Over the gate...

Designed in 1913 by Victorian/Edwardian/other architect Theophilus A Allen; John Lennon's house between 1964 and 1968; sunroom, attic and prisco stripe hibernice; Mellotron and caravan; Babidji and Mimi; mortar and pestle; Wubbleyoo Dubbleyoo; curios and curiosity; remnants and residue; testimonials and traces; (Cavendish Avenue, Sunny Heights and Kinfauns); Montagu Square; mock Tudor: Brown House: *KENWOOD*.

(Also available as a blog.)

Legal Blah: This blog is for historical research only, and is strictly non-commercial. All visual and audio material remains the property of the respective copyright owner, and no implication of ownership by me is intended or should be inferred. Any copyright owner who wants something removed should contact me and I will do so immediately. Alternatively, I would be delighted to provide a credit. The writing is by me, such as it is, unless otherwise stated, and this is the only Beatles related blog I am responsible for.

Comments Blah: Comments are moderated. Any genuine comments are welcome. Offensive comments/advertising/trolling/other moronicisms are not, and will be rejected. Due to the aforementioned, anonymous comments are no longer enabled. Comments are the responsibility of the individual commenter, and commenters' opinions do not necessarily reflect my own. (NB: This blog revels in flagrant trivia. If that's not yer "thing", this won't be yer "thang".)

Correspond via: kenwoodlennon@googlemail.com

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Sunny Heights: demolition.

Sad news to report. Elmbridge Council, in their infinite wisdom, have waived through planning permission to demolish Sunny Heights. A Russian oligarch is about to flatten it in order to build the structure on the right. A contact on St George's Hill informs me that the house is still standing (it's an artist's impression above, not an actual photo), but is abandoned, awaiting destruction.
It should be stated that the new owner hasn't done anything wrong here, but at the same time, to take Russia as an example, it would be unthinkable there that someone could buy up, say, Tolstoy's house in order to destroy it.
Now, you may think that comparing Ringo to Tolstoy is ridiculous, and you'd be right - but I'd argue that it's in no way ridiculous to compare the Beatles as cultural giants in their sphere with any of the great Russian authors in theirs. The difference is that in Russia (as in many other countries) they tend to revere their culture, and want to protect places associated with the great figures of the past. Which, as in this case, is not always true here.
So that's Kinfauns and Sunny Heights gone. A shame.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Kenwood: summer, 1967.

These have been on here before, in sub-standard quality. Here they are again, much bigger unt better...

Thanks to Joe Baiardi.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Kenwood, Kinfauns & Sunny Heights: summer, 1967.

Way back in the summer o' '67, had you made your way to St George's Hill and utilised the naughty knocker at Kenwood, this might have been what shambled forth as a result - a fabulously dishevelled John, resplendent in dressing gown, talisman and norralot else.

A colour shot of the caravan from around the same time:

George outside Kinfauns, engaged in 'graphs:

Mr Starkey at the front door of dear old Sunny Heights, likewise:

I've stitched the following further Sunny ones together (each is a composite of 2 separate photos, fact fans) to provide a wider perspective. The upper floor here was home to the Den, where the Fabs did frequently hang:

No idea who took the black and white ones, but should you ever happen to read this then please do get in touch for a credit - I'd like to hear the story behind them. Thanks also to Joe Baiardi for passing on the colour caravan shot.

Monday, 21 September 2015

NYC: Q&A, 1975.

This is great. John in the Dakota, ca. autumn/winter 1975, sharing his thoughts about NYC for local radio station WNEW. The programme this was intended for never made it to air, but, in the way of these things, the tape has now surfaced. And here 'tis.
Thanks to Lizzie Bravo for the link.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Lennonology: Volume 1.

If you are interested enough to occasionally peruse these pages, then ye will no doubt already be aware of Chip Madinger and Scott Raile's forthcoming tome Lennonology, volume 1 of a 3 or possibly 4 part work, which should be the definitive guide to John and Yoko's joint lives and art. This first volume takes the form of a diary, beginning in 1966 (for obvious reasons) and running up to 1980 (ditto).

What you may not have known is that the entire first three chapters are now up on the Lennonology site, and freely available to preview; '66 and '67 are fairly short (given that the focus is on John and Yoko together), but '68 is a huge and hugely informative piece of research (some of the fruit of 15 years' worth) in which, regardless of how much you know, you'll learn something new with every few entries, and also come away with a much clearer understanding of what happened when, where and why.

To take one example: the date and chronology of the Two Virgins night has never been satisfactorily explained. Previous attempts haven't made much sense even on their own terms, but the new order of events given by Madinger and Raile does (though we'll have to wait for the publication of the notes to see how they arrived at this conclusion).

The book is being privately published by them, in a strictly limited edition, so it's not cheap, but if you can afford it (or can manage to lay off the beer for a while to save for it) then it's clearly going to be a major contribution to all this (whatever this is) and one for the ages. Go HERE for the previewed chapters, and HERE for the Lennonology home page, where clicking through will take you to the order form.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Pepper: dolls.

