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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Sunday, 20 December 2009

Kenwood: sunroom - mortar & pestle.

Peter Brown's book, whilst appallingly bad on detail (compare some of his detailed descriptions of Kenwood with the photos on this blog) is pretty good on atmosphere. I have no idea how accurate it may be, but it contains some memorable passages regarding John's drug use. For example: "At Kenwood, on a shelf in the sunroom, sat a white, pharmaceutical mortar and pestle with which he mixed any combination of speed, barbiturates, and psychedelics. Whenever he felt himself coming down from his mind-bending heights, he would lick a finger, take a swipe at the ingredients in the mortar, and suck the bitter film into his mouth.On some of his acid binges he would trip for weeks on end, until all the colour had washed out of his vision and he was seeing things in black and white."
As it turns out, Daniel now also owns that very mortar and pestle, and here it is.
Many thanks to him, again, for sending in the photo.


  1. Who is Peter Brown?

  2. That's you, Mr Stewart, isn't it? (But if not, Google Peter Brown Beatles.) Yeesh.

  3. Brown was a personal assistant to Brian Epstein and The Beatles during the 1960s. He was a confidant to the Epstein family, and bore some resemblance to Brian in his looks and manner. (Their backgrounds were dissimilar; while Epstein's family were Jewish and affluent, Brown's family were Roman Catholic and lived modestly.) Brown was one of the few people to have direct contact with each Beatle, and know their daily whereabouts.
    Brown served as a board member of Apple Corps, the Beatles's company, which he helped to establish. After Epstein's death, Brown assumed many of the day-to-day management duties Epstein had performed. He survived Allen Klein's initial gutting of Apple's staff at the personal request of the Beatles, though he eventually left Apple on his own.
    Brown was witness to both the weddings of Paul and Linda McCartney, and John Lennon and Yoko Ono, during 1969. Lennon immortalised Brown in a line from "The Ballad of John and Yoko" ("Peter Brown called to say 'You can make it OK, you can get married in Gibraltar near Spain'"), one of the last Beatles singles.
    After the Beatles ended in 1970, Brown became President and Chief Executive Officer of the Robert Stigwood Organisation. In 1977, Brown formed the Entertainment Development Company. He also founded Brown & Powers, a public relations firm, in 1983, which later became Brown & Argus, and finally Brown Lloyd James in 1997. Brown co-wrote (with author Steven Gaines) a biography of the Beatles titled The Love You Make: An Insider's Story of The Beatles, which was published in 1983. The quote above is from that book..

  4. Wish i could lick that mortar..I'd be on the same trip as John - might take me into 2010 with a smile on my face too!

  5. haha.. Does anyone have any pictures of the roof of Abbey Road Studios. It would be cool to see where John during the recording of Sgt Pepper's on 21st March 1967 was takien onto the roof because he had accidentally taken an LSD trip, and George Martin took him up onto the roof to get some fresh air..apparently he tripped out and looked up at the stars on the roof - thsi inspired him to write Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds. It would good to see what it looks like these days, apparently it's just air-con units etc?! Anyway, what a fantastic piece of Lennon drug artifact! This is rare. I have seen the stash-pot or container that John kept his dope in, but this is unique. The stories it could tell and the mind it inspired..!

  6. I can't imagine George Martin ever allowing the boys to use hallucinogenics whilst in the studio, it has to be a mistake? ..or maybe John made a mistake in what he consumed?

  7. I belive John took that by mistake. Martin said years later he didnt know about that trip on the roof.

  8. What about the others? Were they just sat there working out chords for Getting Better or something?
    ..John could have jumped off?! I hope they went up there to see if he was ok?

  9. John took it by mistake. He said he was feeling unwell, so George Martin took him up on the roof to get some air. The others suddenly realised why he was feeling unwell, and went up to fetch him down. John ended up going back to Paul's for the night, where Paul also took some to keep him company. See any half decent biography for a full account.

  10. Wish I was there, playing Bongos and talking gibberish with the lads.. or maybe not - one million thoughts a minute. Om

  11. What is LSD like?

  12. It's like turning off your mind, relaxing and floating down stream. It is not dying, it is not dying. When you're on it, you should lay down all thought, surrender to the void,
    Is it shining? Is it shining? That you may see the meaning of within. It is being, it is being
    Love is all and love is everyone. Is it knowing? Is it knowing? That ignorance and hate may mourn the dead. It is believing, it is believing. But listen to the colour of your dreams. Is it not living, is it not living
    Or play the game "Existence" to the end
    Of the beginning, of the beginning...