Tuesday, December 21, 2010
George Michael Goes Down Under
BUYER: George Michael
LOCATION: Palm Beach, Australia
PRICE: around $6,000,000
SIZE: 3,500 square feet (approx.), 5 bedrooms, 5 full and 2 half bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Yesterday Your Mama discussed the posh London residence recently purchased by two-time Oscar nominated actor Jude Law and ack-tress/model/fashion designer Siena Miller. The back in the saddle couple's new crib in the hoity-toity and star studded Highgate area happens to be a few doors down from a home owned by British pop star George Michael and his long-time American lover-mate Kenny Goss.
Miss Michael rose to the pinnacle of pop music fame and fortune in the 1980s as one half of the screamingly successful and–for those of us who came of age in the 1980s–iconic British duo Wham! In the late 1980s, Miss Michael launched a solo career that spawned a number of hit songs such as Freedom! 90, which included a video that helped merge the music and fashion industries by featuring Amazonic supermodels Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Tatjana Patitz and the other worldly Christy Turlington. Miss Michaels last had a number one hit in the U.S. in 1991 (Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me with Elton John) in the U.K. in 1996 with Fastlove, a song Your Mama had never heard until this very day. Meh. We like Miss Michael and her feisty ways, but we don't particularly care for his brand of pop music.
Before meeting and coupling up with Miss Michael in 1996, Mister Goss–a native of Texas–was reportedly an executive at Adidas and, prior to that, a cheerleading coach, probably the gayest damn job Your Mama has ever heard of.
Unfortunately for him, Miss Michael is just as well known for his antics due to drink and drugs and his predilection for tea rooms as he is for his contributions to pop music. In the late 1990s naughty Miss Michael was picked up for lewd behavior as part of a sting operation in a Beverly Hills, CA public terlit, an event during which good looking and well formed undercover cops went into public terliting facilities, flashed and played with their man bits in order to get the attentions of men who like man bits, and then arrested any of the men like Miss Michael who expressed interest in joining in the po-po's reindeer games. Miss Michael handled the humiliating and very public slap in a commendably ballsy and completely unapologetic manner. Miss Michael, not one to learn his tea room lesson apparently, was picked up by the po-po twice more–in 2006 and 2008–for cruising a public terlit in a park near his home in London.
Along the way, he was arrested (and quickly released) for possession of drugs in 2006 and in July of 2009 he rammed his Range Rover into a Snappy Snaps shop in Hampstead Heath. He was charged and convicted of driving under the influence and spent 4 weeks in the pokey in September of 2010. He's now not legally allowed to drive a car for 5 years and he says he's cut his cannabis habit down from 25 spliffs a day to just 7 or 8. Twenty-five? Lowerd have mercy child, how does a person even smoke that much damn weed in a day and remain operational?
At least one previous reports indicates that Miss Michael took a shine to the sunny city of Sydney in the early months of 2010 when he made an extended two month stay. During that time he was reportedly a "fixture" on the gay gay gay Oxford Street bar and club circuit where he was (allegedly) seen kissing on a number of men who are not his American mate Kenny. Clearly these two have some sort of understanding in regards to outside dalliances. At least we hope they do. Otherwise Mister Goss just looks like a damn fool motivated by something other than, ahem, love.
Anyhoo, it seems the Miss Michael was so smitten that he wanted to set down some real estate roots along the Australian seaside. So a hunting for a house he went and reportedly settled on a stunner north of Sydney near Whale Beach. It's not clear to Your Mama how much Miss Michael paid for his new digs Down Under but it does appear from our entirely unscientific research that it was somewhere in the neighborhood of six million Aussie dollars, a number our currency conversion contraption shows amounts to about six million American dollars and close to four million British pounds.
Listing information for the property that we cajoled out of the interweb shows the clean-lined contemporary residence measures around 3,500 square feet and includes a total of 5 bedrooms, each with access to the exterior and each with en suite terliting and bathing facilities. Floor plan information shows there are two additional powder poopers, one just off the entry and the other conveniently situated on the lower level near the swimming pool.
Your Mama had one of them eerie deja vu thingys happen when we looked at the photos and floor plan for this house. Although we're a little befuddled and boozy brained, we're pretty sure we've seen this house before, perhaps in Architectural Digest or in one of the expensive and imported Australian architecture magazines we used to buy when we had a brief but intense love affair with contemporary Australian architecture in the early naughts.
The property lies about an hour north of the Sydney central business district near the tail end of a narrow peninsula along Whale Beach in the affluent and scenic seaside town of Palm Beach. This is, for anyone that might care, the same neck of the Australian seaside where that weird little hair obsessed Justin Bieber fellow was recently and unfortunately–heaven help us all–photographed frolicking on the shore without his shirt.
