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Thursday, 1 March 2012

SELLER: Dick Clark
LOCATION: Malibu, CA
PRICE: $3,500,000
SIZE: 1 bedroom, 2 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Ain't no doubt about it, puppies, Emmy-winning octogenarian Dick Clark is a Showbiz treasure and legend who—get ready for a lame and lazy segue way here—owns at least three iconic residences in the low-key but very costly and celebrity-packed coastal enclave of Malibu, CA.

In addition to two significant ocean front spreads—a bit more on those later—Mister Clark has long-owned a quite remote mountain top hideaway on the border between Los Angeles and Ventura counties that he spun on to the open market this week with a $3,500,000 asking price.

The younger children in our virtual midst probably don't have a God damn clue who Mister Clark is but we suggest they do themselves a favor and look him up on the interweb. There's no hyperbole, we don't think, in saying the man revolutionized the music and entertainment industries with his wildly popular and pop-culturally super-significant dance and music program American Bandstand. The show first aired in 1957 and continued for more than 30 years. Thirty years, children, is a long ass time and during that time just about everyone who was or would become anybody in the (pop) music world chatted with Mister Clark and performed on the program.

Truth be told, butter beans, it makes Your Mama a bit misty to think of American Bandstand. In our (long ago) youth the high-energy program provided a kind of televised life line to a far more cosmopolitan life than we knew in our beautiful but small and (back then) oppressively provincial home town. Watching American Bandstand as a hip-wiggling pre-teen in corduroy overalls gave us a heroin-like dose of the glamorous life we thought we wanted, one fully-stocked with lust-inducing lookers outfitted in fearless fashion statements gyrating wildly to new genres of modern music that parent-aged people often detested. What, we thought at the time, could be better than all that glittery nonsense?

Anyhoo, Mister Clark, who famously managed to maintain his youthful appearance well into his advanced years, also hosted several versions of the word association-based game show Pyramid, originally called The $10,000 Pyramid but had a name change when ten thousand dollars no longer seemed like a lot of money for a person to win on a game show.

Since 1972 Mister Clark has hosted the eponymous Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve (DCNYRE), a New Year's Eve music/variety extravaganza on which he continues to appear each year despite having a stroke in 2004. Since 2005, DCNYRE has been co-hosted by the meticulously manicured Ryan Seacrest, Mister Clark's unofficial Showbiz heir apparent who, like Mister Clark, first had success on the radio and, we can assure the children, will have a long, industrious and financially fruitful career as an entertainment industry tycoon who, like Mister Clark—awkward transition number two—will own a handful of architecturally idiosyncratic and discussion-worthy residences.

All you people out there who prefer their homes have a traditional vibe can move on to your next task because you are not likely to appreciate this little residential ditty which has an honest-to-goodness crafty-homemade quality and looks more like a white-washed cave hangout than it does a house with a lot of boring right angles.

Listing information shows Mister Clark's rather peculiar bedsit in the Malibu boondocks sits on 22.89 secluded acres accessed by a little traveled canyon road that twists up in to the rugged mountains off the Pacific Coast Highway. A hair pin left turn off the paved canyon road puts you on a snaking, dead-end dirt road used by just a couple other equally remote residences. A second hair pin turn off the dirt road swoops up to an unpaved motor court and detached, two-car carport.

A wide concrete walkway curves up through the indigenous desert-meets-seaside landscape to the low-profile abode, which at first glance looks like it was fashioned from papier mâché or carved out of a massive boulder. Listing information does not indicate the square footage—neither does the Ventura County Tax Man—but does show the open plan, hive-like home contains just 1 bedroom and 2 bathrooms.

Mister Clark's mountaintop spread is almost ludicrously remote, the sort of place where if you forget to buy milk, a tomato, toilet paper or lady-part necessities you simply make due with whatever might be at hand. It's about 22 miles and at least a half hour (without much traffic) to the Malibu Country Mart and Lumber Yard and another 12 or 15 miles and another half hour (without much traffic) to the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica. Closer perhaps but not much more convenient are the Ventura County communities of Oxnard and Camarillo, each about 20 miles and a forty minute drive from Mister Clark's isolated hideaway.

Even for a solitary person like Your Mama who happily go days without speaking or seeing another person besides The Dr. Cooter and Fiona Trambeau who calls every day to let us know she's not passed out in the apartment of some unsavory character with whom she's gone home the night before, this is a think-about-it-twice sort of secluded that, despite the spectacular 360-degrees views and stunning scenery, borders on godforsaken. Just think of what it costs in gas alone to have a minimum wage girl drive out there every couple of days to keep the plants watered. Plus, three and a half million clams is a lot of dinero for a getaway where overnight guests will have to curl up on the curved sofa in the living room, pitch a tent in the back yard or fold themselves into the back seat of their car.

The multi-level living and entertaining spaces include an intimately-scaled living room with sheep's-wool colored wall-to-wall shag carpeting, the aforementioned, custom designed curved couch, a fireplace-like cubby for the telly, and a massive oval opening filled with geometrically installed frameless glass that brings in a distant but dynamic view of the Pacific Ocean. The ocean view is no less enticing from the adjoining dining room with sensually undulating ceiling and walls with built-in buffet along one side, more shag carpeting under foot, and a dining room table with chunky pedestal base encased in hand-stitched leather patchwork.

It's all very organic and strange and we're not afraid to say we swoon for it all...well, for most of it anyways. The kitchen, by our humble and utterly meaningless opinion, is a bit of a disaster. The series of port hole-like windows in the kitchen do provide magnificent vistas of the surrounding craggy mountains that would make doing the dishes an almost pleasurable experience but the rippling, drippy, and downright Dali-esque cabinets make Your Mama feel a bit queasy. We applaud the effort at stylistic consistency here but iffin we were to buy this property—and there is no chance we will buy this property—we'd have to rip that kitchen out and re-do in in a more sleek manner that would operate in a visual juxtaposition to the homes sometimes anatomical-looking interior architecture that swells, surges, swoops and hollows in the most unusual and delightfully unexpected manner.

The shag carpeting stretches into the lone bedroom adjacent to the living room that has wide, amoebic windows, a raised fireplace, lots of chaise-y chairs for lounging, and an almost cochlear bathroom with pebble tile floor, cantilevered vanities, and a party-sized jetted tub set into an undulating niche with the most dee-vine (and divine) view that stretches from mountain top to mountain top for as far as the eye and air quality will allow.

We regret to inform that children we know nothing about the architect and/or how house this house came to be. If anyone wants to enlighten Your Mama, be sure to give us a jangle on the email.

Mister Clark owns at least two other notable and well-located properties in Malibu. In the late 1970s Mister Clark acquired a funnel shaped parcel of property that narrows as it gets to the beach where there now exists an 8,688 square foot hexagonal-shaped house and swimming pool that sits so right on the sand that any closer would put it in the surf.

Real estate reports from 2002 reveal Mister Clark paid Pepperdine University "close to $15,000,000" for Gull's Way, an enviably sited 11-and-some acre bluff top estate above Latigo Beach. At the time Mister Clark picked the property up it included a 6,600 square foot main house, an 1,800 square foot guest house, caretaker's cottage, beach shack and extensive grounds with a pet cemetery. There is online evidence the property is sometimes leased out as a wedding and event venue. The property had been donated to Pepperdine by Luella "Billie" Ulrich who hoped they would utilize it as some sort of conference center but the high-priced college was unable to obtain the necessary permits and variances to do so.

listing photos: Everett Fenton Gidley for Coldwell Banker / Malibu Colony

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