Shaddap You Face! Joe Dolce is selling a country church
A “Nice-a place” owned by ‘80s hit maker Joe Dolce is up for grabs in rural Victoria.
Dolce, famous for his global smash novelty song Shaddap You Face, has listed the weekend getaway he has owned with partner Lin Van Hek for the past 25 years.
The former Methodist church at2793 Maryborough-St Arnaud Rd, Natte Yallock, about 200km northwest of Melbourne, has a price tag of $295,000.
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The couple came upon the property while on a country drive and fell in love with it.
“It was a beautiful building in the middle of nowhere,” Dolce said.
“We bought it on the spot.”
They adored the original features including the arched leadlight windows, wooden floors and cathedral ceiling.
“It’s an amazing place where we have had a magical time,” Dolce said.
“We regret selling it.”
Dolce’s Shaddap You Face single reached number one in 15 countries and sold about six million copies worldwide.
It went to number one for eight weeks in Australia and has remained the most successful Australian-produced single in the nation’s music history for 38 years straight, with sales of more than 450,000 copies.
Also a poet and writer, Dolce was once married to Zandie Acton, the sister of fashion icon Prue Acton.
Novelist, poet and painter Van Hek co-wrote and sang the song Intimacy for the 1984 film The Terminator, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Van Hek is also involved in the Society of Women Writers and is the co-founder of the literary-music group Difficult Women.
Elders Real Estate’s Elizabeth Teal said the property, in a farming zone, was a creative country retreat for the pair.
“It continued to inspire and gave them a chance to enjoy a quiet pace of life,” she said.
Built by locals in 1904 using handmade bricks, the church served the community for about 60 years and had changed hands twice.
“A church in this style and basically original condition is a rarity on the market,” she said.
The divine offering makes a striking impression on a 4000sq m block with its triple-brick walls, arched windows and pitched iron roof.
Original features, including the pulpit, adorn the open-plan interior. A modern extension at the back includes a small living area, kitchen, toilet and a bathroom with a claw foot bath.
“The extension is quite basic yet charming with pressed metal panels,” Ms Teal said.
Dolce and Van Hek used the main section of the church as an open-plan living, dining and bedroom area.
“It has a romantic gypsy-style look that very much reflects their artistic way of life,” Ms Teal said.
“Some of Lin’s paintings hang on the walls.”
Ms Teal said the building was a blank canvas for a buyer with imagination, with potential to create a mezzanine level and add walls to create living areas and bedrooms.
The property is near farms and wineries, and backs on to a primary school with six to eight pupils.
“One of the delights are the surrounding canola fields that are ablaze with yellow in the spring against the backdrop of the Pyrenees Ranges,” Ms Teal said.
Dolce said the area reminded him of the Bordeaux wine region in France and was quickly becoming a tourist destination.
“The property will be worth hanging on to for a while and will not only make a great weekender but a small business opportunity,” he said.
As the song goes, “It’s-a not so bad, it’s-a nice-a place, ah shaddap-a you face!”
SUBURB PROFILE: NATTE YALLOCK
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