- ISSUE 2
- FANNY BY DAVID BELLEMERE
- ISSUE 3
- DIORA’S KEY STARRING DIORA BAIRD BY STEPHANIE VOVAS
- TOY STORY REDUX BY TONY KELLY
- ESTELLA WARREN
- SHE LOOKED THRU ME
- EMILY RATAJKOWSKI BY STEVE SHAW
- RITUAL BY SIGNE VILSTRUP
- HARRI PECCINOTTI
- AU LAIT BY BENEDICT REDGROVE
- IOAN GRUFFUDD
- 16 PELL STREET BY STEPHAN WÜRTH
- LE PREMIÈRE FEMME MODERNE
- JENNIFER WEST
- ISSUE 1
- BROOKE BONELLI BY STEVE SHAW
- TERRY O’NEILL
- TONY DURAN SHOOTS THE CASTING FOR TREATS ISSUE #1
- STEVE SHAW PHOTOGRAPHS JASON STATHAM, SPRING 2011
- ELSA HOSK BY ANDREAS KOCK
- RACHEL ROBERTS BY DEBORAH ANDERSON
- SAS BY TONY KELLY
- LAUREN, NIKKI, AMANDA, ABBY & FRANKI
- SHEPARD FAIREY
- KHOSI BY WARWICK SAINT
- DOWN IN THE FOREST SOMETHING STIRS
- THE GARDEN OF SIN & SEDUCTION
- ISSUE 4
- ALBERT MAYSLES
- SESSILEE LOPEZ BY MARK SELIGER
- FALLING BY GABRIELLE REVERE & JO BAKER
- MODERN ARTISANS BY TONY DURAN
- ANTHEA BY DAVID BELLEMERE
- ASTRAL TRAVELING BY PETROVSKY & RAMONE
- GOLD RUSH BY TONY DURAN
- NICO TORTORELLA
- KING LOUIS REIGNS
- ALANA MARIE
- AMANDA MARIE PIZZICONI BY BRETT RATNER
- WATER GIRLS
- TADAO ANDO: THE SIMPLICITY OF PERFECTION
- DUANE MICHALS
- STORK CLUB: THE MOST FAMOUS NIGHTCLUB ON EARTH
- ISSUE 5
- LE PRINCE DE PARFUM
- JOHN VAN HAMERSVELD
- EVA & KELSEY BY LUIS SANCHIS
- CISCO BY DAVID BELLEMERE
- BOB CARLOS CLARKE: THE LAST OF THE MAVERICKS
- TRIPTYCHS BY SAMUEL BAYER
- ZUZANA BY ANNE-CONSTANCE FRÉNOY
- VANESSA BY KESLER TRAN
- THE MAN WHO (ALMOST) FOOLED EVERYONE
- TABITHA BY STEVE SHAW
- JAMES GEORGOPOULOS BY MAXWELL WILLIAMS
- HOLLIE BY MARIANNA ROTHEN
- EUGENA BY JOSH RYAN
- BLACK TONGUE BY SAMUEL BAYER
- TEHILA BY JAMES MACARI
- TREATS! PARTY PICS
- BRETT RATNER SHOOTS AMANDA PIZZICONI
- BLACK TONGUE
- FALLING BY JO BAKER & GABRIELLE REVERE
- JO BAKER – WICKED LINER AND LASHES
- SIGNE VILSTRUP – RITUAL (VIDEO)
- TREATS! MAGAZINE ISSUE 2 PREVIEW
- “ASTRAL TRAVELING” BY PETROVSKY & RAMONE FOR TREATS! ISSUE 4
- SHORT FILMS
- THE SUMMER HOUSE BY JOE WEHNER
- TREATS! ISSUE #3 LAUNCH PARTY
- TREATS! MAGAZINE ISSUE 3 PREVIEW
- MARK SELIGER SHOOTS SESSILEE LOPEZ EXCLUSIVELY FOR TREATS!
- “WATER GIRLS” BY HERRING & HERRING
- DIORA BAIRD BY STEPHANIE VOVAS (VIDEO)
- TRICK OR TREATS! ANNUAL HALLOWEEN PARTY
- FRANK W OCKENFELS 3 SHOOTS MAY LINDSTROM FOR ISSUE #3
- STEVE SHAW SHOOTS EMILY RATAJKOWSKI (VIDEO #2)
- STEVE SHAW SHOOTS EMILY RATAJKOWSKI (VIDEO)
- STEVE SHAW SHOOTS IOAN GRUFFUDD
- STEVEN LYON SHOOTS “FILLES DE NUIT” FOR TREATS ISSUE #2
- BROOKE BONELLI GETS A TREAT! OF A TAN!