Dramatically perched on a rocky coastline with a sparkling water view of the Tasman Sea, the house has three levels of carefully calibrated living space that maximizes the amazing view and provides clear but interconnected separation between the public and private areas. The front door opens into a long hall that leads deep into the house to the the airy, 40-foot long open plan living/dining/kitchen area.
The multi-purpose room has a high pitched ceiling, a fireplace flanked by storage and media cabinets, and two walls of curtain glass that confuse the division between what is inside and what is outside. To one side of the living room glass panels sides back and connect the indoor space to a courtyard that sits between the two major masses that comprise the residence. On the opposite wall another series of floor to ceiling glass panels slide open and join the living room to a large waterside deck. The windows allow someone sitting in any part of the courtyard to look clear through the house to the water view beyond.
In the two-story section of the house that sits nearest the street, an intimate study with fireplace acts as a buffer between the more public rooms and (some of) the bedrooms. Adjacent to the study a large bedroom opens out to the courtyard and upstairs two bedrooms with built in wardrobes have access to a balcony that looks down into the courtyard and over the roof of the living/dining/kitchen pavilion to the sea view.
A flight of stairs in the entrance hall descends to the lower level of the house, directly underneath the living/dining/kitchen room. A rumpus room–otherwise known as a family room–has a wet bar and a bank of folding glass panels that peel back and open the room to the backyard. An "L" shaped hall provides access to a powder pooper, storage room, laundry facilities and two more bedrooms, both with built-in wardrobes and both with fold glass panels that also open into the backyard.
Decking surrounds the plunge-sized, trapezoidal-shaped infinity edged swimming pool and a wee patch of grass is just enough space for a couple of long bodied bitches like Your Mama's Linda and Beverly to tinkle and squat. The view–let's be honest hunnies, the view is breathtaking iffin you like seaside views–reaches completely over the Tasman Sea–often referred to as "The Ditch"–to the southern coastline of the Central Coast. There seems to be some controversy about whether this house looks out over the Pacific Ocean or the Tasman Sea. We opted to go with how the body of water is marked on Google Maps.
In addition to their house in Highgate and now this new hideaway in Australia, Mister Goss and Miss Michael own several other homes including a 16th-century house in Goring, Oxfordshire that's about an hour due west outside of London and just a hop skip and a jump over the Thames river from Spice Girl Geri Halliwell's house. A tour of the quaint crib Miss Michael gave to chat show queen Oprah Winfrey back in 2006 included the library where Miss Michael admits that the shelves are full of antique books he's never cracked open. Now, hunnies, that's just sad. We don't mind your thing for tea rooms Miss Thing, but gurl, seriously, read a damn book sometimes. That one does not read books is not something civilized people should admit on the Oprah damn Winfrey Show.
The real estate holdings of Miss Michael have long included properties in the United States. From 1989 to 1996 Georgie-boy owned a fab house in swish and to-die-for gorgeous Santa Barbara, CA . After selling that house Miss Michael bought a big house in Beverly Hills on the very same street where too big for his britches Tommy Crooz now lives. That house was sold off in 2003 for $2,850,000. In 2006 Miss Michael and Mister Goss couple traded in a large condo at the Vendôme building in Dallas, TX for a stately mansion in Highland Park, an uppity 'hood that Dallas-based real estate gossip Candy Evans told Your Mama is, "very classy, stodgy, Republican, safe and rich."
Property records show that the 5,538 square foot house was bought early 2006 for $3,325,000 and has 5 bedrooms and 5.5 poopers. Mister Goss, a former gallerist and major collector of contemporary art, has filled the couple's homestead in Dallas with the sort of works that many people often dismiss out of hand as something other than actual art. According to various articles available on the internets we learned that Mister Goss and Miss Michael's collection includes a lot of work by British artists who include the clever Tim Noble and Sue Webster, the always controversial and insanely successful Damien Hirst, op-art grande dame Bridget Riley, sculptress Rachel Whiteread, the often provocative Tracey Emin and the usually quite alarming Chapman brothers Jake and Dinos.
One wonders, of course, if this property purchase in Australia is merely some sort of real estate lark of a rich and famous person or if Mister Michael–and Mister Goss–actually intend to spend more time bumming around the beach in Australia. If it's the latter, we expect the house will be back on the market in six months time. If it's the former, Your Mama would like to offer Miss Michael and Mister Goss our house sitting services because there's little better we can imagine than whittling away a few weeks by a swimming pool in the southern hemisphere with little more than a chilled pitcher of gin & tonics, a tall stack of gossip glossies, the New York Times crossword puzzle app on my iPhone and perhaps something divine by Joan Didion to remind us of home. Can you hear Your Mama Miss Michael? Because we're being serious like a heart attack so give us a ringy-dingy.
listing photos and floor plan: Raine & Horne
Posted by Your Mama at 7:49 AM