Rock Royalty, Fleetwood Mac’s John McVie Puts Diamond Head Retreat on Market

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All photos courtesy of Mark Singer Photography

It’s been a rock and roll December here on starting with Sammy Hagar’s Maui retreat showcased at the beginning of the month.  Now it’s time to have a look at Fleetwood Mac bassist John McVie’s (the “Mc” in Fleetwood Mac) Honolulu estate.  So sit back and listen to the wind blow, watch the sun rise … and set … at 3124 Noela Drive on the slopes of Diamond Head (map).

First, let’s talk Noela Drive.  It’s a semi-secret, dead-end road of just 16 super-private homes. Half the homes literally have a volcano as their backyard. Looky-Lous don’t go up there because they don’t know about it and besides, almost all you can see are gates. A $5 million budget might elicit a polite titter. When I spoke with McVie’s listing agent Patricia Choi, she summed up Noela Drive as where you buy and die. Sales are rare.  When buyers ask what’s available she often says “nothing”, with McVie’s home, she can say “one” … but only for a little while.

McVie’s 1989 home has five bedrooms with five full and two half baths spread across 7,953 square feet of interior space and 1,000 square feet of covered lanais, on a sliver under a half acre of land.  There’s also a five-car garage. McVie has owned the home a pinch under 12 years, having purchased the home from the original owner. Some remodeling has been done. It’s been listed with Patricia Choi of Choi International since November at $6.25 million. Property taxes are $17,654 per year (weep Dallasites, weep).

Upon entering the home you’re on the upper level. In front of you is a walkway overlooking the double-height living room below with huge floor-to-ceiling windows. To the left is a large master suite while going left there’s a seating area, bar, kitchen, breakfast nook and dining peninsula (you’ll love it).

Downstairs there are more bedrooms (left and right), living areas (left and right), a large wet sauna, and a second bar … and of course the main living room.

The living room’s stone floor is pure Hawaii and a nod to the volcano the home sits upon.  While fully air-conditioned, on the day of my visit, the opened doors and windows provided more than enough breeze for comfortable, almost outdoor living.  The one thing I’d change is to relocate that oversized staircase on the right.  The living room would be much better without it and with 7,000 square feet to play with, there are a few places to put it.  The 1980s loved big stairs.

The kitchen probably remodeled by McVie with skylights, wood cabinetry (very popular in tropical Hawaii who aren’t as obsessed with hospital white kitchens) and Rainforest stone countertops. There’s a 6-burner range, double ovens and giant Sub Zero fridge. The archway leads to the breakfast nook.

Not your average four-chair after-thought.  The area faces the front lawn and garden.  Yes, that’s a stained glass window featuring a palm tree design. Because of the high fence, this is a perfectly private area.  No paparazzi flashbulbing in the windows.

The dining peninsula is my favorite space in the whole house. It’s on the backside of the kitchen and envelopes guests in the tropical forest of the backyard.  Looking left and right you have ocean and Waikiki views.  It’s easy to imagine Fleetwood Mac kicking back around the table,

In fact, I have to thank John McVie’s home for coaxing me into revisiting the Fleetwood Mac catalog that was the backdrop of my youth.  Silver Springs, Oh Daddy, Blue Letter, Sara … Wait a minute baby, stay with me awhile …

(Hours of YouTube later)

The master bedroom is on the upper floor to take advantage of the views and breezes. It’s a large space with a great raised ceiling and private lanai.

From the master bedroom lanai, here’s the view of Waikiki, mountains and ocean through the palm trees. At night the lights of the city twinkle against the pitch black of the Pacific Ocean. Luckily, that’s not the direction of the sunrise, so no worries about a blast of sun in the morning.

Actually, if you want sunrise, it’s visible from the master bath windows.  And yes, the master bath is just as large as you’d expect.  In fact it’s multiple spaces.  Here we see the long double vanity with a peek at the make-up table on the right. Through the doorway is the water closet with bidet plus the shower and bathtub. Yes, the cabinetry is circa 1989 and a buyer will probably update much of this home, but the space is quite well done.

Opposite the water closet is the separate shower and raised bathtub.  The master suite runs the width of the home so the windows here face the front and side of the home.  But remember, there’s a full fence for privacy (and blinds, of course).

Texas readers will appreciate the cavernous closet (that’s the make-up vanity from the first pic). It’s cedar-lined and double-height.  All those upper cubbies are rodded for hanging clothes. Behind the makeup vanity are drawers and cubbies for shoes.

Once you’re outside, you’re in a thicket of tropical foliage surrounding the pool.  In the distance is the back of one of the garages that fronts an outdoor kitchen and barbeque area.

Above, the rear of the home is bathed in the warmth of sunset hues.  The bump-out on the second floor in the center is my favorite space, the dining peninsula.

Few of us can afford a $6 million home in Hawai’i (or anywhere), but we can all enjoy the contribution McVie and Fleetwood Mac have made to our lives. If you’re not old enough for their music to be part of your personal playlist, visit YouTube for gosh sakes. And if you do have $6 million, call Patricia Choi, it’s a good house.


Remember: When I’m not stirring up trouble in Dallas, Texas or Honolulu, Hawaii for and, I’m off scouting interesting locations for a second home.  In 2016 and 2017, the National Association of Real Estate Editors has recognized my writing with two Bronze (2016, 2017) and two Silver (2016, 2017) awards. If you’re a Realtor with second home clients who’d like me to feature their journey, shoot me an email