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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Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Kenwood: circa June, 1968.


Tis the Brunts! (Apparently.) Mr and Mrs Brunt were haulage contractors to John and Yoko, last seen on these pages proving good to their job description by hauling the caravan from Dorinish to (probably) Tittenhurst.
And here they are again with unknown others, outside the front door at Kenwood, posing in and around John's white Roller. You can see the entrance to the big garage on the left, the other end of which overlooked the swimming pool.
Dating this is a bit tricky; it's obviously not December, 1968, when John and Yoko were extensively photographed making their last stand at Kenwood, following several months chez Starkey at Montagu Square.
So I'd go for (circa) June of the same year, around the time that Smile and Two Virgins were filmed in the grounds, and just before the move to Ringo's Marylebone maisonette. From the home movies shot on the day of filming, it's clear the weather was more than mild enough for short sleeves.
Placing the above pic next to one of the many fan photos taken here gives an idea of the whole perspective:


The other point worth noting is that the area to the right was very likely the venue for the Rubber Soul cover shot:


Even this bit of Kenwood hasn't managed to escape the ungainly hand of renovation; the wall has been rebuilt, partly as a result of constructing a whole new garage in the mid-1990s.

Much gratitude goes again to Dennis Toll for these.

5 comments:

  1. I thought the Rubber Soul cover was photographed at Hatchford End near Cobham (according to "Beatles London")?

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  2. You pays yer money with this one. Alf Bicknell said it was Hatchford End. But both Paul and photographer Robert Freeman say it was Kenwood. I'm inclined to go with the latter. The Beatles' London mentions both in its latest printing, but doesn't go for one or the other.

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  3. Thanks - it was stated with such certainty in the edition I've got, I though they must have had access to Robert Freeman's calendar/appointments book.

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  4. Great pics! I never cease to be amazed at how many new pics you manage to get hold of!! I wonder if John's psychedelic Roller was in the garage at the time these pics were taken? I haven't seen any pics of John with the Roller after 1967 - have you got any idea what happened to it? I read somewhere that John and Yoko took it to the States with them and then ended up giving it to the IRS as they owed a bit of tax - don't know how true that is. Strange that no pics exist of John with the car in its psychedelic guise other than the Kenwood ones and Magical Mystery Tour. Anyhow, keep up the cracking work and thanks for your continuing posts!!

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  5. Last I heard it was in the Royal British Colombia Museum in Victoria, doing nothing. There is some more detailed information here:

    http://beatles.ncf.ca/rolls.html

    The article states that they shipped it from the UK in 1970 (though it may have been a bit earlier). As to why John needed two Rollers - well, why did he need two sporrans? I don't know why he didn't have it stripped down, like his guitars. Maybe, despite turning his back on the trappings of psychedelia in 1968, he recognised that the Roller was "too much" to strip down... but he still didn't want to be seen riding around in something so passé, so he bought the white one.

    It's an interesting thought, as influential as the Band were in '68; if Dylan had gone to ground a year earlier, and Music From Big Pink had come out in 1966, would Sgt Pepper et al ever have happened? Probably. But I digress. (I think the Roller is great, but many hate it (Neil Innes being the most notable outraged granny).)

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