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.

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Sunday, 31 May 2009

John & Yoko: NightRide, 12 December 1968.

Having just filmed some of their contributions to the Stones' Rock And Roll Circus, John and Yoko headed over to Broadcasting House for the live transmission of NightRide, John Peel's then radio programme, on between midnight and 1.15 in the morning. A typically eclectic mix of various musics, poets etc., the two of them fitted right in. For reasons of laziness, only John and Yokos' bits are included in this post, in two parts, for reasons of YouTube. Funny to compare the sainted Peel's style here, very much pre-punk wars, with his latter, extremely amusing schtik. Original broadcast date - 12 December, 1968. Still Kenwood era...just about.





Attic Recording Studio: June, 1967.






John apparently spent a lot of time up in his attic studio just hanging out. Here are a few more pics from there. (Apologies for the inexpert patch job on the colour one, by the way). Also, a picture of John's mellotron, which initially sat on the landing downstairs from the studio as it was difficult to get it up there (though not when Yoko visited). He eventually managed "it" though...At first I thought that was John's electric sitar behind his seat in the colour photo, but I don't think it is. What it is, exactly, beyond a guitar, I'm not sure. Incidentally, there is a very interesting article on the Watching Rainbows blog about George's various instruments - have a look.

Sunny Heights: somewhere or other.




A room chez Ringo - note the television. In the second pic, taken in the same location, that's what John and Paul are watching. Ringo, like John, had a tv in almost every room. Plus, there's that poodle again. Unfortunately.

Sunny Heights: treehouse, 1966 & 1967.





Ringo had a treehouse at Sunny Heights, which, astoundingly enough, provided the focus for a few photos. The one of George actually made the tabloids in the UK - an extremely slow news day, clearly. I think it was taken the same day as the other famous Beatles photos from Sunny for Life magazine. Many thanks to Lana Baker for passing that one on.

Tittenhurst: entrance and more statue.



I suddenly realised where I'd seen it before - the Imagine video. So it is the entrance to Tittenhurst after all. I wonder if the Pepper statue is still there? Or sitting in a shed somewhere in the grounds? Or junked? (Notice I am still thinking about it). (Maybe Ringo still has it?).

Kenwood & Tittenhurst: statues.







The documentary It Was 20 years Ago Today seems to show the Kenwood "Pepper" statue, by that time (1987) atop an entrance somewhere, probably Tittenhurst.

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Reporting 66: Beatle Belt footage, December 1966.



An ITN documentary shown at the end of December 1966 asked the question "Whither Beatles?". Of most interest, however, are the short films of each of the Beatles' houses - Kenwood, Cavendish Avenue, Kinfauns and finally Sunny Heights. A pity the clips are so short, but at this remove one takes what one can get.

Kenwood Pool 5: June 1967.






A final round of more or less familiar photos taken near the swimming pool at Kenwood by Leslie Bryce in June 1967. I doubt there are many out-takes which haven't been seen from this session, though the colour variations are very interesting. How many of those are there, I wonder.

Montagu Square: 1968 & 2009.







Montagu Square, and environs, saw a lot of Beatle (and non-Beatle) related action in the 1960s. Ringo's flat at number 34 was home to Ringo himself, Cynthia's mother, Jimi Hendrix and John and Yoko, though not all at once - that would have been ridiculous. It was also used as a kind of demo studio by Paul, and William Burroughs made some spoken word recordings there too. The Fool, Alastair Taylor and Nel and Mal all lived on the Square at various points. Running parallel, directly behind number 34, is Bryanston Mews East. This was home to Mick Jagger for a while, and Mama Cass stayed in the same house - both of whom were visited there by John and Paul. As I've mentioned before, I visited 34 Montagu Square in the mid-80s and got a look round inside. On the ground floor there are 2 main rooms, and my guess would be that the Two Virgins photos were taken in the room on your left as you enter. You can see the back wall and roof of the building on Bryanston Mews East through the window on the TV out-take above. On the satellite pic, this building would be 2 down from the top of that street. (Why does this matter? It doesn't matter, it doesn't matter, it doesn't matter etc)

Friday, 29 May 2009

Kenwood Pool 4: June 1967.




A corrected colour shot of John by the pool (it's usually printed the wrong way round) and another black and white one. Obviously.

NYC: Dakota Building.







The arched main entrance to the Dakota is, sadly, all too familiar. However, John would generally only use that if he had a car waiting. When going out for a stroll, particularly if there were fans waiting outside, he would often use the service entrance round the side of the building.

Liverpool: 3 Gambier terrace.




The first place John lived independently was an archetypal student flat at 3 Gambier Terrace in Liverpool, overlooking the splendid neo-Gothic Anglican Cathedral. He shared this place with Stuart Sutcliffe and another student, Rod Murray. Funnily enough, British tabloid the People chose to illustrate an article exposing the then current "Beatnik Horror" with a photo of Gambier Terrace. The above pic shows several people gathered in the room there, including Allan Williams (heavily bearded) and what may (or may not) be John with his back to the camera. Note the poster.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Kenwood: kitchen door steps, December 1968.





I'm sure any readers of this will be admirers of Tammy's great BLOG. I don't know where he gets them, but get them he does. Anyway, he's just turned up two pics taken immediately to the left of the sunroom, on the steps leading up to the kitchen door. You can just about see the distinctive sunroom surround at the top of these photos. These would probably have been taken the same day as the famous film of the two of them singing "Everybody Had A Hard Year" at the other end of Kenwood.

Kenwood Pool 3: June, 1967.





Three of John and Julian on the diving board. More pool to follow...

Kenwood Pool 2: June 1967.






The most famous poolside shot from the Bryce session again turns up with slight variations, including a colour one, which I suspect is cropped. Does anyone have the full version?

Kenwood Pool 1: aeriel views, 1967 & present day.







One of the main structural changes at Kenwood is the repositioning of the swimming pool. It was moved at some point in the 90s, thus destroying the lawn in front of the sunroom.
John originally had the pool constructed in 1964. Apparently he wanted a mirrored bottom, which would have been good, provided one didn't mind getting badly sunburned every time one took a swim. Here are some photos of the restructured pool dating from 2006. The area with the chairs was where it used to be. Thanks to Chris Sileo for the improved 60s aerial shot.

Beinso Douno: John as an old man?



At some point during the Kenwood era (possibly), someone told John that when he was an old man he would look exactly like cosmic Christian Beinso Douno. This stuck in John's mind, to the extent that when he finally encountered a picture of the mystic several years later, he was a little freaked out. That's the story, anyway. There is a resemblance.