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.

Comments Blah: Comments are moderated. Any genuine comments are welcome. Offensive comments/advertising/trolling/other moronicisms are not, and will be rejected. Due to the aforementioned, anonymous comments are no longer enabled. Comments are the responsibility of the individual commenter, and commenters' opinions do not necessarily reflect my own. (NB: This blog revels in flagrant trivia. If that's not yer "thing", this won't be yer "thang".)

Correspond via: kenwoodlennon@googlemail.com

Monday, 24 December 2012

Kenwood: 3D sunroom!


Here's a not so wee Christmas pressie: Chris Sileo, the not so wee genius that he is, has released the latest version of his 3D sunroom. A work in progress, still, but now an "explorable" one.

For once, enough o' my blather - go to the link at the end of this sentence (click on the 4 arrows on the menu bar when you get there to centre it), and prepare to be astoundergast... 3D SUNROOM!

(Chris also has a Facebook page up and running showing some of his other works in progress. Head over there and "Friend" him, or whatever you do on these things: The Beatles in 3D on Facebook)

Monday, 17 December 2012

Whaddon House, SW1: Flat 15.


Whaddon House, on Williams Mews, London SW1, saw Fabs related goings and comings during the peak mania era; Ringo and George both lived here in '64 and early '65, variously in flats 5, 6 and 7. This was mainly because Eppy had already moved in circa late 1963, occupying the top floor flat number 15, and it is this, dearly beloved, with which we occupy us-selves today.
Above, Brian in morning dress, apparently off to Ascot, no doubt to lose (or even win) an enormous sum on the fillies. Taken on the balcony immediately outside the living room, note the tiling intact to this day:


A Bri-eye view:


Heading in to the living room, and this pic of John captures a corner likewise more or less unchanged:


As for the rest of the room, doing that auld "then unt nau" raises the head of dread renovation once again. Note the appearance of doors in the other corner, where previously there were none:


This pic of ver Fabs with Lonnie Trimble, Brian's housekeeper, gives a wider view of the same spot. The modern doors lead to the kitchen. It seems that at some point the living room has been widened out, not to mention, in common with much modern renovation, blanded out, with various quirks removed in order to leave a bigger and more symmetrically shaped room.
I'd guess the door visible here in the Trimble pic would have been the original kitchen entrance (with the kitchen at that point being of a larger size); renovation has seen a whole section of wall (and kitchen) removed to create more floor-space in the living room, with the new kitchen entrance knocked through in that far corner:


Something similar has occurred in the other corner of the room; note the jutting out bit of wall and double-doors in the Eppy pic. Again, that section of wall has been removed and a single door installed, for the same reasons as above - in order to create more living room floor space:


Les Fabs in pretty much the same spot:


Lastly, some other modern shots of the flat: kitchen, hall, bedroom and en-suite:


If I don't get round to posting anything else this year, might I take the opportunity to wish regulah perusers of this rubbish all gratings of the season, and a happier New Year too. Might I? I just might.

Friday, 7 December 2012

50 Pubs Associated With The Beatles: ...


No. 40: The Old Dive, 12 Brythen Street, Liverpool.
The return of the profoundly pointless 50 Pubs Associated With Etc. feature, and where better to restart than The Old Dive on Brythen Street.
This hostelry is mentioned in an amusing anecdote in Hunter's Beatles biog, as recounted by then landlord Danny English.
Ver lads, it seems, used to frequent this place on a regular basis, due to its proximity to Mathew Street, which made it a handy spot to waste a few hours between lunchtime and evening engagements.
Being perennially skint (or possibly just a bunch of tight-wads), they would pull the old trick of ordering a single beer, and then using that as an excuse to sit in the warm for hours on end staring into space.
Eventually, said Mr English advised our heroes that it was high time they stood the barmaid a drink. Quoth Danny: "After a lot of discussion, they asked me what she was drinking. I said stout. They said how much was that. After more discussions, they produced 4 and a half d. each and bought her a Guinness."
The only illustration of the interior I've been able to find is the following rather wonderful pic from the pages of the Catholic Herald:


It dates from 1957, and shows the then Archbishop of Liverpool, accompanied by the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress, plus a bevy of nuns (that shurely can't be the collective term for nuns, can it? Isn't it a gaggle of nuns? Oh dear, I am talking to myself again), inside the Old Dive, getting bladdered.
I jest. No alcohol was imbibed by the group; rather they were there to pick up a collection - Liverpool's tallest column of pennies, no less, destined for a local hospice.
Sadly, this pub together with the whole surrounding area was levelled a few years later, and nothing now remains.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Kenwood: more then unt nau.


