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*.

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Monday, 2 November 2009

Kenwood: a little light reading, part 3 - IT.

If you are anything like me, you'll long have wondered just what John was reading that day in June, 1967: a copy of the International Times, obviously, but what were the contents? Well, here they are (if you click on the images they are more or less readable).

This is the first edition of IT that I've actually read. Though back issues are easy to find on UK eBay, this particular copy is a rarity - I've only seen it for sale once, and then at a greatly inflated price. So I was very pleased when Chip Madinger kindly emailed me these scans. The cover states that it is the 14 Hour Technicolour Dream Read-In issue - and I'd naturally assumed that there would be material on the similarly named event at the Alexandra Palace in London, which John had attended. However, beyond the cover, there is no mention of it. What there is, though, is an unparalleled snapshot of the counter-culture at that time, which shows how closely connected John was with it all. On these pages, there are mentions and profiles of such people as pirate radio supremo Ronan O' Rahilly, whom John took to visit Dorinish in 1968 in order to discuss his becoming business manager at Apple, and Dick Gregory who became friends with John and Yoko during their bed-ins. Financial contributions towards the founding of the Arts Lab are invited - and it's quite possible that John did give some money. (He and Yoko were to hold an exhibition there between June 2 and June 9, 1968, entitled Four Thoughts. Interestingly, Yoko's name crops up again and again in the pages of IT from its inception in 1966, through 1967 and beyond, and John would have seen the various ads and listings for her events).
There is also a guide to some more or less obscure hallucinogens, including toadskin snuff(!), and possibly dubious advice regarding which orifices are to be used for its ingestion (clue - the mouth isn't one of them):

There is another extremely druggy profile of Tangier, which John was to visit at the end of the year in the company of Cynthia and Victor Spinetti:

Finally, amongst other things, there is a fairly amusing small ads section, which features the hopelessly optimistic "Wanted - two dollies, twentyish, to look after two undomesticated blokes. Call after 6. Flat 1, 185 North End Road, W14":

Many thanks to Chip for sharing his copy with the rest of us.

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