Moby Abandons New York for Los Angeles 'Wolf's Lair'

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Why is born-and-bred New Yorker Moby living in Los Angeles? Simple: because he bought a castle. A castle called Wolf's Lair.

Today's New York Times tours the DJ's new spread in the Hollywood Hills. Frankly, we want to live there. It has a gatehouse turret "from which the original owner’s pet monkey screamed across the canyons" back in the 1920s; the Rolling Stones crashed there for a while; Brave New World author Aldous Huxley lived down the block; porno movies used to be filmed by the swimming pool. It also has a great view of the canyons, the reservoir, and the Hollywood sign (Moby, in very Moby fashion, describes it as "penultimate.") There's also a secret room that houses a Tiki bar, complete with "fake grass ceiling and pictures of Hawaiian dancing girls," but the musician can't get in there anymore, because he lost the key

Quite a lifestyle change for the man the Times describes as formerly "the hippest of downtown guys, running a teahouse/vegetarian cafe on his Lower East Side home turf...headlining at the Bowery Ballroom and going on about soy milk (well, he still talks about soy milk)." Now all he has in New York is a small apartment in Little Italy. For all intents and purposes, he's gone Hollywood.

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What happened? He stopped drinking, for one thing ("In my 40s, the hangovers lasted for days, and they were debilitating and soul-destroying. I simply had to stop.") And a lot of his good friends began getting priced out of the city. So last year, he bought the Hollywood Hills house for $4 million. He's spent another $2 million in restorations, and he's not done yet. His next project? "Turn[ing] the tiki barroom into an invitation-only magic theater." You can't do that in New York.


This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.