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

Monday, 27 February 2012

Weston-Super-Mare: Royal Pier Hotel etc.


In late July 1963, they did spend a week in Weston-Super-Mare, playing shows at the local Odeon with Gerry & The Pacemakers et al in the evening, and generally arsing about during the day. (As is usually the case with matters related, some of this arsing about survives, on the Alf Together Now bootleg, or via YouTube where around half an hour of Dezo Hoffmann's uncut home movies from the time can be seen.)
The Royal Pier Hotel housed 'em; it ended up burning down a few years back. Before so doing it stood derelict for a while, during which an urban explorer type managed to get in and capture the very spot (albeit from a different angle) where breakfast was served:


All that now remains is a pile of rubble and some twisted metal:


Ver Lads were also "photoed" at various local locales, including Birnbeck Pier:


The steps thereof:


And indulging in a bit of de rigueur donkey-related-dicking-about near Weston Pier:


Many thanks to Patrick Morgan for the above photos.

Friday, 24 February 2012

34 Montagu Square: by day.


Readahs will no doubt remember the mystery of the "John's office mystery"; there are many great photos of John, Yoko and Robert Fraser hanging out in this heavily wood-panelled room, but no trace of such a place exists now at number 34.
Subsequent to my last visit, I managed to track down a plan of the flat from 1954 (which, for various reasons partly connected to sheer laziness on my part, cannot be reproduced here), and armed with same, I headed back the other day to see if this locale could at last be pinned down... of which more in a minute.
First, though, and at the risk of repeating myself, I couldn't resist getting a definitive "then & now" of our old pal(s) the Two Virgins shot(s). Done in daylight, the location is obvious, were it ever in any doubt. (Incidentally (if, sadly, not interestingly), the structure visible through the window was once the kitchen of the whole house, before it was split into flats.)
And another:


So to the old plan, which shows a partition wall in the downstairs kitchen which does seem to correspond to the wall in the office shots (see previous post). This whole area underwent massive renovation in the mid-90s, with a new shower built here (the walls of which can be seen in the "now" pic below).
Thus the best guess is that this was indeed the location of John's office (and note the apparently corresponding position of that door):


Though some doubt remains, that's probably it. Try not to worry too much in case it isn't.
Big thanks again to Peter for all his help.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Cavendish Avenue: circa August/September, 1967.


John arriving at Paul's, and another to add to the pile of same.
I'm guessing August or September '67 based on the barnet, and the "Joseph" coat, which also saw an outing on the way to Bangor to meet that ol' Maharishi circa then.
However, an exact date for this would be of interest; it might even capture John's arrival at the first post-Brian-demise meeting round Macca's "crib", when it was decided 1. to continue, and 2. to make a start on MMT asap.
(Or, as ever, not.)

Friday, 17 February 2012

Kenwood: house of green.


All aboard the Trivia Express, people. Next stop Anal Tragedy (pop.1). Nevertheless, one of the more famous images to emerge from Kennie was John with his sunflower eye, a variant of which can be seen above. I'm sure it's been on here before, but something about the lo-res quality of this 'un caught my eye; that's got to be the greenhouse there behind him:


Thus, another location becomes pin-downable. That sequence of photos will have been taken at the bottom of the steps, beside the enduring tree:


Joe Baiardi's video captured the very spot:


And here's a "now" from the same source, the greenhouse gone these days, in common with much else:


Speaking of things gone, NEMS in Liverpool has been demolished. A fairly unlovely building, true, but of immense importance in the Beatles' story, it now joins a shameful list of buildings destroyed for no good reason up there.
Liverpool is a fantastic city, but the people in charge of planning are a bunch of *****ing ***s ******ing ****s **** * * * *******************ing *****s.
As long as The National Trust preserve the childhood homes of John and Paul, and the Best family continue their sterling job with the Casbah, Beatles fans will have a reason to go to Liverpool. But as the list of places to visit dwindles ever further, so the chances of repeat trips dwindle too, with all the long term knock-on effects to the economy that entails.
Astonishingly short sighted and stupid. ****s.

