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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Tuesday, 15 February 2011

50 Pubs Associated With The Beatles:...

No. 48: The Shakespeare's Head. Oh go oooon then. This pub, on Carnaby Street, served as an evening opener for John on at least a couple of occasions in 1963, according to Tony Bramwell in the book what he "wrote".

No. 47: Pizza Express. Not even a pub. What a ridiculous parcel of nonsense this is. On a theme of nonsense, it doesn't get more so than John's "I am Jesus" malarkey. To recap briefly - John, up for 3 days on speed 'n' acid, as you do, finally and comprehensively jumps that shark by deciding he is Jesus. Convening a meeting at the Wigmore Street Apple office, he (sorry, He) informs the others that this is his "thing". Non-plussed, the Fabs proceed to go for a meal, where someone or other approaches the Messiah and says "You're John Lennon". The big C responds "Actually I'm Jesus." Said bloke: "Really? Well, I loved your last album. Thought it was great". Tittersome stuff, no doubt.
This anecdote first saw the light in Pete Shotton's excellent autobiography. Interestingly, he's recounted the tale on at least two other occasions, both of which paint events slightly differently. In Spitz's error-fest, it sounds like John was actually experiencing some kind of mental/nervous breakdown, rather than a ridiculous, but essentially amusing acid inspired palaver. In the version recounted in Spencer Leigh's also excellent Tomorrow Never Knows, they don't go to a restaurant post-revelation, but rather to the pub. (You can see where I'm going with this, can't you?)
Tragic hairy palmed obsessive that I am, I couldn't help wondering where this restaurant or pub might have been. One contender, if it was a restaurant, might be Genevieve, a French establishment a couple of streets away from the Wigmore HQ. According to the Beatles' London, they came here in 1966 during a break filming the promos for Paperback Writer. It's now...you guessed it...the above Pizza Express (mmmmmmmm pizza).
But what if it was actually a pub? Eh? Well...

No 46: The Devonshire Arms. Withing stumbling distance of the Apple office, and a regular haunt of the "moptops" in 1963, this has to be a contendah.

No 45: The Pontefract Castle. Again, within stumbling distance, on the same block as the Wigmore Street office, and, fairly crucially, there in the 1960s. At the very least, this must have seen the arses of Apple employees on a goodly number of occasions, possibly literally.
Finally, there are those who now think that the following familiar pic, taken outside Kenwood, was actually captured on the very day of the Jesus incident, and shortly before Yoko arrived for the Two Virgins evening. Close scrutiny may provide some supporting evidence. Ahem:

I'm off for a stiff drink.


  1. Just noticed that you're counting down so you can disregard my last comment. I'm sure you're aware of it.

  2. The picture was taken by my friend Marilyn Demmen, who regularly did the rounds around Weybridge/Esher at weekends. She told me the pic was taken in May 1968 - and very likely the weekend Yoko was at Kenwood

  3. Hi Richard,
    Could you contact me? kenwoodlennon@googlemail.com

  4. I reckon 'Him' reading The Passover Plot (in combination with being an object of worship with a head full of Owsley acid) probably played a significant role in 'Him' coming to such a mighty conclusion.

  5. I think I see the image of baby Jesus on his right pants leg....