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, 12 April 2010

Kenwood: bottle.




Due to the media frenzy, details of the find have been removed at the request of the photographer. Apologies.
However, some more information concerning the bottle has come to light. An expert in these matters dates it to the 1930s or 1940s. The monogram on the base will probably represent either the bottle maker, or the manufacturer of whatever the bottle originally contained; the hunt is still on to pin that down precisely.
Apparently, it is not uncommon to find buried groups of bottles in these circumstances...all of which neither rules in nor out the Lennon connection.

48 comments:

  1. We can officially start talking about beatles' archaeology now.....
    This find seems really interesting..Actually I find it haunting, I don't know why....
    Whose keeping it now....?

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  2. So what's the proper way to store LSD? I think a glass bottle would work...

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  3. Hi there, I thought LSD came on bits of blotting paper or on a sugar cube?? What IS the story of John burying LSD?
    JHB

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  4. John Lennon's drug intake was large, particularly LSD and hashish. At one stage,under the influence of transcendental meditation, Lennon renounced drugs, he claimed he was Jesus Christ and buried a huge quantity of LSD, which had been obtained at the Monterey Pop Festival from infamous LSD producer Augustus Stanley Owsley III by representatives of The Beatles, in the grounds, presumably the garden at Kenwood. He later tried to find the buried LSD but could not remember exactly where it was. Apparently Cynthia's mother found the buried LSD and flushed it down the toilet? Who knows, all we know now is that a bottle has been dug up from the garden at Kenwood, and it appears to have been buried there on purpose. LSD can definitely be stored in solution as Elise suggests. For longer term storage, liquid LSD is generally made by dissolving LSD in alcohol. While it will dissolve just fine in water, it will also degrade relatively quickly unless the water is ultra-pure. There are two reasons for this...LSD degrades in the presence of oxygen, and generally speaking, most water is going to contain enough oxygen to cause noticeable degredation. Second, LSD is destroyed on contact with chlorine. John's swimming pool in the near vicinity has not helped this either. Almost all tap water, and even some bottled water will contain some chlorine. Distilled water is the least likely to contain chlorine, but alcohol (of the highest proof available) will cause the least amount of degredation. I guess we will never know if the bottle contained LSD unless the interior surface is tested for traces of Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD 25). This might prove to be negative, given the evidence for LSD degredation as I have stated.

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  5. A remarkable find. Rather a large hole to promptly forget all about though, isn't it?

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  6. Indeed! However, John was, by all accounts, not the most compos mentis individual during this period, so the size of his hole may not invalidate the story. Ahem.

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  7. or 4,000 of them in Blackburn, Lancashire

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  8. Fascinating! In the Beatles bio "The Love You Make" by Peter Brown (and Steven Gaines), I was struck by the extraordinary allegation made in the book regarding the Owsley acid. The alleged plot was that the Fabs sent over a film crew with camera equipment to San Francisco in 67, ostensibly to film the Monterey Pop festival. Exclusive film rights had however already been sold to another party. The film crew were just a smokescreen to justify the real purpose of the trip - to cop a large supply of Owsley's renowned LSD. According to Brown, liquid LSD was somehow placed in airtight camera lenses and shipped back to England. Brown goes on to describe "several pint-size vials" of the contraband gracing the bookshelves of the sunroom in Lennon's Kenwood estate.
    Sort of like finding the holy grail for this blog! But why did the builders get in touch with you? Have you at some point contacted the current owner regarding any buried artifacts that might be discovered? Just curious.

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  10. I agree regarding Peter Brown's lack of veracity. But it still seems unlikely PB would just make up that story.
    Regarding the buried stash I'm unsure of the source, but I think it may have been Derek Taylor or possibly Pete Shotton, both very trustworthy. I'm pretty sure it wasn't in Brown's book (can't check at the moment) which only mentioned the Monterey caper.

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  11. !

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/bizarre/2937456/Lennon-acid-discovery.html

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  12. John Lennon LSD stash? Really?

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  13. What an odd day. The Sun picked up the "story" (presumably from here) this morning, closely followed by the NME (who couldn't even copy it properly, referring to John's "Weymouth" home). There are now pages of links from tabloids worldwide to the story on the websites of those "organs". I don't know whether to be amused or appalled by this, though I'm leaning toward the former. I thought I'd made it clear that there are large question marks about the whole business. I can't even remember where the original story about him burying the stuff comes from. Kenwood is getting on for 100 years old, and John only owned it for around 4...so it's quite possible the buried bottles have nothing whatsoever to do with him. It's also possible that he never buried any LSD in the first place. (And vice-versa.) But it's a good story, so what the hell?

