Tittenhurst Park

This Tittenhurst Park blog is dedicated to John Lennon's home in Sunningdale, near Ascot, Berkshire between 1969 and 1971. The aim is to gather as much material relating to the estate as possible - obviously with the emphasis on the Lennon-era, but also concerning Tittenhurst Park as it was before and after John Lennon's ownership. In addition, there will be posts about and associated with the Beatles, plus any other rubbish I feel like. The blog is purely meant for the entertainment of anyone (assuming there is actually anyone) who, like me, has an unhealthy interest in one particular Georgian mansion. Those with anything interesting to contribute in the way of links, photos, scans, stories etc. please do contact me: tittenhurstlennon@gmail.com
(Legal: this blog is strictly non-commercial. All material is the property of the photographer/artist/copyright holder concerned. Any such who wishes a picture etc to be removed should contact me and I will do so. Alternatively, if someone is happy to see their photo on here, but would like a credit/link then let me know and I'll be happy to provide one).


Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite! Poster - August 3, 1971

"Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!" is a song from the 1967 Beatles album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. It was composed primarily by John Lennon with input from Paul McCartney and credited to Lennon/McCartney.


The poster upon which the song is based. Lennon wrote the song taking inspiration from a nineteenth century circus poster for Pablo Fanque's circus which he purchased in an antique shop on 31 January 1967 while filming the promotional video for the song "Strawberry Fields Forever" in Kent. Mr Kite is believed to be William Kite, who worked for Pablo Fanque from 1843 to 1845. Lennon can be seen in one of my earlier posts with the poster at Tittenhurst Park, Ascot.


One of the most musically complex songs on Sgt. Pepper, it was recorded on 17 February 1967 with overdubs on 20 February (organ sound effects), 28 March (harmonica, organ, guitar), 29 March (more organ sound effects), and 31 March. Lennon wanted the track to have a "carnival atmosphere", and told producer George Martin that he wanted "to smell the sawdust on the floor." In the middle eight bars, multiple recordings of fairground organs and calliope music were spliced together to attempt to produce this request; after a great deal of unsuccessful experimentation, George Martin instructed Geoff Emerick to chop the tape into pieces with scissors, throw them up in the air, and re-assemble them at random.

On 17 February, Lennon sings "For the benefit of Mr Kite" in a joke accent, just before Emerick announces, "For the Benefit of Mr Kite!, this is take 1." Lennon immediately responds, "Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite!", reinforcing his title preference, a phrase lifted intact from the original poster. The exchange is recorded in The Beatles Recording Sessions (slightly misquoted) and audible on track 8 of disc 2 of Anthology 2.

Although Lennon once said of the song that he "wasn't proud of that" and "I was just going through the motions," in 1980 he described it as "pure, like a painting, a pure watercolour."

It was one of three songs from the Sgt. Pepper album that was banned from playing on the BBC, supposedly because the phrase "Henry the Horse" combined two words that were individually known as slang for heroin. Lennon denied that the song had anything to do with heroin :-/

On a wall in Tittenhurst Park, the framed 19th-century music hall poster hung. Nearly all the words were there on the bill, from 'the Hendersons will all be there, late of Pablo Fanques Fair' to 'Henry The Horse dances the waltz' and a 'hog's head of real fire'. It was something to see. John would take from just about anywhere. Being an avid reader of newspapers, headlines often caught his eye. . .

John Lennon hung the poster hung in the Billiards Room at Tittenhurst Park.

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