Rock and Roll Tribute House

The Rock n Roll Tribute House in Encinitas

You’ll see it first, and then, as it draws you closer you will hear it. The Rock n Roll Tribute house in Encinitas is impossible to miss for passersby. Located in an alley at 125 A Street, the building compels you to linger long, and take it all in.

   What was once a white colored two-story duplex, not unlike many of the other houses in the quaint beach town, is now covered in a haze of purple and green paint, broken bits of mirror, marbles, golf balls, feathers, discarded C.D.s and of course Rock n’ Roll icons. It’s chaotic, it’s vibrant, it’s an overwhelming assault on the senses. And depending on your point of view, it’s either a whimsical homage to the pioneers of rock music and rhythm and blues, or a garish eyesore.

   The deep purple garage door is splattered, Jackson Pollack style, in a lighter purple and trimmed in green. Hundreds of marbles wind about the “canvas” and frame photocopied images of Bob Dylan, Muddy Waters, and Mick Jagger, to name a few. The rest of the objects that adorn the house read like the lyrics from some forgotten Strawberry Alarm Clock song. Sunglasses and umbrellas, wind chimes, and car mirrors, toy guitars and Mardi Gras beads harmoniously gild the domicile.

   Richard Margolin, is the man responsible. Margolin, who describes himself as a former drifter, “living from motel to motel, doing bad things and hanging out with bad people,” did not see himself as an artist originally, “I never did anything artistic my whole life, I’m a tree trimmer by trade,” Margolin informs, “Then one day about four years ago I painted my door purple, and once I got started I couldn’t stop.”

   Now while that may be an understatement, it’s not the funniest part of the story. The funniest part of this story is this place is a rental. Yep, Margolin rents. While most renters refuse to shell out a dime for exterior touch-ups, Margolin figures he has spent about 50,000 dollars of his own money making his psychedelic modifications, and what he doesn’t buy, he scavenges.

   Artwork is not solely contained to the outside the house either. The backyard is a helter skelter collection of found objects transformed into Rock-POP art. On the basketball court you’ll notice Timothy Leary’s face smiling sweetly stoned on the sweet spot of the backboard, with an oversized genie bottle nestled in the net. The ebony Jacuzzi, splashed in day glow paints and pictures from the film, “The Last Waltz” is just begging to be viewed high on the illegal substance of your choice, under one of those black lights every cool kid had in the early seventies. The “Kick Wheel” is a 6 and a half foot metallic spinning sunflower with photo images of Rock n Roll heaven alumni. George Harrison, Johnny Cash, and Otis Redding are a few of the ever-changing petals on this dedication to music’s legends.

   In the spirit of a culture that implored its’ youth to tune in, turn on and drop out, Margolin employs the local homeless to upkeep the yard for ten dollars a day, plus food, booze and “whatever else.”

   Upkeep includes keeping the paint fresh, hosing down the asphalt, making sure the marbles stay glued on, and brushing the stuffed monkeys’ fur. (As stuffed monkey fur tends to get bristly in the ocean air.)

   The Rock n Roll Tribute House is dying to take you away. Take the trip.