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, 4 August 2010

Kenwood: summer, 1967 - part 1.


Bruno Dupont has sent more pics and information regarding the visit of Swedish schoolboy Richard Mühlrad to Kenwood in the summer of 1967. The new material comes from an old Scandinavian fan mag, and whilst not of the greatest image-quality, the latest photos are, nevertheless, fascinating.
I've used one of the (admittedly imperfect) online translators to decode the original Swedish captions, and fairly amusing reading they make too.
In the above pic, you can just see John and Terry Doran sitting in front of the dining room window, John (on the left) with meisterwerk-in-progress on lap, drawing away. But what is that black shape in front of them? According to the original caption...
"John Lennon's house, typically English, in a suburb of London. Richard Mühlrad found the house while strolling around the town." (Oh really??) "He went in and knocked. No one answered. But John Lennon's cat strolled leisurely by. Richard followed - and found John sitting with his gardener, drawing."
His gardener? I must admit (assuming the translation is correct) that raised a chuckle round these parts. (Mind you, Terry Doran did pretty much everything else at Kenwood, so he might as well have done a spot of weeding too, I suppose.) Presumably, this misnomer was down to John, being "foony".
But getting back to the above photo, and yes, that does indeed look like a cat, leading the way round to where John and the green-fingered Mr Doran were sitting. As we've seen before, here's what Richard found:


The following pic, showing Richard and John, has also been on these pages before. According to the caption, it was taken by that trusty gardener:


This pic, however, is new - and very interesting it is too. A look over John's shoulder at what he was working on that day:


Note the Vogue tea-tray (at least, I think that's what it is). I've previously guessed that the drawing was probably the charity Christmas card that appeared at the end of 1967; but I can't see anything in the new pic which exactly matches. However, that doesn't neccesarily mean this is a different drawing: John worked on this quite complex piece over several days, and it seems to be at an early stage in the over the shoulder shot. You can see several faces; stylistically it is similar. So I'd say that it is probably the same picture, though re-worked considerably before completion. (Unless, o' course, anyone out there recognises it as something else...):


Finally, Richard got a quick look in the sunroom. The caption states that he didn't get to see any of the rest of the house, but that John didn't mind him taking a snap in here. Interestingly, the caption further identifies the guitar that can be seen (side on) as being John's "first". Hmmmm:


Now, all that is great enough. However, not only did Richard get the above photos, but John also agreed to an interview, which Bruno has found too. I'm going to have this properly translated by a Swedish friend of mine, and will post it when I've done so; it's not that long, but it does put words to these fantastic pics.
Huge thanks to Bruno yet again for uncovering and sharing this material.

8 comments:

  1. This is the most amazing website. I look forward each day to seeing what new thing you've discovered.
    These photos are further proof of how great your research is.

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  2. Thanks for the kind words; but in this case, as in so many others, I can't take any credit. Thank Bruno for finding the article, and sending it in.
    By the way, something pretty great (in the context of this) is on the way.
    I'll maybe do a sneak preview in a day or two.
    :)

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  3. I wish it was a little sharper but a great angle of the hallway doors none the less. One of only three I know of.

    Yes indeed, great research as usual. :)

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  4. Unless your friend has already translated the interview, I'd be happy to do it.

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  5. OK, great. Send me an email at the blog email address in the header, and I'll send it to you. I doubt it contains any revelations (or anything much else), but a "new" interview with Johnathon is a new interview with Lenninski, after all.

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  6. I spent a lot of Friday trying to match the drawing the artist is at work on with the finished colour one shown... but couldn't make it fit in any convincing way.

    Both are clearly by the same hand, but I dare to claim it might be a different drawing altogether.

    Nice to think there might be an undiscovered cache of tripped-out artwork from these years, don't you think?

    Or like you say, it's the same one, but heavily reworked [quite possible, depending on the medium used, less possible if it's pen and ink + watercolour, which I think it is].

    Apart from the one above, and the Japan painting by all four, I can't think of anything that John did in colour. Does Mr Mühlrad/Dupont recall whether the half-finished drawing involved any colour at the stage he saw it at?

    cheerio

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  7. Yes, may be different after all. When he had the "open day" in early August (letting groups of fans in for a bit of chit-chat), John told them he was working on a Christmas Card.
    But who knows? As usual, not I.

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  8. when was this 'open day', if you know?

    the interview above was in early July since that's when the Monkees party was held at the Speakeasy. Interviews with various folk (including a couple of Monkees)say that the Beatles were introduced that night to the drug STP. It makes me wonder if Lennon was still heavily under the influence during this meeting? The drawing certainly looks 'trippy'.

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