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  14. Yes, it's a good story, and it matters little whether there's any verified truth in it! I think it's quite plausible that the Beatles DID send over a film crew as a ruse for picking up some liquid Lysergic. It was still legal until 66 wasn't it? Possibly it was buried when it became illegal, or after the London Drugs Squad began concentrating their attention on the rock elite. The Stones' bust at Keith Richards home in West Sussex must have sent a warning to all rock stars, ande John may have goe paranoid about keeping it in the house. Maybe he forgot all about it and soon after moved out to be with Yoko in Marylebone...

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  15. It's also really funny how the story is morphing as more and more people write about it. The latest version is that a gang of Beatles fans (that would be you lot) was roaming around the garden at Kenwood, and dug up a section (at random, presumably) only to discover...bottles containing (FACT) 40 year old LSD. This is pretty hilarious stuff.

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  16. It is generally accepted 'good' form to address someone as, eg J.W.Lennon Esq, not Mr J.W. Lennon Esq, Mr J.w. Lennon on its own is also proper.

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  17. Well, there we go. I shall change it immediately. Stroppy bastard.

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  18. I've seen stored liquid LSD in very similar type bottles . I'm sure the glass can be tested for remnant traces of the infamous 60's 'Lurve' acid . Love the story either way :)

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  19. ...PUUUUFFFFF....

    ...ALL THE SIRS...ARE THE SAME...?

    HOW MANY IS FAULTING TO DISCOVERY...?

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  20. Wow, He is history, I love history. I am glad he keeps coming back to us. so lets read the full version

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  21. Hmmmmm...Tuh....yep....wots with the cool bottom

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  22. Lenny, me, Dik mik,, Ray and others did it all at Rockfield studios one Sunday ! TRUE!!!!!!!

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  23. I've got a feeling (!) that there's a reference in Hunter Davies' book to John wanting to bury his stash of grass in the garden. I don't have it to hand, but I'm sure it is in there (he kept it in a tool box?)- so maybe the rumour's gathered pace with that thought. Ummm, if anyone can get to John Dunbar, he might have a handle on it, seeing as they regularly tripped together around that time...
    Regards
    Simon Wells

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  24. I'd not heard of the missing LSD story before, but page 194 of Pete Brown/Steven Gaines' "The Love You Make" quotes from Hunter Davies' official biography - "John was keeping it in a tool box as he'd decided to hide it in the garden in case the police came. He had a box, but hadn't got around to digging a hole" - "it" being his hashish, so it's quite possible that John got paranoid one night while tripping and got paranoid and buried his beloved acid in the garden, only to not have a clue where it was in the morning.. who else would've buried a bag containing some bottles?

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  25. If I would have thought for an instant that Lennon's LSD stash was still there, I would have bought my shovel when I was in that Kenwood garden last year. Could it be? Buried in a hole 4 ft deep? You can see the steps they are referring to in my Kenwood video towards the end of the garden.

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  26. How long before this bottle and others like it appear on e-bay ?

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  27. the bottles look Victorian to me?

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  28. Hey, well .. i whore myself left right and centre to drum up buisness for my photo blog and look at you!! :-) i blew out a snot bubble when i saw this story hit the Aussie press just after i read it here, well done, go with it .. and don't be shy, hit up some of the places that are printing this with some info and a link to this site, use it while you can, oh, and if you have the bottle send it my way, i'll be able to get my tongue in there and let you know about and possible remanants :-) Greg xoxo

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  29. According to this Blog, and the first hand evidence. John Lennon had lots of Victorian antiques in his home at Kenwood. Apparently Cynthia Lennon's mother used to buy items in antique shops in and around Weybridge, Esher, Cobham and Leatherhead area on behalf of John Lennon, with his money. They filled the shelves with antique books and pieces. The bottle or bottles may have been used by John Lennon as a suitable vessel in which to store his LSD? This is a very exciting story; one hopes that the bottle and it's companions are examined further. It would be good to see it at auction or a John Lennon museum? Maybe Yoko Ono might want it, and could add it to her collection in the Dakota Building? I hear she has aN apartment that is used to store John Lennon's things? It would be interesting getting a reaction from her in light of this story, and the blog.

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  30. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  31. No, it's not a hoax. Anything on the blog is "published" in good faith. The original post has been removed by request: Suffice to say that some of the attention the story has provoked has proved unwelcome to certain parties.

