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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Friday, 26 April 2013

Kenwood: autumn '66?



More Lizzie soon... but in the meantime...

Regulah readahs will no doubt be familiah with the above; it's been on here before, albeit in nasty lo-res. Always having found it a fascinating little slice of Kenwoodalia, I've been keeping an eye out for a better example.
And lo, and, moreover, behold - here one is. Prised from the pages of the German mag Bravo, edition number 5, dated 23 January 1967, it allows one to scan the images in the kind of hi-res that causes yer laptop to issue a Hal 9000 type warning about the wisdom of so doing. (Click on 'em for the bigger picture.)
So when were they actually taken? Clearly the beginning of autumn - one of these trees suggests the rise of the fall (if you will, and I wouldn't, if I were you):



Either 1965 or 1966 then, with the probability being the latter (though I'd like to hear from any readahs who may have seen this pic in, say, a US mag of the time in order to nail a definitive date).
Right, let's res this to the... err... highest.
Even in the lo-res version, it was possible to discern a figure in the grounds. The image in the mag reveals something else there, and zooming in shows it to be none other than... Julian!:



Actually, I can't be sure it's Julian, but it's probably him, looking up to see what the noise is (these pics having no doubt been taken from a helicopter):



Next, the sunroom, and lookee here: it isn't finished! (Not sure if that warrants an exclamation mark, but in the context of all this nonsense, it might as well...errr...do. But I digress.)
The roof isn't quite complete, and the distinctive decoration has yet to be added:



Zooming in once again, 3 people can be seen. The figure in white is seated in the sunroom talking to a second individual, and in the upstairs spare bedroom, someone is looking out the window, again trying to see what all the noise is:



Readahs can download the pics above and find for "themselfs" more details that I am, sadly, too lazy to go into here.
More to come on the other Beatle pads.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Kenwood: dubb owld boot.



Why did John get rid o' the boot? This pic probably gives the answer: not being designed to withstand the vicissitudes of a British winter, the thing was beginning to fall apart. But here the boot sits, shortly before getting it, down at the bottom of the garden.

Whatevah, great photo. A doff o' the cap to updownsmilefrown for finding this.

Kenwood: summer, 1967.



More Lizzie, and this time in colour. Most of these clearly taken in summer, and the gate remains open to all comers.
Two of the caravan, the left by Lizzie, the right from her collection, but snapper unknown (get in touch if it's you).
Quite splendid:



Two of the den end; circa, respectively, March and June 1967:



Kenwood, obscured by foliage:



Innareshtingly, most of the above may well date 26th June 1967, ie the day after Our World (and 3 days prior to the Leslie Bryce Kenwood session).
Fantastic "stuffs" - thanks Lizzie - further to follow.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

2, Strathearn Place: Flat 1.



...speaking of which, a small interlude before we get back to Lizzie.

It's probably no exaggeration to say that, one way or another, the course of popular culture changed in these fairly non-descript rooms (or, at least, that John, George, Pattie and Cyn got totally dosed, dudes and...err...dudettes).
For here it "twas" that the aforementioned quartet attended a dinner party in the summer of 1965 thrown by dentist to the stars John Riley, and, one way or another, ended up ingesting the dreaded lysergic for the very first time.
Apparently Riley always disputed the standard version of events (ie that he slipped it in the coffee without their knowledge), telling friends that his guests had "got the wrong end of the stick" about what really happened that night.
Of course, the usual renovation has occurred in the intervening years, so the decor is different, but, nevertheless, this is where it began:

Kenwood: 19/2/1967.



Lizzie's first visit to Kenwood was on Sunday 19th February, 1967, and here are some of the photos from that very day. To begin at the back, garage/sunroom/dining room, above.
Note the bird table/hat, soon to re-appear in the garden:



The front door. What's "interesting" here (no, really) is the paint job.
Regulah "readahs" will recall that the last load o' pics, dated 21st January 1967, revealed the door still in its original state. Pete Shotton, in his memoir, recalls arriving at Kenwood one Saturday night to find John and Terry Doran "spray painting the front of the house in psychedelic day-glo colours", after which he is ushered in to the house and introduced to "Magic" Alex Mardas for the first time.
Thus, the emergence of the Greek "wizard" can be dated to the early part o' 1967 (and it's another example of John's "Winter o' Lovin'" mind-set - spray paint, flying saucers, force fields etc., etc.):



The den/library:



Garage. Note the presence of Cyn's Porsche 911:



Blah:



As far as I know, the current whereabouts of this car are a mystery. I'm also not sure if any photos showing the license plate have surfaced before; hard to make out, but I reckon that reads GAN 7E, registered (as a quick on-line search reveals) between January and July 1967 in West Ham, London.
Anyway, if the car still exists, it should be traceable by someone who can be arsed (ie not me):



Finally, the living room exterior, and the first decent photo of the equally exterior entrance to that room:



These black and white pics are lovely (stuff), but, perhaps appropriately, things are about to get colourful...

Many thanks yet again to Lizzie.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Kenwood: 21/1/1967.



Lizzie arrived in the UK mid-February 1967; shortly before that date, her friend Denise Werneck made the journey out to St George's Hill to take some photos, on a kind of Lizzie-related recce. Thus, and "intereshtingly", a date attaches to these pics, that date being the date of the 21st of January, 1967 - a Saturday, date fans.
The preceding two had seen the Beatles at Abbey Road, making substantial progress on A Day In The Life (with the following taken on Thursday 19th):



But now it is Saturday, a brief consolidating pause has been called to the Pepper sessions, and here we are. The first thing to note is how every curtain remains resolutely drawn. Was there anyone at home? Quite likely, I reckon, as the pattern was often to head out "clubbaging" post-session, and with a few days rest hoving into view, and some solid work laid down, a spot of celebratory "Class A's" may well have been in order. (Or, as ever, not.)
If so, the residents are inside sleeping it off, as Denise covers the house from all angles.
The other point of some vague interest is that the sheer gloom of a British winter is well represented here; even Pepper's biggest detractors wouldn't characterise it as a gloomy record - quite the opposite, in fact. Its forever association with the long, hot Summer o' Lovin' hardly needs repeating, yet the main thing that strikes me about these photos is how this sparkling work was actually recorded during the dank, drab chill of the firstly aforementioned season. Timing always was one of their strong points, and never more so than here.
Anyway...the area round the side of the garage, overlooking the pool. Note the swing, and the presence of ubiquitous reconstructive material, including mulch for the garden:



Next, the front door, still free of sickly paint job (though not for much longer, as we will see) and porch:



Living room, bedroom etc:



Finally the sunroom, and adjacent steps:



Next up, February 1967, and Lizzie's first visit to Kenwood. Huge thanks, once again, to her (and Denise, o' course).