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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Correspond via: kenwoodlennon@googlemail.com

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Kenwood: return of the Eye.

Ever wondered what became of the Eye? Last seen in Liverpool circa 1985, on display at the Festival Garden site, it subsequently seems to have been found face down in a field (or something), before disappearing altogether.
But now up it has popped, the original owners having tracked it down and regained legal possession; the good news is that the Eye is currently being restored to its former glory, and will then go on display. One of said owners, Bernie Cochrane, has very kindly been in touch with some fascinating photos, and here they are.
Back in 1985, the decision was taken to remove the Eye due to its rapidly deteriorating condition; apparently if they had left it in the pool, within 10 years the thing would have been wrecked beyond the point of redemption. So, out it came; the following pic shows it in the grounds at Kenwood, freshly removed:

Regular "readahs" will spot the blue attic window, also removed at this time, current whereabouts unknown:

Here, the moment when the Eye finally left Kenwood:

Being hoisted into place in Liverpool:

And in situ (Bernie on the left):

Lastly, here's Bernie reunited with it in a solicitor's office, recently:

Groovy. Bernie is currently trying to track down John's original sketch for the Eye, which apparently once resided in the collection of British DJ Mike Read, but is now also in the "Where Doth It Be?" file. Any readahs with information, please do get in touch.
More Eye to follow, at some point.
Thanks Bernie.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Hotel President: Russell Square, London.

Oft overlooked (by me at any rate), but increasingly of interest (to me etc) is the President on (just about) Russell Square. Here they lived in the spring and summer of 1963, and, though they almost certainly moved about a bit, for at least a while ver lads can be pinned down to rooms circa 115/116, right at the end of a corridor on the first floor. There has been refurbishment in the interim, inevitably, but the rooms are still there in the same position, and available to be slept in by anyone with 100 pounds or so.
The reception area has changed a bit - new lifts, and the old desk completely removed to provide space for seating:

But it's still recognisably the same place, and wandering around the corridors, there remains a palpable air of "60s" something or other or something (or other). It's also the place where the following rather wonderful pis (that's a typo, clearly, but left in for reasons of childishness) was taken:

Lots of photos from the President period exist, but not too many "nows" from inside the rooms; any "readahs" who can help, at any point, do get in touch.
Cheers Piet.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Kinfauns: August, 1969.

It's fair to say that all of the Beatles were more accommodating toward the "fannage" than was strictly necessary; indeed, ludicrously so by modern standards, which dictate that every Z-lister (and what a disgusting thing it is to live in an age where such an expression even exists) must, needs must, be accompanied by assorted goons to keep the fevered (and no doubt pished) masses at arm's length. Living The Dream, friends, living the dream.
John, possibly more than the others, was acutely aware of that old Faustian pact vis-a-vis fame/fannage/fetc. On the one hand he resented the daily invasions of his privacy that went along with being "Fab". But on the other, particularly post-"pot"/acid, he had mellowed to the extent of actively inviting "fannage" into his house from time to time, not snarling at them when they were there, and smiling benignly all the while. See the numerous examples on these pages. However, there were times when all of "Beatles" simply couldn't be arsed with it, and understandably so.
In August 1969, John and Yoko were living at Sunny Heights, having finally moved out of Kenwood sometime in the new year. They'd bought Tittenhurst, but were waiting to move in. Still the fannage came; in this case, one Barb Fenick, who joined the throng outside Sunny Heights in early August 1969 hoping for a meeting with the Lennon.
To this end she knocked on the door a couple of times. Cutty long story shorty, John's bearded visage appeared from an upstairs window, and told her to (and I both quote and split the infinitive) "Piss Off".
Undeterred, she headed for Kinfauns. No sooner had she gone for a stroll round the garden than George (looking remarkably, not to mention presciently, like Lemmy) appeared, and told her to, and I fetc., "Piss Off". The above pic captures that very special moment.
It's a simple anecdote, admittedly, but a superlative one; twice in a single day (though I'll bet there are many who managed four in a one-er).