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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Friday, 29 October 2010

Cavendish Avenue: chrome dome.

The dome, of Mad Day Out fame, en-route to the bottom of the garden at Cavendish Avenue, complete with the girlfriend of its designer, there for purely business reasons; of that there can be little doubt.
The dome provided the climax of the aforementioned Day O' Mad:

...and here is the skinny, from a contemporary newspaper report. For the journals of the time, no item of Beatle news was too trivial to report. Errr...

Many thanks to Bruno Dupont.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Kinfauns, part 1: 1953 & 1967.

Above, on the left, a sketch from the original plan of W. M. Carter, the architect who designed Kinfauns in 1953. The plan dates from August of that year, and represents "details of a proposed detached bungalow with garage to be erected at Claremont Park (The Lawn), Esher, Surrey, for R. Gray Esq.". Compare with the identical angle in a pic from 1967; the garage referred to in the plan was eventually stuck on the side of the house, adjacent to the living room.
One wonders what Messrs C and G would have made of the bungalow's highly psychedelicised state come '67 (another odd little slice of kismet on a related theme to follow in the next post).
This garage wasn't in evidence on the original floor-plan. Note that Kinfauns, in common with Kenwood and Sunny Heights, started off much smaller than it ended up:

The fireplace, also ultimately lysergicised (if you will) by the Fool, began life as follows, again from the '53 plan. The door evident in the Schwingin' Shikshtiesh shot would have led through to the aforementioned garage, though it wasn't used as such (or was it?) when George lived there:

Judging by all this, Kinfauns must have been built in late '53 or early '54 (and enlarged later). More on all this pish to follow.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Montagu Square: a blue plaque (and a piss-up).

On Saturday I attended the unveiling of a blue plaque to John, by Yoko, at Montagu Square. How weird it must have been for her to be back there after all this time. I was fortunate enough to get in to have a shufti the day before; unfortunately pics were verboten, but fascinating it was, nevertheless, and very kind of the owner. The room where the Two Virgins sleeve was shot (formerly a bedroom) is now the kitchen - but still very recognisably the same place it all once did hang. I got to spend around 20 minutes there waiting to be shown round. An interesting experience.
Outside, the following day, Yoko and "Hunt lad" did the honours, the front of the place looking pretty much identical to the time in mid-late 1968 when Yoko was last there:

Honours being honoured, Yoko went off, and everyone else proceeded round the corner to a reception, where gallons of free booze flowed, and, to a long-term Beatles saddo like me, the assembled company proved to be... stimulating. I hate name droppingGeoffreyEllisMarkLewisohnLizzieBravoBarryMilesBillHarryRoyCarrHuntladTonyBramwellTheBootlegBeatlesso I shall refrain from mentioning them that supped, and, in certain cases, endured long and gibbering dialogue with yours truly. Suffice to say that the fruits of this gibberish may appear on these pages before too long.
It was also good to finally meet Lizzie Bravo, who was sporting both a proof-copy of her book (which looked incredible) and the badge that she wore when she sang on Across The Universe. This picture accurately reflects my vision at that point. John apparently larfed at the message. As, apparently, did I.

A splendid time was had by all, and you can't say better than that.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Tittenhurst: late 1969.

By the late summer of 1969, John's facial hair had gone completely berserk. Yoko strongly advised him to shear it, and this he did, though the hair on his head wasn't to go till Denmark. Here are some photos from Tittenhurst, beard freshly defunct; the above a good view looking down from the house, the below need none more jibber jabber:

None whatsoever.

Arnhem Oosterbeek Cemetery: then & now.

The Oosterbeek War Cemetery at Arnhem provided a famous early bit of kismet, with many more to come: Their Name Liveth For Evermore, indeed. This pic captured in August 1960, en-route to Hamburg, with Lord Woodbine and The Williams(es) also much in evidence.
John, according to whom you believe, was either a) pissed (UK or US meanings, choose yer pick) in the van, refusing to come out, or b) in the cemetery, but refusing to take a pic due to anti-war sentiment (more than a bit fanciful that one, but nevertheless) or c) behind the camera, taking the pic.
Plus the same spot now, with thanks to Guus Limberger.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Kenwood (& Kinfauns): November, 1964.

This is the earliest picture of Kenwood to surface thus far - from around 4 months after John bought it. At this point there was no sunroom, and John, Cyn and Julian were all living in the attic, then still unconverted from its original layout (see Partidge plan). It's probably safe to assume that if any earlier pics come along in the future, they will be from before John's time there; and such may not even exist.
Here's the article from where the above pic came: 16 Magazine, and a straight syndication of the Chris Hutchins NME piece already featured on these pages a while back...except there's more of this, as he then goes to visit George at Kinfauns:

...which is where these pics originally came from. So they too can now be dated as November, 1964:

...or not. See comments.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Kenwood: hairy business, 1965.

Of course they couldn't just nip out for a haircut in 1965, so the hairdresser would go to them. The above obtained in that year, at Kenwood, by Betty Glasow, and currently on eBay for around £1000 per strand.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Kenwood: knee of Sydney, 1965.

Lennon Jnr the first, together with the hitherto unseen knee of Sydney, inside Kenwood circa 1965. Sydney was Ken Partridge's doing, and he (Sydney, not Partridge) stood in the entrance hall (though Partridge must also have stood in the entrance hallIamlosingthewilltolive), for a while at least:

So, was the "new" Julian pic also taken there? Note the skirting, as seen in the dining room, and the drawing room:

Again, I dunno if it was. It may have been taken in one of the above rooms when the wall mural was being taken off and exchanged for the hulking bookcase. Or not. And does it matter? Now, that I do know.

Thanks to Joe Baiardi.