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We Went There: The Musical Estate of a Recording Industry Legend

We Went There: The Musical Estate of a Recording Industry Legend


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When you have the opportunity to visit the birthplace of a few of your favorite songs, your ears perk up. And when the tour is personally guided by Billy Rose, president of The Agency, you quickly carve out space in your calendar.

Making beautiful music

The legendary “music guy,” as Ron Fair likes to call himself, has his family-friendly estate in Brentwood on the market for $13 million. It’s the site of his famous home recording studio, where artists including Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, the Black Eyed Peas, Christina Aguilera, and Mary J. Blige have dropped by.

Fair was also president of Geffen Records, Virgin Records, and A&M Records, and he’s lined the walls of his home recording studio with platinum records and posters from his career as a producer, A&R exec, musician, songwriter, and engineer.

But this home’s pedigree doesn’t stop there. In 2001, Fair married Stefanie Ridel of the girl group Wild Orchid, and she went on to star in the reality TV series “There Goes the Motherhood,” parts of which were shot in the home’s TV studio.

"Music guy" Ron Fair's legendary home studio
Ron Fair’s home studio

There's also a TV studio on the premises, where Ron Fair's wife, Stefanie Ridel shot the reality series "There Goes the Motherhood"
TV studio where Stefanie Ridel shot the reality TV series “There Goes the Motherhood”

Walking on sunshine

I initially came across the mansion when looking for ideal homes to recommend for Beyoncé and Jay Z, now that they are scouring SoCal for a home in which to raise their expanding family. But this estate, in a sedate Brentwood neighborhood, possesses extraordinary charm even for those who have nothing to do with the entertainment industry.

When we met at the house, Rose called the acre-plus lot spectacular and I couldn’t argue. Walking through the backyard shaded by century-old trees, it was all I could do to keep myself from swinging on the monkey bars and bouncing on the trampoline.

Other outdoor amenities include gazebos, courtyards, a pool, spa, kitchen, greenhouse, gym, koi pond, and rose garden. The latter, Rose said, could easily be converted to an organic vegetable and herb garden.

Rose said Fair hosted a number of fundraisers on the property, with its lush grounds featuring mature foliage.

A corner of Ron Fair's "spectacular" playground
A corner of the “spectacular” playground

This rose garden could easily be converted to an organic vegetable/herb garden
The rose garden could be converted into an organic vegetable and herb garden.

The gym is one of many separately housed amenities
The gym is one of many separately housed amenities.

One of several courtyards on the Ron Fair estate
A courtyard with a catering kitchen

Massive dining room with mirrored ceiling and balconies
Massive dining room with balconies and a mirrored ceiling

Soda fountain/cocktail bar
Soda fountain/wet bar

A super hero children's bedroom
Superhero-themed bedroom

The inside scoop

The interior of the main house is also exceptional for entertaining. In addition to the massive dining room with mirrored ceiling, I was enamored by the family room equipped with a soda fountain, including the stainless-steel compartments for sundae toppings and the ice cream freezer.

The family room isn’t far from the children’s wing, which features four whimsically painted bedrooms, another kitchen, and a room for wrapping gifts.

Upstairs, the master wing features his-and-her bathrooms, closets, and dressing rooms. The “her” area is a multilevel retreat, and there’s so much storage. Cabinets, closets, and shelves as far as the eye can see. Luckily, the clothes, bags, and shoes were no longer on the premises. If they were, I would have suffered from fantasy overload. Additional amenities include skylights, a claw-foot tub, and a chaise lounge.

A master bath/closset/dressing room supreme
A master bath/closet/dressing room

Because you can never have too many pairs of shoes, or shelves to put them on. This is just a small section.
Because you can never have too many pairs of shoes, or shelves to put them on

On the top floor, Rose showed me another room that had been used as an office, opening an unassuming door with a flourish to reveal what appeared to be at least 1,000 square feet of unfinished attic space with unlimited potential. It could be a library, a yoga room, a man cave… The mind reels at the options.

As for the architectural style of the house, it’s up for debate. Rose said the exterior, with its awnings and wrought-iron balconies, had been described as New Orleans mansion. But inside, I got a distinct Hollywood Regency vibe, mostly from decorative finishes like crystal light fixtures, mirrored and lacquered finishes, and harlequin-patterned wallpaper.

Hollywood Regency-style living room
Hollywood Regency–style living room

The house, which was built in 1940, has been carefully remodeled, with much of the original hardware, wood floors, and doors and windows still intact. The kitchen has modern appliances, along with retro styling to mesh with the rest of the home.

Modern kitchen with retro touches
Modern kitchen with retro styling

So why, you might ask, would Fair and his family ever leave this domestic paradise? Like so many music moguls before him, he and his family have moved to the Nashville area. In fact, they’ve moved from a mansion in Brentwood, CA, to a mansion in Brentwood, TN, according to Variety. Now, how’s that for symmetry?

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