Another splendid "new" December '68 shot, and I shall manfully resist the temptation to pussy-related punnery.
This, as regulah readahs will shurely kno, is the thrilling location of the bottom of the garden steps location, as captured from the opposite angle by Cathy Kelleher Sarver a few months prior to the above pic:


And the same spot now: note the tree, which has (fairly obviously) survived, and the newly constructed indoor swimming pool on the right, topped with grass:


The interior:


Finally, another good new 'un of the pair oot and, indeed, aboot in the "grunds":


Gratitude yet again to Sara from MTBFR.

Kenwood: sold - March, 1970.


Kenwood was on the market from mid-1968, though when it actually sold is unclear.
This clipping dates spring, 1970; all the stuff mentioned would have long since been moved to Tittenhurst (or elsewhere). However the date of sale may be roughly accurate.
(As is often the case, I dunno.)
Many thanks again to Sara for sending this in.

Kenwood: living room - 1965/1968 etc.


A couple o' pics that are new on here; the one on the left from 1965, the one on the right from December 1968, and both of them, co-incidentally, showing the same corner of the big living room.
Here's how it looks these days - the wall was knocked through in the '90s to create a second entrance from the hall:


The '65 pic has done the rounds recently, being part of a new Curvebender collection of Henry Grossman's unseen Beatles stash...and pretty amazing it all sounds too; lots of Kenwood and Sunny Heights material, and much more besides.
Sadly, for whatever reason they have priced it at a level unknown to most mortals, and so way beyond the means of the vast majority of yer people. A real shame that most will never even see a copy, let alone be in a position to buy one:


Many thanks to Sara from Meet The Beatles For Real.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Kenwood: autumn 1967.



A storm is battering my window as I type, possibly akin to that affecting our boy's hair. John, outside the front door at Kenwood, in typical fashion; he really was most patient with ver fannage, was he not?
And once again, gratitude to Mark Lewisohn, not least for similar forbearance.

Kenwood: pre-sunroom shiznit.



Early 1965, and 3 photos featuring an anonymous Kenwood related person; John's renovations remain incomplete, to the extent that what turned out to be the most famous room in the house hasn't even been built yet.
The first, above, shows the door to the laundry, outside of which squat Julian plus said anonymous Kenwood related person, to the right of which would soon see the sunroom.
Compare with the view a couple o' years later:


John and Yoko would also be "photoed" on these very steps in December 1968:


Second, and moving on to the boot: at last, an exact location - half-way up the front drive, a fact confirmed by Dot Jarlett's e-book (of which, more anon):


Frontage and, moreover, etc:


Finally, and thank etc., a spot o' carpet beating outside the living room:


More thanks to Mr L.

Kenwood: joanna action.



Ah yes, Kenwood.
The above jo-anner must shurely be familiar to the upwards of several people who peruse this...this. Squatting, as it did, in the den, I'd always taken it for just another piano, one of several dotted about the titular pile. Wouldn't John have been composing in the attic, or in the sunroom, and not generally in the den?
Not in late '66/early '67, as it turns out.
Apparently, in 1971, he had a plaque affixed to the side of the above stating the following: "On this piano was written: A Day In The Life, Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, Good Morning Good Morning, Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite and many others. John Lennon 1971" (see I told you it was 1971).


Thus, if this is to be believed, much of John's contribution to Sgt Pepper was actually composed in the den, now simply a simple room, squatting in a simple mansion, and shurely familiar to etc:


The piano ended up being sold at auction in Japan, though how it got there remains a mystery.
Many thanks to the venerable Mark Lewisohn for scannage.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Montagu Mews West: Nel unt Mal action.


The area around Montagu Square saw a great deal of the aforementioned "action", no more so than in the mid-60s, when Neil Aspinall and Mal Evans shared a terraced house in one of the mews behind said Square, at number 16.
Them Fabs were photographed here on 1st December 1965, supposedly "rehearsing" for their forthcoming (and final) British tour. A likely story.
Still, the house has seen no major renovation since then; note the fireplace:


John and George were captured on the other side of this room, beside the staircase:


Said staircase:


Heading up said staircase, one comes to what would have been Neil's bedroom (or Mal's):


And up another floor to what would have been Mal's bedroom (or Neil's):


They weren't here long, but while they were here, this is where they were. Or something.

Luggala: Tara Browne.


