Sit down with prolific music producer Rob Cavallo, and chances are he has a guitar on his lap and he’s strumming along as you converse. Through three decades in the music industry, the three-time Grammy winner has helped artists like Green Day, Dave Matthews Band, Fleetwood Mac and Phil Collins create Billboard-topping albums and songs. While producing is his mainstay, Rob has been everything from chairman of Warner Records to piano player on the Green Day tune “Boulevard of Broken Dreams.” He says regardless of the job at hand, creating music never gets old.
Above: A series of Robert Motherwell abstract paintings is the focal point of the dining room.
“I’m sure I’ve made more than my fair share of hit records, but I still want to do it. There’s not a better thrill in the world than driving down the road when one of your records comes on,” he says.
For years, Rob, his wife, Kim, and their two sons lived in a 14,000-square-foot home in Hidden Hills. But once the kids started attending Milken Community School (up off Mulholland Drive), they determined to move closer.
In 2015, the couple spotted a realtor hammering a for-sale sign into the front lawn of a brand-new, 5,400-square-foot, two-story Cape Cod on a quiet street just south of the Boulevard in Sherman Oaks. From the moment they saw it, they were sold.
Above: Rob, who is also an accomplished musician, in his home recording studio with one of his many guitars.
“Other than converting the movie theater into a recording studio, we really didn’t need to do much. The house was just perfect when we bought it,” Kim shares.
They quickly went about making the 5-bedroom, 5½-bath spec home their own, incorporating their favorite furnishings from the Hidden Hills home, including a formidable collection of art (much of it curated by Martin Lawrence of Beverly Hills) as well as Rob’s music awards. There’s also a Picasso in the living room, a collection of rock ’n’ roll photography from the Michael Ochs Archives and playful paintings by French artist Philippe Bertho.
A long-time yoga practitioner, Kim is dedicated to mental health awareness. With her co-founder, Claudia Erickson, she formed the nonprofit organization Unplug Collaborative in 2020, to take over the annual awareness campaign Global Day of Unplugging. Organized by an international team, the campaign is a global initiative that helps schools, religious institutions and other groups improve tech habits and raise money through “unplug-a-thons.” Participants benefit too, as they reflect on their tech-life balance and how they feel when they step away from devices for a period of time.
Kim and Rob, who have been married for 30 years, recently joined professional forces as well. Last year, they formed Done Deal Management, a company aimed at discovering and fostering young artists. Kim acts as chief operating officer.
“Artists have more power now, but it’s also more treacherous than ever in this business, and harder to get noticed,” Rob explains. “It’s easy for young people to get taken advantage of. I’d come in contact with some of these kids and think, ‘I have to do something.’”
The Cavallos use their home as both a creative and business space. Assistants work from a sunny breakfast nook. The formal dining room serves as a presentation space, with a pop-up projection screen to one side and Robert Motherwell abstract paintings hanging in the background. The kitchen doubles as a boardroom, where lucky guests might be served linguini and clams or jambalaya—Rob is an accomplished chef.
And the Cavallos are putting deeper roots into the Valley. The couple is building a musical compound in Woodland Hills, with collaborative spaces and recording studios for their artists. Wellness practices will be integrated, too. Kim is already organizing events with Done Deal artists, including an unplugged beach cleanup and a meditation and breath work class.
“We are shepherding, or mentoring, these artists,” says Kim. “We are also giving people access to Rob’s experience. To see him talk to these young people is a magical situation. I have a front-row seat now.”
Rob admits he wasn’t sure he wanted to move to a much smaller home, not to mention one at the hub of the Valley.
“But honestly, now I love it. It is amazing how quickly and easily you can adapt to living differently. For us, this house just works,” he says.
Paying it forward.