Even though we are in a recession, it's as good a time as any to look at the Lifestyles of the Musical and Famous. A lifesrtyle in which the M&Ms are never brown, the Cristal always flows, and there's always a hotel room ready to demolish. Let the good times roll. Again. Soon. Please?
1. Michael Jackson — Neverland Ranch
Michael Jackson held the top spot for biggest pop star extravagance: Neverland Ranch (named in honor of Jackson's favorite kid, Peter Pan). He bought the 2,800-acre ranch in 1987 for an estimated $17 million. He built a private amusement park on the property, which included a zoo, Ferris wheel, merry-go-round, rollercoaster, and bumper cars. Sadly, all that high living costs more than Jackson's faltering career and outrageous spending habits could sustain. He got hit with his own personal recession and eventually lost the property.
2. Elvis Presley — Cadillacs
More than peanut butter-bacon-and-banana sandwiches, Elvis loved Cadillacs. From 1955 to 1977, he bought hundreds of them. Some he kept, some he gave away, and the last one he took to his grave at Graceland. His '65 Eldorado was insured for $250,000, had a gold-plated steering wheel, gold-plated TV and phone, and guitar-shaped sun visors. That's why he was the King, and I drive a Prius.
3. David Lee Roth — Paternity Insurance
At the peak of his Van Halen days, Diamond Dave had a lot of ladies. So many, in fact, that Roth decided to shell out $10K a year on paternity insurance with Lloyds of London.
4. Brian Wilson — Living Room Sandbox
In 1966, the Beach Boys' mastermind was a virtual shut-in. He was locked up in his Bel-Air home, seriously expanding his mind and creating his masterpiece, "SMiLE." He placed a piano in a giant sandbox in his living room for inspiration. As if the drugs weren't enough.
5. Led Zeppelin — Private Jet
Led Zep was one of the first rock acts to tour in a private jet. Their chartered plane, the Starship (owned by former teen idol Bobby Sherman: smart dude) cost $30K and included a bar, organ, and 30-foot long couch. Plus a whole lotta booze. In fact, the booze probably cost more than the plane rental.
6. Jonathan Davis — Giger Mic Stand
Most singers are happy with your standard Guitar Center-issue mic stand. Maybe hang a couple scarves from it, if you're Steven Tyler. Maybe put some candy-cane stripes on it, if you're Freddie Mercury or Rod Stewart. But that's not good enough for Korn's bagpipe-blowing frontman. Davis commissioned famed Swiss designer H.R. Giger (he won an Oscar for the "Alien" monsters) to make him a "biomechanical erotic" mic stand. We don't know the cost, but it's definitely more than the Guitar Center version.
7. MC Hammer — 40-Person Entourage
Hammer needed those parachute pants to keep a lot of cash. At his spending peak, he paid 40 people to follow him around. No one needs 40 people trailing him, especially Hammer. Not surprisingly, Hammer ended up bankrupt.
8. Diddy — Umbrella Holder
When do you know you've finally made it? When you can afford to blow your money on some dude carrying your umbrella. Fonzworth Bentley carried Diddy's umbrella for two years. I'm not sure who's the bigger fool.
9. Morris Day — Personal Valet
You know Diddy was taking a page from Morris Day's book when he hired Fonzworth. Day's valet, Jerome, has been around 10 times as long. Why? He's cheaper and does more than just carry an umbrella. Jerome combs hair, primps clothes, and always has a mirror handy. Morris Day is getting rock star extravagance at value-added prices.