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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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

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Kenwood: garden, ca. March/April 1967.

Wot a splendid pic. Just yer average psychedelic family, friend unt felines out for a stroll on a spring afternoon. I'd guess this was taken around the time of the Pepper photo shoot (30th March, 1967), judging by the trousers. (We all know it was the trousers.)

The usual season's gratings to readahs, and, in this instance, a special grating to Mr R.

Friday, 9 December 2016

Kenwood: December, 1968.

Master bedroom, Kenwood.

36 years.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Marrakesh: New Year 1967.

Sotheby's is currently selling a few candid snaps at a ludicrous price. Still, one or two interesting ones including this; almost certainly taken in Marrakesh during John, Cyn and Victor Spinetti's post-Chrimbo holiday in 1967. If I had to wager on a location, I'd put my offal infested plastic fiver down against Talitha Getty's Palais de Zahir.

John Hopkins (that's John Hopkins the American writer and friend to the Beats, not to be confused with John Hopkins the British counter-cultural figure and friend to the etc.), who attended the end of year party at the Palace in '67, described it thusly in his Tangier Diaries: "Last night Paul and Talitha Getty threw a New Year's Eve party at their palace in the Medina. Paul McCartney and John Lennon were there, flat on their backs. They couldn't get off the floor let alone talk. I've never seen so many people out of control."

Now, Macca certainly wasn't there; he was flat on his back in another location. But to someone who wasn't really paying attention (fill in your own reasons), I suppose from a distance Victor Spinetti might have been mistaken for Paul (and indeed, in this instance, probably was). If you examine the picture above, that's almost certainly Victor to Cynthia's right.

Incidentally, a quick search on-line reveals a few interior images taken in le Palais, which is full of similar alcoves:

Thanks to Lizzie Bravo for forwarding the pic.
Also, further apologies for the lack of activity round these parts. Can't be helped at the moment, but there will be occasional posts as and when...

Thursday, 14 July 2016

V&A: Psychedelic Eye On Display.

The Victoria & Albert Museum in London has a major new exhibition in the works: "You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966-70" runs from 10 September-26 February 2017 and will, as one might expect, feature the Fabs; both John and George's Sgt Pepper outfits will be on display, amongst other things.

Now, excitingly for those with an interest in Kenwood, I have it on good authority that one of those other things will be John's Eye mosaic from the pool, which was recently rediscovered, returned to its rightful owners, and restored to former glory.

Apparently the thing measures about 5 feet by 15 feet, consists of around 14,000 tiles, and is quite impressive in the flesh. Lovely stuff, and more details to follow, apparently...

Thanks to Bernie Cochrane.

Monday, 16 May 2016

Listen To This Balloon: 19th December, 1974.

I am back up in the auld ancestral home at the moment, struttin' aboot in mi tither, etc.. Occasional downtime vis-a-vis the aforementioned "struttin'" allows one the opportunity to peruse the ridiculous amount o' Beatles related shite that one has allowed to congeal over the long, long, long years. (What is, by the way, the correct collective noun for a massive quantity o' shite? How about a "boris"? A boris o' shite has a pleasing ring to it. But I digress.) (At some point I intend to sell the aforementioned boris ... not yet though.) (But I digress.)

Occasionally I come across a "piece" that I had forgotten I had, unt here is a good example. Readahs will no doubt be overly familiar with the good auld "Listen To This Balloon" anecdote. But have ye ever actually seen such a balloon? Well, above, there is one. Now, I have no idea whether this is the type of balloon actually employed by John to irritate his fellow former Fabs. It appears to be a promo device for the UK release of Happy Etc. (War is Etc.):

Even if it is, why would John have had one in the U.S.? And why does it not say "Happy Xmas from John and Yoko", given that it was a joint single? Who knows. Cock-up? Anybody? Maybe, too, there were U.S. equivalents. Maybe John kept a few because he found it amusing. (He did, after all, collect Beatles bootlegs.) Or maybe this balloon has nothing to do with anything.

As usual, I have no idea. All I can tell you is that I got it from a source in the US, and that it in reality it looks (not to mention smells) ... vintage. Lovely stuff.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Kenwood: On film, June 1968.

Some of this is on the blog already - but the real find comes around half-way through: the kitchen at Kenwood, on film! Yoko prepares something macrobiotic whilst John hugs a feline. For the first time it's possible to see how the kitchen and the sunroom join up. Please, for the love of God, try to contain yourselves.

This comes courtesy of Revolver TV over on YouTube, who have been gradually doling out interesting, unseen bits and pieces for a while now, and one wonders if the long rumoured Kenwood home movies are going to appear soon. In the meantime, this is pretty, pretty good.

EDIT: There used to be a YouTube video above. Clearly, it has now been taken down. I managed to MP4 it, though, so good for me!

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Kinfauns: 1969.

Sara over at MTBFR has posted this great pic of George in 1969, and asks which house it is. It's the living room at Kinfauns:

George is picking up a cutout of Sri Mahavatar Babaji...:

...the very one used on you know wot:

Sri Mahavatar Babaji is featured in one of George's favourite books, Yogananda's Autobiography of a Yogi (and was also the name of one of John's cats, trivia fans). Google away for further info, if ye will. There's also an intriguing glimpse of George's record collection to the right, but the resolution isn't quite good enough to identify much of it. I think I spot Electronic Sound, though. Anyone able to identify anything else?

Thursday, 24 March 2016

120a Allerton Road, Woolton: Dairy Cottage.

