ten years. John love site keep it up

  • John 2:11 pm on June 28, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: frank zappa, laurel canyon tavern, tom mix   

    The Laurel Tavern, Canyon Store & Frank Zappa 

    The building which now houses the Canyon Store was built in 1929.

    The Canyon Store in 1983. That's a sweet Rabbit!

    1983. Man, that is a sweet Rabbit convertible.

    The Laurel Tavern

    The log cabin road house was first called the Laurel Tavern. It had a bowling alley in the basement, and was later bought by silent film star Tom Mix. One of the last residents to occupy the cabin before it burned in the 1970’s was Frank Zappa.

    Allegedly, Larry “Wild Man” Fischer met Frank Zappa by simply walking up to his front door and asking if he could play Frank a song. It is said that Frank did not even have locks on his doors.

    Larry Fischer... guess which store he is at...

    Would you let this guy in? … could he be at the Canyon Store??

    In the end, Fischer would be banned from the house by Frank’s wife, Gail. After one drug-fueled episode, Larry had a fit and threw a glass bottle narrowly missing their toddler daughter, Moon Unit. The Tate/LaBianca Murders however, got Frank to pick up and move for good. Reality check! The Summer of Love and all that stuff was over and done.

    Circa mid 1910s

    The tavern and Frank Zappa’s old house. Photo is from mid 1910s.

    The tavern was located at the Red "A" marker. Yellow circle is Wonderland house. The Canyon Store is just south on Laurel Canyon Blvd.

    The tavern was located at the Red “A” marker. Yellow circle is Wonderland house. The Canyon Store is just south on Laurel Canyon Blvd.

    Source:  Laurel Canyon Association

    • dreamweaverjenn 2:42 pm on June 28, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Wonderful! Thank you for posting!!!

    • Bonnie Brae 8:06 pm on June 28, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Very cool John – thanks for posting!

    • Bobby 3:40 am on June 29, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Zappa and Fischer are SORELY missed! Zappa in particular. It’s not often that one can lay claim to being a musical genius but he was certainly high up there. His foray into avant-classical music in his later years was inspired but sadly his illness ended that all too soon. So sad.

    • Corné 8:28 am on July 20, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Zappa didn’t move out of the Log Cabin because of the Bianca/Tate murders. Sharon Tate was murdered august 8/9, 1969. Zappa moved out in august 1968. He had a visit at the Log Cabin by ‘Raven’, a lunatic carrying a gun. The Wild Man Fischer part took place in the house he moved in after the Log Cabin, at Woodrow Wilson Drive.

    • matthewjrichter 4:17 am on February 11, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I concur, I remember reading that in the ‘Real Frank Zappa Book’ when it came out . The whole Log Cabin story is intriguing though. I’m hoping Zappa receives a mention in the last season of Mad Men, with Megan being knifed by a ‘Manson’ at some point. A Zappa Series would be awesome there is more than enough accurate anecdotes to make it realish. And besides anyone who was anyone wanted to hang out with Frank, the pictures clearly show it, even Pink Floyd. Zappa was King.

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