- TONY DURAN, BEHIND THE SCENE PART 3
- STEVE SHAW SHOOTS BROOKE AND MAY – BEHIND THE SCENES
- DEWY SKIN BY JO BAKER
- FILLES DE NUIT BY STEVEN LYON
- TREATS! PREMIERE ISSUE OSCAR PARTY
- STEVE SHAW SHOOTS ABBY BROTHERS
- STEVE SHAW SHOOTS JASON STATHAM
- STEVE SHAW SHOOTS BROOKE & MAY
- RED LIPS BY JO BAKER
- SHIMMERY SEXY EYES
- METALLIC CAT EYE BY JO BAKER
- JO BAKER MODERN ROMANTIC
- TREATS! PHOTOGRAPHERS
- TONY DURAN SHOOTS THE CASTING: BEHIND THE SCENES PT. 2
- BEN WATTS SHOOTS BREAKING AWAY FOR TREATS! ISSUE 2 – PT. 1
- TREATS! MAGAZINE ISSUE 1 PREVIEW
- ELECTRIC BY HERRING & HERRING
- AUDREY AT THE GOLDSTEIN RESIDENCE
- TONY DURAN SHOOTS EMILY RATAJKOWSKI IN “LIKE IT HOT” FOR ISSUE #2
- TREATS! EVENTS
- STEVE SHAW SHOOTS AMY HIXSON
- BEN WATTS – BREAKING AWAY FOR TREATS! ISSUE 2 VIDEO PT. 3
- BEN WATTS: THE INTERVIEW, PT. 1
- BEN WATTS SHOOTS BREAKING AWAY FOR TREATS! – PT. 2
- STEVE SHAW SHOOTS BROOKE BONELLI
- TONY DURAN, BEHIND THE SCENES PART 1
- BEN WATTS FOR TREATS! PREMIERE ISSUE: BEHIND THE SCENES
- BEN WATTS – THE INTERVIEW PART 2
- MODEL SCREEN TESTS
- WEB EXCLUSIVES
- RALPH GIBSON’S NUDE: REDUX
- TASYA VAN REE: THE FEMALE GAZE
- ERIC STANTON: IT’S A WOMAN’S WORLD
- TREATS Q&A: STEVE SCHAPIRO
- MALIBU’S LOST SHANGRI-LA
- WHERE MODERNISM FOUND ITS HOME
- CONRAD ROSET: THE MUSE IS THE MEDIUM
- DAVID PAUL LARSON: RAW APPROACH
- POST NO BILLS & FAILE
- BAKER’S BEAUTY MARK: SPF SHOWDOWN
- CHIC ROUGH SHINY WEARABLE THINGS
- FIFTY SHADES OF DE SADE
- THERE WILL BE HISTORY
- PROPRIETRESS OF PLEASURE, AKA OWNER!
- THE ZIGGY FILES
- BAKER’S BEAUTY MARK: OLYMPIAN METALLICS
- CARMEL VALLEY INN
- A ROUGE AWAKENING: IT’S ALL ABOUT THE LIPS
- CAMPGROUND CHIC MEETS LUXURY LODGINGS
- MODEL TALK – DIORA BAIRD
- ACHTUNG, BERLIN!
- SKIN RE’TREAT!
- ARMANI’S CREMA THE CROP
- MR MAXWELL WILL SEE YOU NOW
- PEACHY KEEN: SLIDE INTO SPRING WITH CHANEL’S HARMONIE DE PRINTEMPS LINE
- BELA BORSODI: THE PSYCHOLOGICAL PHOTOGRAPHER
- TREATS! Q & A: DAVID BELLEMERE
- MODEL TALK: MAY LINDSTROM
- HELMUT 3.0
- A BALANCING ACT LIKE NO OTHER
- THE CHARMING BENEDICT REDGROVE
- BAKER’S BEAUTY MARK: MON SHU
- YEAR OF THE BUNNY
- ADVENTURES IN RIO: BRAZIL & BUST
- SEX LIT 101: CLASSIC EROTICA
- TREATS Q&A: JARRED LAND
- LA PERLA: COSA C’È SOTTO!
- NICK VEASEY: X MAN
- TOM O’NEAL: MOMENTS IN TIME
- TREATS! Q&A: EDOUARD MEYLAN OF CELSIUS X VI II
- TREATS Q & A: D.A. PENNEBAKER
- 2 1/2 HOURS
- LUXURIANT DESERT JEWELS
- BUTTERFLY DREAMS IN CHINA
- WHO IS DOUG BARTLETT?
- ALLAN TEGER: PEAKS & VALLEYS
- MAKE IT NEW: THE STORY OF MODERN ARCHITECTURE
- GUSTAV KLIMT: THE SHAPE OF A WOMAN
- THE MOST INTERESTING TOWN IN THE WORLD
- JIMMY STEINFELDT: IN THROUGH THE LENS
- FOREVER YOUNG
- TREATS Q & A: JOHN URBANO
MALIBU’S LOST SHANGRI-LA
For years word of a secret ranch home and recording studio in Malibu—where Dylan, Van Morrison, Scorsese, and Adele have all supposedly recorded and used—has echoed clandestinely through the gossip avenues of Los Angeles—a sort of fabled musical monastery simply called Shangri La. TREATS! treks to Malibu in search of the lost magical music hideaway. What did we find? Well, for one you definitely need an appointment.
by Joe Donnelly
This story may end in Malibu, but it begins in two unlikely places—England and Mexico City. And, of course, around these parts no story is ever complete, it seems, without Hollywood having its say.
