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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, 20 December 2011

Tara Browne: oot and aboot.

Tara Browne, so the story goes, and as you are no doubt aware, was the man who blew his etc. out in a etc. This slice o' milieu has just popped up on YouTube, and a remarkable little film it is too. Browne, looking uncannily like Peter Cook, buys "threads", attends clubs and "swings", hangs out at Robert Fraser's gallery whilst "birds" of a "dolly" persuasion examine art, chucks Beatles and Dylan albums around like the disposable commodities they once were (Oi! That's a hundred pound "piece" you muppet!)...and so it goes on.
This was very much the world les Fabs moved in at that time, and you half expect one or other of them to suddenly appear. Tara is also seen driving the car that killed him, and the whole thing, topped off by a close-up of the doomed youth, has an undeniable sense of impending etc., much like the song his demise is said to have inspired.
Many thanks to Julian Carr for sniffin' this oot.


  1. Another great find. Thanks for linking to this. It's like "The Beatles' London" book brought to life.

    Oh, to have been young, free and living on a Trust Fund in the '60s (or any other decade, for that matter...)

  2. That's his now-defunct Eaton Row mews pad (no 18-19) at 0.15 and 1.15. The car he's driving is an AC Cobra, not the lethal Elan we briefly see parked in the garage at 0.35. A great find indeed.

  3. Wow! Wow!!

    Might that be the painted AC Cobra Tara is driving, rather than the Lotus Elan that did for him?

    Further pictures here,

    and here,

    It looks like the Buick makes an appearance too, around about the 2.18 - 2.24 mark. Is a Lotus Elan shown in the shot of the garage interior?

    Can anyone put any names to the faces in the clip? Who is the fop standing next to Robert Fraser? Who is it with Brownie in Dandie Fashions? Could it be the Crittle?

    Right, I'm off to watch it another 4000 times.

  4. Isn't it a rum old thing that here we have a day in the life of Tara Browne. With a shot of the House to boot.

  5. Hmmm...good point, that. When did this film first appear? Might John have seen it, and thus etc?
    Also note the appearance of the very same "groover" from the nightclub scene in HDN.

  6. Interesting little slice of time. I always wondered what the working (middle really) class Lennon saw in someone who was his era's equivalent of Tara Palmer-Tomkinson. If they were so matey surely Lennon would have heard about his death sooner, rather than reading about it in the paper one day? I think the "friend of Lennon" idea is a bit exaggerated.

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  8. I'm surprised at the amount of mannerisms he seems to share with Paul. Expressions, looks. My daughter thought that it WAS Paul. It goes beyond hair and clothin style, imho.

  9. Fab sequence. Too bad I don't understand French.
    BTW, the young man in sunglasses looking at the record in the screenshot above looks so much like Paul until his eyewear comes off. Check out those eyebrows and the mouth. Dead ringer.

  10. It looks like Spencer Davis to me. I must say I leapt a few years thinking we had footage of Pmc with TB.

  11. @ db:

    I believe the article Lennon drew inspiration from for “A Day in the Life” concerned the inquest into Browne’s accident, not the announcement of his death, which had occurred almost exactly one month earlier.

    Quite how well Lennon knew Browne is anyone’s guess, but he was a well-known “face” in Swinging London and Paul was certainly acquainted with him.

    It therefore seems inconceivable that Lennon wouldn’t have heard about Browne’s death soon after the event, especially when you consider how much time he was spending with McCartney and in London during the writing & recording of Sgt. Pepper.

    I couldn't imagine this incident going unmentioned around the rather close-nit London network of clubs and "friends" that we see in this film.

  12. Michael Cooper?


  13. At 1.18 - 1.27?


  14. Doug Binder's intimidating sidies clearly visible at 1.19 - 1.21 (unless Ted Bovis from Hi-de-Hi has wangled an invite, of course).

    I'm wondering about the possibility of the girl on the left at 1.34 being Maggie McGivern.

  15. An incredible find! For people who don't understand French, fear not - he doesn't say anything revelatory. I agree, that is surely Spencer Davis spinning the platters with him. Though Gary Farr (and, presumably, the T-Bones) is the act he is supposedly watching at the Marquee, another band are in fact performing (their support, presumably). Anyone have an idea who they are? Also, has the Beatles music been added by the uploader? I wonder. Finally, there's a rare interview with Browne (all about how swinging it is to be a rich toff in London) in the second issue of the British version of Penthouse, from late 1965. I've been trying to pin it down. One day...

  16. A thread on a Rolling Stones message board is speculating that the band at the Marquee is the Graham Bell Trend, who apparently supported Gary Farr and The T-Bones at the Marquee on Friday 4th October 1966: http://www.iorr.org/talk/read.php?1,1532978

    It does look a little like Peter Blake in the centre of the wide shot of the gallery at 1.41. Could the girl being passed the artwork be Jann Haworth then?

  17. As well as Friday 14th October, the Graham Bell Trend supported Farr at the Marquee on Friday 22nd July. I think this clip must date from July, as the outdoor footage has a summery look to it. Incidentally, at the end Tara says he votes Conservative because he's rich, but would vote Labour if he were poor. He and John must have had some fascinating ideological exchanges.

  18. The portrait of Robert Fraser - partly shown in the clip at 1.16 - is featured on page 99 of the Fraser biography ('Groovy Bob' by Harriet Vyner), with the title 'OK Robert, OK Negro' by Larry Rivers. The same book states, 'in September 1966, for five days only, (Fraser) had the gallery window taken out and a psychedelically painted brand-new AC Cobra sports car exhibited in its place'.

  19. The band playing at the Marquee to me looks like The Attack. A lesser known "Freakbeat" act in 1966.