Marin County, California is a wealthy suburb north of San Francisco. It's on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge. Within Marin is a town called Tiburon. Tiburon is where you move after your startup has given you a personal net worth north of $100 million and you're ready to start a family. You can actually do that in any part of Marin. For instance, back when he was sporting a (soon to be worthless) $4.7 billion paper net worth, WeWork founder Adam Neumann spent $21 million on a Marin County mansion. There are dozens of random billionaires all over Marin, including notables like George Lucas ($6.4 billion) and Hyatt Hotel heirs John and Daniel Pritzker ($2.4 billion a piece).
Tiburon is like the Beverly Hills of Marin County. A slightly larger, hillier version of Beverly Hills that is made up mostly of a long peninsula that juts out into bay, giving every home a perfect view of the San Francisco city skyline, bridge, Alcatraz and more.
Tiburon is also the town where Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich planted roots back in 1993. And he wasn't alone.
Metallica lead singer James Hetfield was a Marin County resident for many years. He still owns an extremely large rural property roughly 20 minutes further north of Tiburon. James moved to Colorado in 2016, after growing tired of liberal local residents scoffing at deer carcasses on his truck as he returned from hunting trips. True story.
Kirk Hammett owns a ranch a bit north of the Hetfield property but his primary residence has long been a mansion in San Francisco. Former bassist Jason Newsted owns a mansion east of San Francisco in a town called Walnut Creek, and a 545-acre ranch in Montana. Current bassist Robert Trujillo lives in Los Angeles, in an area near Malibu called Topanga Canyon.
How do I know so much about Metallica's real estate portfolio? Well, first of all, it's because I'm a Metallica superfan. And second, because I grew up in Marin County. I wasn't the son of millionaires or rock stars: I grew up in a decidedly more normal part of town.
But I had friends in high places!
Back in 1992, when I was 10, I went over to a friend's house in Tiburon after a soccer game. I had never been in a house like this before. Enormous marble courtyard. Indoor sports court. Olympic-sized infinity pool. And best of all? A private movie theater with a popcorn maker, candy concession stand and real movie theater seats. A friend named Charlie was also with me on this visit. Our friend's dad (the owner of the house) put "Back to the Future" on for us to watch. During the opening credits Charlie ripped an extremely loud fart. When our friend's dad smelled the fart he went ballistic and forced Charlie out of the theater into the living room, for the entire duration of the movie. I still crack up thinking about that. And now that I'm an adult, I can see how it was exactly the right move.
A year after that fateful fart-filled visit, my friend's parents sold the house to…Lars Ulrich. They sold the main home plus the lot next door for $6 million. That's the same as around $10.6 million after adjusting for inflation.
Recently, Lars listed the property for $12 million. The current sale includes a third lot on the other side of the main house that Lars acquired at some point. The result is three homes over two full acres of land.
As I mentioned previously, a large marble courtyard gives way to a lavish main home that encompasses 13,000 square-feet. There are 25 rooms, five of which are bedrooms and nine are bathrooms. Below is a video tour. It's unclear from the video if the farted-in movie theater still exists:
What's interesting to me is the current sale price. At $12 million, the property has "only" doubled in value since 1993. And that's AFTER adding a third property. Compared to the inflation-adjusted number, $10.6 million, the house hasn't appreciated all that much. It may even have lost value.
But it's still an incredible mansion, that I wish I could buy right now to complete a childhood dream.
Oh and btw, this is not Lars' only Marin County property. He owns 140 undeveloped acres in a nearby town called Larkspur. Minutes from Adam Neumann's mansion. For about a decade, he attempted to get approval to build what would have been an absolutely insane mansion. Possibly one of the craziest mansions in the world. When he could not get approval to build the mansion, he listed the property for sale in 2015 for $39 million. He has not found a buyer as of this writing.
Where is your childhood dream home?