The Mansion (recording studio)
The Mansion is a 10-bedroom mansion owned by music producer Rick Rubin in the Laurel Canyon area of Los Angeles. Originally built in 1918, the house is famous for the successful bands who have recorded music there. Although many say that Harry Houdini lived at the mansion, no one has ever lived in the Mansion under the name "Houdini", a fact that Corey Taylor, singer of the bands Stone Sour and Slipknot, has said in his book A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven. The book also describes his paranormal experiences in the Mansion while recording Slipknot's 2003 album Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses). After recording the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Blood Sugar Sex Magik with considerable ease and comfort, Rubin decided to use the mansion to record many of the albums he has produced, including the Red Hot Chili Peppers's Stadium Arcadium, Audioslave's Out of Exile, The Mars Volta's De-Loused in the Comatorium, Slipknot's Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses), and Linkin Park's Minutes to Midnight.
Since 1991, the Red Hot Chili Peppers have returned to the mansion on numerous occasions; the tracks "Fortune Faded" and "Save the Population" on 2003's Greatest Hits compilation, and more recently the group's 2006 album Stadium Arcadium were recorded there. The mansion can also be seen on the Chili Peppers' 1991 DVD Funky Monks, Linkin Park's DVD The Making of Minutes to Midnight , and in a series of eight clips uploaded to LCD Soundsystem's official YouTube channel documenting the creation of This Is Happening.
In the 1960s and 1970s many famous artists stayed in the home, including Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, and The Beatles. The house was owned by Errol Flynn in the late 1930s.
The mansion is rumored to be haunted. Artists such as The Mars Volta's Cedric Bixler Zavala have reported doors opening when they are known to have been previously closed. Zavala also cited one room, the bell tower, that the band chose to avoid while living there.
The nine-piece metal band Slipknot reported experiencing a number of unusual events while living there during the recording of their album Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses). Drummer Joey Jordison claimed to have had an unsettling experience in the basement when he felt something touch him sexually and subsequently never went down there again. Also, singer Corey Taylor took pictures of two orbs hovering near the thermostat in his room that changed the temperature. System of a Down's guitarist, Daron Malakian, said that every day around 4 o'clock, his amp tubes would act strange.
Though it is rumored that the house has been haunted since 1918, when the son of a furniture store owner pushed his lover from the balcony, the present mansion is actually built on the grounds of the old mansion, which burned down in the late 1950s and wasn't rebuilt until years later to be used as a recording arts studio. Nevertheless, during the recording of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Blood Sugar Sex Magik, more unusual things occurred. Consequently, drummer Chad Smith chose to not live in the house during the recording. Guitarist John Frusciante considered the ghosts friendly and masturbated in front of a ghost. The BSSM album art also features a photograph of a strange orb captured during a group photograph, which the band suggests might have been a spirit at the mansion.
The Mansion also appears in the second season of Showtime's Californication, in which the owner of the house is Lew Ashby, a famous record producer (played by Callum Keith Rennie) living alone in his ivory tower or "Ashby's Den of Iniquity". Dave Navarro and Carmen Electra visited the mansion during their MTV reality show Til Death Do Us Part.
Recordings at the Mansion
|Band or artist||Album(s) and/or song(s)||Year(s) of recording|
|Red Hot Chili Peppers||Blood Sugar Sex Magik||1991|
|Marilyn Manson||Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death)||1999 – 2000|
|American Head Charge||The War of Art||2000 – 2001|
|The Mars Volta||De-Loused in the Comatorium||2002 – 2003|
|Red Hot Chili Peppers||"Fortune Faded" and "Save the Population" from Greatest Hits||2003|
|Slipknot||Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses)||2003|
|System of a Down||Mezmerize & Hypnotize||2004|
|Ours||Dancing for the Death of an Imaginary Enemy||2005|
|Red Hot Chili Peppers||Stadium Arcadium||2005|
|Linkin Park||Minutes to Midnight||2006 – 2007|
|Maroon 5||It Won't Be Soon Before Long||2006 – 2007|
|LCD Soundsystem||This Is Happening||2009 – 2010|
- WILD ABOUT HARRY: Inside the Laurel Canyon Houdini Estate
- Contact The Houdini Estate 2400 Laurel Canyon Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 323-363-6717
- "Interview with Cedric Bixler Zavala from The Mars Volta". Rock Circus. 2004. Retrieved 14 November 2010.
- "Houdini Mansion". Slipknot Metal. Retrieved 14 November 2010.
- "The House in Laurel Canyon". HAUNTED HOLLYWOOD: PART 6. June 12, 2008. Retrieved 14 November 2010.
- Weird California - Houdini Mansion
- Winwood, Ian. ABC, easy as RHCP. Kerrang! Magazine, issue no. 1379, 2011, p. 38.