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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Friday, 4 December 2009

Kenwood: attic gear.

Two Virgins generally gets a kicking, but I think it sorts the men out from the boys (which is being kind to the men, admittedly). Particularly when armed with a knowledge of attic studio architecture, it's an entertaining listen. Anyway, besides the Mellotron, pianos and guitars, John's main allies in the war against sub-millionaire status were his tape machines; the Brenell Mark 5s (same model as above) captured nascent song ideas and long hours of amusing drivel. They were the state of the art home recording device of the time.
John, naturally, had a huge pile of other stuff up here, including his Farfisa Combo Compact organ (same model as below):

Julian Lennon bought much of the following Kenwood detritus (currently on display in Liverpool as part of the White Feather exhibition) at auction, including a tape machine, allegedly a part of the music room set-up, though it is conspicuous by its absence in the available pics. However, it's quite possible there was more recording equipment set up behind the photographer in the June '67 photos:

Thanks to Ron De Bruijn for the above pic.


  1. This is interesting. I have been looking at the sunroom pictures and would like to know if the pink fluffy item on the shelf above John Lennon, where the Safe As Milk stickers are..is that a large phallus?

  2. Ha! I know the item in question, a topic of debate in the current 3D reconstruction of the sunroom (which is on-going). If you see the whole thing, there is actually a figure on horseback on top, so it's not (in any literal sense) a phallus. I've suggested that it may be ivory, but that's just a guess. Whatever it is, it looks hideous.

  3. That's the first thing I thought - but we cant print here on these pages what we really thought it was :)

  4. Does anybody know what the information on the wall, above the brenell tape machines is??..hook-up diagrams maybe??..inquiring minds want to know....

  5. That's a great question. But knowing how John was he probably NEEDED those there. :)

  6. Re: Jon Bird/The Beatles in 3D
    Yes that is a very good question. Given the equipment, and what you could do with it, John probably wanted clear instructions on how to do certain specific things. There must have been, although it has never been pictured, some sort of central hub like a crude patchbay and/or a crude mixer. I think he recorded everything via microphone so he must have had some sort of system that allowed him to listen back - via headphones - to previously recorded material while recording. This was certainly an extremely unusual set-up for home recording in 1967.

  7. John must have loved Paul just a little.. funny that he didn't have a picture of his wife and child on the wall. I'll call that picture Inspiration.

  8. Best guess on which Vox amp is in that pic?