Apologies for the lack of activity round these parts of late; it's surprisingly time consuming to get even a scrap of this rubbish together, and free time is in short supply these days. Anyway, there's no shortage of stuff to post, as and when, so... gerronwithit.
I hadn't seen these pics before. I'm sure no red arrows are needed to recognise the basket's contents, but nevertheless:

There are also another couple of dolls (or toys) in there:

Various photos showing the construction of the Pepper sleeve reveal lots of other stuff that didn't make the final cut, and there are a few such things evident in this splendid pic o' Mal:

Ye can waste yer own time identifying them, but here's one for starters - a small collection of figures:

And whither the doll? As if often the case... I dunno. PS Note luggage tag (haha)(it couldn't be, could it?).

Monday, 22 June 2015

Apple: Inside Crazy World Thereof.

In June 1969, august organ the TV Times (of all things) published a 3-part eye witness snapshot of goings on inside 3 Savile Row. Much of interest, and so, without the usual levels of ado, here 'tis:

As ever, click and zoom to read. Huge thanks to Andy Neill for PDF and pint.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Kew: 79 Mortlake Road.

Freddie Lennon stayed at Kenwood for a time in late 1967, before deciding that he'd be better off somewhere a bit less isolated. To this end, a ground floor flat was found for him in nearby Kew, at 79 Mortlake Road (above). John came here at least once, after Fred had happened upon Cynthia in a local club and drunkenly admonished her. Cue cussing, as John hammered on the door here and allegedly advised Alf that, "If you can't keep your bloody mouth shut, the feud between us will be on again and we'll see what Fleet Street makes of that."
Now, those who feel, with some reason, that the flagrantly trivial is taken to self-parodic depths round these parts may wish to avert their eyes at this point, but amongst Dot Jarlett's clippings was a folder of related ephemera; for example, a luggage tag with the word "Beatles" scrawled on it, a postcard of Hoylake, some fan-related stuff from Japan, and then several items that are less obviously connected, including the following sheet from esteemed local bakers o' cake Cook & Butler, headed Christmas 1967:

The aforementioned Yule was unique in being the only Chrimble that John, as an adult, spent with his father. Fred joined the celebrations at Kenwood, and, though pure conjecture on my part, I bet that Dot was asked to look after Christmas dinner and get the cake in, and thus kept this sheet as a memento:

Edible nonsense. My thanks to Mr Mark Lewisohn for the Kew pic, and for sleuthing the address.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Kenwood: "mad, mad pad."

I've been after this for a long time, so was pleased to find it amongst Dot Jarlett's clippings; from the Evening News, March 1969, a guided tour of Kenwood, then being used as little more than storage by John and Yoko:

Note the last Kenwood sighting of the Fool piano, which has for some reason migrated to the "library":

These have all been scanned hi-res, so download and zoom in to read.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Chelsea: Luna Street.

Above: Luna Street, just south of the King's Road, Chelsea, Schwingin' London. During the early part of 1967, one of these terraced houses was home to Cass Elliot of the Mamas and Papas. Ye will no doubt have guessed where this is heading...
Yep, here it was, probably in late April of the aforementioned year, that Sgt Pepper received its first public airing. Over to Aspinall: "It was six in the morning and we went down the King's Road in cars to see Cass Elliot... We had the album with us, finished at last. She had a great sound system. Her flat was in a block of houses, back to back, really close together, and we put the system on the window ledge and the music blasted through the neighborhood. It sounded great. All the windows around us opened and people leaned out, wondering. A lovely spring morning. People were smiling and giving us the thumbs up."
Macca, when asked to recall in 1994, couldn't really, but did offer this: "It's a dim recollection but I think that's true, yeah. The weekend we finished the album is a bit of a blur. I just remember that we all felt so exhilarated. Pepper had taken 6 months to make - longer than any other album. When we first heard it back, we knew we'd pulled it off."
(As for a precise date, my guess would be either Sunday 30th April, or else the previous weekend 22nd/23rd . Harry Moss cut the final mono version at EMI studios on Friday 28th, and acetates would have been run off for interested parties to be collected over the weekend. Actual work on the album had finished on Friday 21st, so it's possible "rejected running order" acetates were done then, and taken to Chelsea.)
Anyway, whither Luna Street? Those still conscious will note that it doesn't appear on modern maps:

This is because the whole area was demolished a couple of years post-Pepper to make way for the World's End Housing Estate:

All that remains of the titular flat is this photo, showing an interior wall decorated contemporaneously by John under the influence of the dreaded you-know-wot:

And then there is this tree, visible at the southern end of Luna Street in the vintage pics, and still there today, a mute witness to the whole thing, as Prince Charles would no doubt have it:

Palpable nonsense.
A doff o' the cap to the excellent Kensington & Chelsea Library Time Machine blog for local information etc.