Regular readahs will know of my fondness for Pete Shotton's tome "In My Life", and so I am always interested to track down a locale featured therein; in this case the corner cupboard in the living room of the (Dairy) Cottage. John lived here (in the cottage, not the cupboard - that would have been ridiculous) for a short period as a very small boy with his parents, and when the place was later occupied by his aunt Harrie he became a frequent visitor, such that a cupboard was designated "his", containing whatever possessions, drawings and writing he'd accumulated during his time there.
Pete recalls going round to the Cottage in December 1963 to find John emptying the aforementioned, and filling "a large canvas bag with books and papers", including "a stack of paintings, most of which dated back to a period when he was loath to paint anything but horses."
The Cottage is currently up for sale, full, according to the estate agent, of "original features", and so I reckon that modest cupboard visible in the living room is the very one that used to be John's, and thus was once filled with stuff that, were it all to come up for auction now, would probably be worth more than the house itself:

Funny, really.

John & Mimi: June, 1964.

A small bit of John and a slightly bigger bit of Mimi, on the plane to Oz, June 1964.

Monday, 14 March 2016

5 Somers Crescent, London W2: George Martin.

Here it was, at 5 Somers Crescent, that George Martin lived for around 20 years, from 1966 on. According to the Beatles' London, "it's likely that all the Beatles came here and certain that Paul did on many occasions."

George, naturally, had a piano installed, possibly in this very room, upon which arrangements for strings etc. would be composed. By "this very room", I mean the living room above, obviously, and not the kitchen, below, although who knows?

There are balconies on either side of the aforementioned living room:

Actually, this place reminds me a bit of Whaddon House, where Brian and George and Ringo all lived for a time. Both Whaddon House and Somers Crescent would have represented the height of modernity in the early 1960s.

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Kenwood: June, 1967.

Yet more out-takes from the 29th of June 1967 session at Kenwood, and these two will be up for grabs at the Tracks auction in April. Nice!
In other news, I note that the page hit count round these parts is now over a million. I do nothing to publicise things, update randomly and infrequently, and am not the most technologically savvy person in the world, so it's quite possible that anyone with, say, a new Twitter account can expect a million hits by lunchtime on the first day, but still, a million hits! For this nonsense! It blows my tiny brains out of my nose.
So, may I just proffer a thank you to everyone who has contributed in whatever way, and to you readahs in general? And now be about yer business:

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

George Martin.

Were ye to offer a wager that in, say, 1000 years time, the world will not have been burned to a crisp by religious fanatics/asteroids/"Brexiteers"/ etc., I wouldn't take it. Spread betting may be all well and good, but I am no fool.

However, were ye to further offer a bet on the likelihood of two words still being in the dictionary in 1000 years time, in the charred remnants of the world (and it is at this point that the logic of my argument falls to pieces, and not for the first time)... errr...

Anyway, the basic point is that in 1000 years time, Jah willing, people will still be using the words "Beatle" and "flange".

And as long as civilisation staggers onwards, a doff o' the cap is in order to George Martin.

That is all.

Friday, 15 January 2016

Dorinish: Dot Jarlett archive.

From the pages of the Irish Independent, dated (errr... I'll get back to you on that one), found amongst Dot Jarlett's clippings archive (presumably that's her writing next to the headline), here is the original skinny on John's purchase of Dorinish in 1967. As ye will know, of all of them, John was keenest on a rural idyll for the Fabs, whom he envisaged living together in a communal arrangement somewhere isolated; hence Dorinish, Greek islands, even Tittenhurst, apparently.
Anyway, Alistair Taylor bought it on John's behalf (and that is actually bought it - he was the legal owner and eventually had to write to John in order to remind him that the title needed to be transferred), and John duly transported the Kenwood caravan over as a first step, before visiting on a couple of occasions... though of course the plan came to naught in the end.
Hats off to Alistair for some impressive bullshitting here, nevertheless:

I didn't know the bit about George A. Birmingham and his Inviolable Sanctuary before. I bet you didn't either. Here is the relevant passage from that very tome re. "Inishbawn" a.k.a. Dorinish, in case ye are interested:

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Walls & Bridges etc.: Bob Mercer interview.

I've read it through once but remain engrossed in Lennonology, not least because it is full of little leads to follow. Here, for example, is an interview John did in L.A. in September 1974, conducted by the then managing director of E.M.I., Bob Mercer, which was designed to prod the sales team in Blighty into action re. Whatever Gets You Through The Night as a single and Walls & Bridges as an album.
Though pressed as a demo 45 which was never commercially available (copies can be had on eBay occasionally for arse-clenching sums), the recording is now free to all thanks to Mr LostWeekend on the YouTube.
(My favourite bit is when John, pointedly, prefers "Britain" to "England", nomenclature-wise.)

Friday, 8 January 2016

April 4th 1974: 434 East 52nd Street - UFO quickie.

On the above date, in the apartment recently vacated by John and May, French journo Jean-Francois Vallee interviewed 'imself. I've got most of it on various dodgy DVDs, but hadn't seen this bit before: John recounting his UFO sighting on the very spot where it happened, in delightful hi-res.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Kenwood: November 26th, 1968.

Sara over at MTBFR has posted a great (mainly "new") set of Kenwood pics. No point in me posting them all again here, but a couple of them can be used to further our flagrantly trivial ends. The above has been on before, but not in this resolution. Thus, note - Westinghouse Continental oven and Zal disinfectant:

What's that tome on the table?

Why, none other than Small Man of Nanataki by Liam Nolan:

Interesting this. The book was first published in 1966, and tells the story of a Japanese POW camp interpreter who helps the prisoners out of a sense of shared humanity. In 1960s Britain, there remained a lot of throwback WW2 anti-Japanese prejudice, and Small Man of Nanataki was, apparently, an attempt to counteract this. Can't "imagine" (oh fer Jah's sake stop it) what it would have been doing at Kenwood.
To see all the pics, go HERE.
(I can't remember where I got the oven pic - if you took it please get in touch for a credit.)