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).


John Lennon and Yoko Ono: 105 Bank Street, Greenwich Village, New York City

Bank Street: John Lennon, Yoko Ono and Jerry Rubin - 1972
In a way that would be unthinkable now for one of the most famous men in the world, Lennon and Ono rented a two-room apartment on Bank Street in the West Village when they settled here, and bought bicycles to get around town. As a student at Sarah Lawrence and an avant-garde artist in New York in the 1950s and ’60s, Ono was intimately familiar with the city. “She made me walk around the streets and parks and squares and examine every nook and cranny,” Lennon said. “In fact you could say I fell in love with New York on a street corner.” His proximity to the docks and the meatpacking district reminded Lennon of his hometown port city of Liverpool, as did the characteristic gruffness of New Yorkers. “I like New Yorkers because they have no time for the niceties of life,” he said. “They’re like me in this. They’re naturally aggressive, they don’t believe in wasting time.” When the Nixon administration used a minor drug conviction in England as a pretext for kicking the politically outspoken Lennon out of the country, the city rallied behind him. Lennon and Ono broke up for a time in his "Lost Weekend" after which he mostly lived in Los Angeles. In 1975, after the couple had reunited, the government dropped its case and Lennon got his green card (also on display in the exhibition). And after three miscarriages, Ono gave birth to their son, Sean, that year. “I feel higher than the Empire State Building,” Lennon declared. By this time, the family was living in the Dakota on 72nd Street and Central Park West, a step up from Bank Street but hardly as posh then as it would eventually become. As the city struggled to recover from its economic crisis, Lennon established a domestic life. He stopped making albums, turned over his business affairs to Ono, and famously baked bread and cared for Sean. By the time the couple began working on the album “Double Fantasy” in 1980, life in New York seemed to be on firmer – and safer – footing, though it was still raw enough that in 1979 Lennon and Ono donated $1,000 to purchase bullet-proof vests for the city’s police force. Lennon was eager to return to public life, and he was still singing the praises of his adopted city. “I can go right out this door now and go in a restaurant,” he told a BBC reporter on Dec. 6, 1980, in an interview to promote the album’s release. “You want to know how great that is?” Two days later, Lennon was shot to death outside the Dakota. He was 40 years old. He had just returned home from a recording session with Ono and, rather than have their car pull directly into the Dakota’s driveway, he got out at the curb so that he could greet the fans waiting outside. It was an emotionally generous gesture, maybe even a na├»ve one: trusting the city too much, underestimating its dangers. Mick Jagger, a far more jaded New York transplant, couldn’t believe his friend used to take cabs, which is “probably to be avoided if you’ve got more than $10,” as he said years later.

John Lennon atop of The Dakota - 1975

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