Twenty eight miles south-west of Dublin lies Luggala, site of the Guinness Estate, and last resting place of Tara Browne (about whom, readahs need no etc.). His grave is one of three situated on the shore of Lough Tay, next to a structure known as the Temple:


Tara's brother, Garech Browne, still lives on the estate, in the house which served as the venue for Tara's 21st birthday party, a bash apparently attended by Macca, amongst others.
Here 'tis, the house, the graves, Garech, another bash, and some magikal goings on:



Thanks to Julian Carr.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Errr...: Errr...


Halloween hoves into view once more, does it not, and thus, at this spookiest time o' the year, there is no better time to unveil the following jibber-jabber. So draw the curtains, put another (oh get on with it, for f*ck's sake)...
The Beatles, as any fule no, spawned (and occasionally did their best to encourage) a ludicrous amount of over-interpretation. In this regard, precisely what the proportion of accident to design was in their latter oeuvre remains a matter of conjecture; but there is little doubt that at least some of the time they chucked material in purely to see what sort of ridiculous response they'd get from lumpen "fannage"/critical mass. Ian Macdonald, one of the latter, regarded this as a very bad thing, tending to see it as tantamount to lighting fuses that trailed off into darkness with unforseeable consequences (viz, for example, certain alleged aspects of Mansonism, etc.).
Well, perhaps. That period of popular culture was, for many reasons, wide open to symbolism, real or imagined, and it's certain that whatever the Beatles did would have been scrutinised for "meaning". So they couldn't really win.
What's also certain is that the scamps were still up to their old tricks (if that they be) on Free As A Bird. Lizzie Bravo recently sent a link to a little seen interview with Macca, circa Anthology, in which, tongue firmly in cheek, he points out that the backwards message towards the end of "Burd" can be "interpreted" as John saying "Ha ha - made for John Lennon", and thus expressing post-mortem approval for the whole project. Palpable nonsense.
At which point, as chance would have it, an odd blue flare rises on camera:


The director stops proceedings, and Paul laughs, as you would, joking to the effect that this is John once again making his presence felt.
Yet should ye choose to freeze the interview, and zoom in on the bottom left hand corner, you might "see" something a little odd:


This, it doesn't need to be said, is akin to seeing Ringo's fizzog in a potato, and is drivel, though perhaps amusing, at a push slightly uncanny, but undoubtedly typical, in its way, of Beatle-ish accident... or design.
And I'm sure there are better things I could be doing with my evening.
(Should ye wish to see the interview, it can be viewed HERE. And thanks, as ever, to Lizzie for the original link.)

Friday, 5 October 2012

EMI Studios canteen: 24th June, 1967.


On June 24, 1967 (a Saturday, fact fans), ver lads assembled before the equally assembled press in order to proclaim the "message" du jour, via the medium of...errr...sandwich board: Love Is You Need (errr..someone clearly hasn't thought this through).
Thus manfully boarded did they strut, both in studio 1, where preparations for the following day's Our World broadcast continued apace, and just outside.
A Beatle eye view of the grunters:


At some point, they de-sandwiched and headed downstairs to the canteen; here are 3 lesser seen photos (lesser seen by me, at any rate):
  

Hard evidence of tea drinking:
 
 
This, possibly, the high water mark of their cultural reach and group gestalt (not the tea drinking in the canteen, but Our World), just post-Pepper, Brian still alive, and the four seeming very together, for the time being, at least:
 
 
 
To change the subject, the new Blogger interface is bloody awful. Anyone know how to get the old one back (or even how to manage the new one)?

Monday, 17 September 2012

3 Savile Row: then & now, part 3.


A final helping of Apple, for now at least.
Heading up a floor, we come to the press room...or what's left of it, which isn't much. In fact, this whole room has been reconstructed, with only the window wall intact from the Deggs-era. Then unt now above, and a couple of '69 shots below:


Just outside is a small windowless room which, I'd guess, was once the "black room", infamous dumping ground for the thousands of demos, scripts, etc. sent in following the following:


And that "infamous" room:


Ever upwards to the top floor, and the head of the stairs circa 1914; this rather ornate staircase was pulled out in the 1960s, pre-Apple, and the whole area was demolished in the 1970s:


Top floor, back and front, or north and south, as you prefer, circa now/1914. In Apple days, home to Apple Films and the kitchen. John and Yoko's caviar bill was, apparently, on the indulgent side:


Finally, the roof, which requires no description:


Other than to say that it too has been completely rebuilt - but note how everything around it remains unchanged; the chimney pots, or lack of them, make a good reference point:


And there we have it.