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, 19 July 2013

Quarry Bank: May 1957.


These unfortunates were tasked with educating one J. W. Lennon, being the teaching staff at Quarry Bank during his time there. John, o' course, held them in low regard generally, verbally (and possibly even physically) assaulting them, and so being sent to the Head to be assaulted in turn. Such was the fairly brutal nature of educashun at that time.

There was one pedagogue, however, whom he latterly recalled fondly (I believe this was his English teacher, who appreciated John's writing and recognised "something". I have some footage of John and Yoko being interviewed on the roof of their Bank Street apartment in NYC, where he talks about etc.).

How old they all seem. (The teachers, that is.)

Monday, 1 July 2013

Winterbourne House: HDN locale.


It goes without saying, so I won't, and this is certainly one of them. Iconic photos of the manic-era Fabs, as per above left, are all about running, jumping, waving, posing with soft-toys, and crawling on hand and knee from Dutch bordello at 6 in the morning (errr..has anyone actually seen that photo? Maybe I have but didn't peg it as such). I digress.
HDN parodied much of this in fine post-modern style, o' course, and never more so than in the famous scene where Ver Fabs are chased up a dead end, only to etc.. The intrepid trio ('oo else?) of Lewisohn, Schreuders and Smith tracked down the locale, a tricky job as the cul-de-sac in question is long gone.
However, on-location photos reveal a bit more detail, including Winterbourne House in Notting Hill Gate, still very much there:


Buy The Beatles' London, sez I, and not for the first time.

23 Mount Street: Robert Fraser.


As Miss Cyril "Cilla" Black might put it, there's been a lorra lorra history in these rooms. Plus a lorra lorra skag.
For this was once the second floor flat cum "salon" of art dealer to the stars Robert Fraser, much frequented by Paul and JohnandYoko. Here they would come to hang out with passing Pop artists, indulge in whatever might be indulgeable (pretty sure that's not a word), and lend unrecoverable sums of money to the titular Bob.
Fraser, o' course, was also well in with the Stones, and it was whilst looking out of these very windows upon a storm-lashed Mayfair that Keef wrote "Gimme Shelter":


Mr Richards also recalls, in his highly entertaining memoir, how Fraser would often disappear off to riffle through the pockets of the finely cut suits hanging in these very "cupboards", seeking stray heroin "jacks":


Pharmaceutical heroin was available on the NHS back then, provided one was a registered junkie. The musicians' chemist of choice for this purpose was, apparently, John Bell & Croyden of Wigmore Street; still there, though no longer a dispenser of "doojee".