Friday, 3 February 2012

WABRAD: 1974.


Lizzie Bravo recently sent a link to a radio show that John did in New York in 1974, as part of his efforts to promote Walls and Bridges. I don't recall having heard it heard it before, and it got me wondering what other promotional shizzle might be oot there.
The ever interesting You Are The Plastic Ono Band site (link under Friends & Neighbours) lists most of the details regarding John's promo spots re. Walls and Bridges on US radio. He was a busy boy in September '74, and sure enough, some of this is floating around on YouTube. The conversations cover similar ground, but occasionally veer off into more interesting territory - and at the very least, they are pleasant things to have on in the background, and reminders of a time when it was possible to switch on the radio and hear an impromptu interview with the Winston (if you lived in the States, at any rate).
Let's start with one that YATPOB seems to have missed; John on Pennsylvania station WZMF. The interviewer is mildly obsessed with the Plastic Ono Band album, which leads to some intereshting reflections from John. (In fact, he thanks the DJ at the end for forcing him to think about his answers.) Listen here: PART 1 & PART 2.
Here's the rest of the list, copied over from YATPOB, with links to the bits I've been able to find on YouTube inserted:
??/Sep/1974 KSAN FM - San Francisco interview to Tom Donahue
20/Sep/1974 KHJ AM - Promoting "Walls & Bridges" in L.A
25/Sep/1974 RKO Radio - 70 minute interview
26/Sep/1974 CHUM Radio - Toronto station interview
??/Sep/1974 WMMS FM - Cleveland interview with Denny Sanders
27/Sep/1974 KHJ AM - Los Angeles, John is Guest DJ on Breakfast show
He gives capsule answers to callers on various topics, and takes the piss in fine style out of the adverts. (I actually larfed out loud a couple of times listening to this. And that doesn't happen.)(At one point he attempts a Scotch accent - fairly terribly, I thought, until I realised that he is actually doing an Ivor Cutler impersonation - and a pretty good one, too!) Interestingly enuff, many of the callers are kiddies on their way to school, one or two of whom are noticeably "atrimble" at speaking to yer actual Lennon; this in 1974, mind you, when the Beatles were auld farts, and the kids all dug the new scene - your Gary Glitters, Showaddywaddys (or whatever the fuck they were called etc.). Yet that Beatle "magic" clearly persisted.
Anyway, if you just want the advertorial piss-takes, then go
HERE.
Or the whole show (more or less) here: PART 1 & PART 2.
27/Sep/1974 WAXB FM - Mark Parenteau interview for Detroit station
John gibbers about his UFO experience, and names his favourite Beatles song. Listen HERE.
27/Sep/1974 Capital Radio - Kenny Everett interview
27/Sep/1974 "Rock Speak" BBC Radio 1 - Michael Wale interview
28/Sep/1974 WNEW FM - New York interview by Denis Elsas
John drops by WNEW in NYC on a rainy Saturday afternoon (see above pic), bringing with him a few 45's, which he proceeds to play (these, o' course, being some of the very records that would typically ring out around Kenwood of an evening). He also discusses various things, such as artificial stereo on Beatles re-issues, the number 9, unacceptable air, where he nicks his ideas from etc.PART 1, PART 2, PART 3 & PART 4.
29/Sep/1974 WRKO - 40 minutes
01/Oct/1974 KRQS Radio - Minneapolis interview by Alan Stone
06/Oct/1974 "Speaking of Everything" (WABC) Howard Cosell interview
??/Oct/1974 WEBN Cincinnati - Short 4 min phone interview
10/Oct/1974 Jim Ladd Interview - More promoting "Walls & Bridges"
Hear it here: PART 1 & PART 2.

If anyone knows of any others, link in comments.

Tittenhurst: more caravan.


Further evidence, not that any is needed, of the caravan in the grounds at Tittenhurst. Compare with the Kenwood fan pic below.
Of slightly more interest, the above is, as far as I can recall, the only pic to have surfaced thus far actually showing John (and Yoko) with the feckin' thing.


And Ringo, must I really ask ye again, whither the caravan?