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  33. The one thing that makes me think it's not Lennon's LSD stash is the fact that the bottle(s) have corks- which to me, points to an earlier time. But that's just a theory of mine. Nonetheless, I think the whole episode is extraordinary. Given the massive interest, I think it would prove fascinating if the said bottle/cork was passed to a laboratory for testing. Given LSD's complex properties, I would imagine that even if there were traces still present on the bottle, they would be identifiable.

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  34. I think as has been suggested that John Lennon probably buried the bottle(s) in a hurry. The cork theory is an interesting one, and he didn't care much for what the drug was stored in, after all he had renounced drugs in favour of TM, and to dispose of a stash was a priority. I agree, It would be futile to test either bottle or cork. After all, the myth superceeds the reality, and I think John Lennon would be the only one to answer the question as to if the bottle belonged to him. I think we should consider his music, art and campaign for peace more than an archaeological discovery over 40 years later... Let It Be.
    RIP John

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  35. Where is this bottle now?

    ...will the public make as much fuss when Lady Gaga's secret stash of Meow Meow is found at her home in fifty years?!

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  36. http://www.uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/LSD

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  37. (L)ucy In The (S)ky With (D)iamonds

    ..it all makes sense now!

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  38. ay jhon, jhon, como te gustaba el vicio, si hubieses vivido, creo que hoy en dia serias un adicto perdido a la cocaina, son grandes artistas estos mitos, pero al fin y a la postre unos drogatas más. patetico

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  39. John utilizó cocaína, pero como heroína también. adoró conseguir alto y tener relaciones sexuales también

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  40. looks like there's a spaniard in the works

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  41. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Lennon

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  42. es lo mas lindo que he visto en este ultimo tiempo, me dieron hasta ganas de viajar ahora mismo.... GRANDE JOHN

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  43. What a cock and bull story. You can dig up bottles like these all over the UK in back gardens, farmers fields, infilled ditches. Why would Lennon choose an already 30 odd years old bottle to stash his gear? Surely an everyday 1960's coca cola or lemonade bottle would have been to hand?

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  44. I believe that John Lennon kept LSD in bottles that were 30 years old, even without a screw-top. John Lennon had a collection of objects that ranged from old victorian bottles, books, pottery, crockery, glassware and many items and effects. He must of found these bottles at Kenwood and used them. He collaborated with Yoko on an art piece that used bottles, exactly like the one seen above. I strongly believe that this story is true. An everyday coca cola or lemonade bottle would not be a good idea, especially given that young Julian Lennon would been in the house too. The shelves in the Sunroom where John apparently kept the bottles were high enough to stop Julian reaching them, and stopping an episode of the young Julian Lennon potentially consuming LSD, thinking that it was merely a bottle of Coca cola or lemonade and finding himself sprawled out in the sunroom giggling inanely, eventually becoming a jibbering wreck, hallucinating and prodrucing a drawing for his daddy that he has named "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" - inspiring his father to write a song with this title? I understand that Julian did create a drawing of this nature, but not under the influence of LSD, unlike his father - who it appears must of kept LSD in tinted brown bottles, with corks; to which they would eventually be buried in haste somewhere in the garden at kenwood, ceasing John Lennon's paranoia at being caught with the substance, and renouncing them in favour of meditation before The Beatles went to India.

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  45. According to some of the numerous articles on the subject, the current owners of Kenwood are huge Beatles fans and were well aware of the "legend" of the hidden acid and even actively tried to find it. There is a story to tell here, but I reckon the owners were rudely made aware of the fact that anything new and Beatle-related of interest will "still" cause a media storm, and there are "still" plenty of nutters out there.

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  46. Does anyone still care about this story? What happened to the bottles? Where are they now?

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  47. I love this story! It's awesome. I think John ot being able to locate his stash of acid is typical of any drug induced haze, not speaking from personal experience of course.. John was using acid frequently at Kenwood, until he claimed to be Jesus Christ. I often think that Jesus was tripping his little sandals off in Nazareth on Peyote or Mescaline and coming up with mystical notions to twelve of his "drug-buddies" (later disciples) He would sit around and say stuff like "Yo John dude, you gonna wash me feet..they feel kinda hot man!" John would reply "Yeh, just skining up another spliff..hang on" I always imagine Jesus being a stoner or drug type. Similar to John Lennon! Even when John Lennon wore his white suit and that, it's kinda spooky how shamanistic and god-like he looked with his beard, preaching peace and secretly shooting heroin.... cool

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