I’m speaking of the fabled Shangri La, the ranch home and recording studio where Bob Dylan and The Band woodshedded in the early 70s. This is where The Band recorded Northern Lights-Southern Cross, Martin Scorsese filmed parts of The Last Waltz, Van Morrison put the finishing touches on his Wavelength album and where, more recently, Rick Rubin recorded key parts of the monster of all contemporary monsters, Adele’s 21. The video for the chanteuse’s “Rolling in the Deep” was also filmed there.
LOST HORIZON: A UTOPIAN TALE
But the rambling ranch house on top of a hill overlooking Zuma Beach, just a stone’s throw from Malibu High School, has its origins in literature and film, not music, and in geographies far from Malibu. The concept of Shangri La—a place of peace, love and prosperity—comes from Lost Horizon, the 1933 pocket-book classic by English writer James Hilton. The novel’s protagonist, an enigmatic British diplomat in Afghanistan named Hugh Conway, is a veteran of the World War 1 trench warfare who has gone missing. He turns up in a Chinese hospital with amnesia and a utopian tale of his time at Shangri La, a monastery high in the mountains of Tibet.
A few years after the novel’s release, legendary director Frank Capra cast Margo Albert (wife of Eddie Albert for 40 years until her death of brain cancer in 1945) as Maria for the movie. Margo was born as María Marguerita Guadalupe Teresa Estela Bolado Castilla y O’Donnell in Mexico City in 1917. Margo built the ranch house and named it after Hilton’s paradise, which presumably became hers. For a while, anyway.
Legend has it the property served various purposes before finding its niche as a storied recording studio. It was rumored to be a hideaway for Hollywood’s A-list to consummate illicit trysts in the 1950s. In the 1960s, according to the Shangrilamalibu.com, Mr. Ed himself was stabled there while the show about a talking horse shot on location. One can’t help but wonder what Mr. Ed would say off the record.
In the 70s, Shangri La became a sanctuary for musicians transitioning out of the hectic 60s. A new back-to-basics vibe epitomized by Dylan’s John Wesley Harding, The Byrds’ Sweethearts of the Rodeo, and The Band’s Music from Big Pink was changing the pop-music landscape. Mellow Malibu had just the right blend of rural and rocking to match the tenor of the times.
The recording studio was designed and built by Rob Fraboni to the specifications of Dylan and The Band. Levon Helm, The Band’s legendary drummer and spine-tingling vocalist, reportedly described Shangri La as a clubhouse and studio where we and our friends could record albums and cross-pollinate one another’s music.”
During those halcyon early days it wouldn’t have been unusual to see Ronnie Wood and Pete Townshend hanging around the kitchen while Bob Dylan slept in a tent near the rose garden (his preferred hang for awhile). Meanwhile, Eric Clapton, who took up residence there for several months, might be found slow handing his Stratocaster in the studio.
The property could accommodate all comers. The 4,449 square-foot main house has four bedrooms and three bathrooms on one and three quarters acres. There’s a formal game room with fireplace and the pool table where Rick Danko shot a game of cutthroat in The Last Waltz. The property has a detached guesthouse and two recording studios: one in the main house and one in a converted airstream out back.
Rick Rubin, who since 2007 had been using the place to record the likes of Weezer, Metallica and ZZ Top, bought Shangri La in August 2011 for a reported $2 million. Considering the property’s legacy, location and his success with Adele, it’s hard to imagine him not making his money back.
The place has existed so entirely in legend, I almost expected it to not be there when I recently pulled up, unannounced, to a guest parking lot at the bottom of the driveway. Moms and maids in SUVs streamed into the street to pick up their kids from nearby Malibu High. The driveway gate was locked. A less intimidating fence with an unlocked gate leading to a walkway up to the front of the house could have been breached, but a security cam deterred potential trespassers. Luckily, one of the gardeners came down the driveway with trashcan full of lawn clippings and merrily offered up the driveway gate code.
My companion and I sauntered up the driveway to the back entrance and a door open to the kitchen. A few engineer types quickly intercepted us at the door and asked after our business. When I explained the nature of my visit, they cheerily suggested they would give me a call back to make an appointment for a formal tour. They weren’t interested in giving me their number.
“Don’t call us, we’ll call you?” I joked. The men laughed and said, well, yes…exactly. They explained they were in the middle of a recording session.
“Who?” I asked.
“I’m afraid we can’t say,” said the younger, blonder and thinner of the two, while the old, darker and beefier one remained stoic.
Then, they both politely suggested we be on our way and cautioned not to wander back here unannounced at night or anything like that because, “security here isn’t as nice as us.”
For many of us, I suppose Shangri La shall remain a dream. And, just like it was for Hugh Conway, maybe it’s better that way.
Joe Donnelly is an award-winning journalist and short-story writer. He is the former deputy editor of the LA Weekly and currently the publisher/founder and co-editor of Slake: Los Angeles, the award winning and bestselling Los Angeles journal.