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's Expenses 1968-1970

John Lennon's Expenses 1968-1970:

• John paid the £1,000 fine for the demonstrators of the South African Rugby team. The individuals were protesting while the team toured England.
• Roger Taverner was known in England as "the swinging builder" and his construction company had been doing work for many of England's brightest young pop stars. The Beatles were among his many clients and he had done work for both Nems and Apple as well as in the homes of all four Beatles. (Granados, S. Those Were the Days. p. 136).
• John and Yoko arrived in Toronto with £ 1,200 in excess baggage charges.
• John purchased a bouzouki, despite the music store owner trying to talk him into buying a guitar, while the Beatles were visiting Greece circa '68 (Gunby, G. Hello Goodbye, p. 108).
• John phoned Alistair (Gunby, G. Hello Goodbye, p. 80).
• John and Yoko stayed at a $180 a day suite in the Bahamas. The hotel charged them $2.50 for orange juice.
• John and Cynthia's home at St. George's Hill, Weybridge, Surrey, was put up for sale at £40,000 in August of 1968.
John purchased Tittenhurst for £150,000.
• An ABKCO employee said that when John and Yoko came to town they would order $10 worth of malts at a restaurant (Dilello).
• John purchased a wedding ring for Yoko at £3 10s. The ring was too big, so John drew a temporary one on her finger (Coleman).
• Two members of a California-based cult offered to fly John and Yoko to a peace festival in a psychic-powered air car that would never use fuel. The cost: $500 (Hopkins, p. 118).
• For their wedding John and Yoko chartered a jet, stayed at a hotel, and bought clothes totaling £8,000 (Dilello).
• John soon afterwards bought, for a whim and twenty thousand pounds, two small uninhabited islands know together as Dorinish off the northwest coast of Ireland. At considerable expense he had the colorful psychedelic horse-drawn wooden Sgt. Pepper wagon shipped to Dorinish. It was the only standing structure on either island. John visited the islands once, traveling by helicopter to conduct a job interview with a potential manager of Apple. It was John's idea to hold the interview there. He later gave Dorinish to a hippie commune (Flippo, p. 242).
• John purchased an island (Dorinish Island) for £ 1,550 on March 17,1967 and planned to build a holiday home there. The home was never built and a group of hippies, led by Sid Rawle, were given permission to live on the island. The harsh winters, however, prevented the new residents from staying on the island. (Harry, B. JL Encyclopedia. p. 166).
• John was fined £150 with 20 guinea costs for possession of 20 grains of cannabis resin. He pleaded guilty at Marylebone Magistrates Court.
• New Jersey officials confiscated 30,000 copies of Two Virgins LP having rendered them pornographic.
• On the way to the recording of Instant Karma on January 27, 1970 John saw a piano in a shop. He stopped the car and ordered the piano to be delivered to the studio immediately (JL Encyclopedia. Harry, p. 400)
• As John and Yoko prepared to leave Paris for Gibraltar to be married, Alistair Taylor arranged an executive jet supplied with food, magazines, etc. He also carried £500 in cash in a sock (hanging in his trousers) for John and Yoko to spend (Taylor, A. p. 149).
• After Alistair Taylor bought the island, Dorinish, for John, a tax demand from the Irish government arrived in Alistair's name. He had to send the note to Michael Browne (the son of the auctioneer) who was acting as solicitor for Alistair. All the deeds were in Alistair's name. He, Alistair, then wrote a note to John's solicitors stating that John had all rights to the island (Taylor, A. p. 151).


• "..when you read that the Beatles earned £17,500,000 in eight and a half years remember that that figure doesn't include the songwriting income of John and Paul" (Tremlett, p. 10).
• John put his home up for sale in July 68 for £96,000.
• Interview November '69 Heathrow Airport:Q: What about Northern Songs?John: I can't make any comments about Paul or myself selling our shares. Dick James said the deal he made had to be concluded in a hurry, and if that's what he said I believe him. It won't make any difference to my songwriting. That's my main concern.Q: Is it back to work after your working honeymoon?John: I need the money, I'm not down to selling the jewelry or the Rolls, but I haven't got nearly as much as you think I have. In fact we never did. I'm back, Paul's back, George isn't in prison, and as soon as we can drag Ringo away from the film set we'll get down to the next album.Q: Will you go back on the road?John: Back on the road? It's a possibility, but it would have to be where the money is, and that's America.
• John 1969. On War and Peace:"People sit around pointing fingers at Nixon and the leaders of the countries, saying, 'He gave us peace,' or 'He gave us war,' when it's our responsibility what happens around the world. It's our responsibility for Vietnam, and all the other wars that we don't quite hear about. It's all our responsibility, and when we all want peace we'll get it. People have said we're naive for trying to sell peace like a car, or bar of soap. But I ask ya, is the Ford company naive... or the soap powder company? They're selling the same old soap that's been around for two thousand years, but now it's 'New Blue Soap.' Well, we're selling 'New Blue Peace!' ...and we hope some of you buy it!" (Beatles Ultimate Experience: Database).
• John 1969. On the Realities of the Beatles' Fame:"The Beatles made it, stopped touring, had all the money and fame they wanted, and found out they had nothing. And then we started on our various LSD trips, the Maharishi, and all the other mad things we did. It's the old bit about money, power and fame not being the answer. We didn't lack hope just because we were famous though. I mean... Marilyn Monroe and all those other people had all the things The Beatles had but were still very unhappy. John and Yoko have the same problems of the position we're in or the money we have. We have exactly the same paranoias as everybody else, the same petty thoughts... everything goes just the same for us. We have no super answers that come as a result of The Beatles or their power." (Beatles Ultimate Experience).

John 1969. On the Beatles' Finances:

• "We earned millions and millions of pounds, but The Beatles got very little of it. We've all got our houses, and we've managed to pay for them finally after all these years. That really only happened since (Allen) Klein came in. Everybody connected with us is millionaires except for the Beatles. They used to tell Paul and I we were millionaires and we never have been. I might possibly be coming up to it shortly, if we get lucky. But it's true, we didn't get the money. George and Ringo are practically penniless. Yoko right now has more money than they had when Klein came in. You know... Brian was a beautiful guy, Brian Epstein, and he was an intuitive theatrical guy... and he knew we had something and he presented us well. But he got lousy business advice. He was taken advantage of. We all were. Brian included." (Beatles Ultimate Experience).

John Explains the Origins of Apple Corps:

• John: See, although Apple turned into the Beatles' baby, Apple was conceived by the Epsteins and NEMS before we took over, before we said: "It's going to be like this". They had it lined up so we would do the same as Northern Songs, sell ourselves to ourselves. And what happened with Northern Songs is we ended up selling Lenmac, or one of them, forever. That's what f***ing Epstein did to us. We lost all our copyrights and Lew Grade's got'em. And the same thing was behind the Apple thing. They were going to set it up, sell eighty-percent to the public, and we were going to be the twenty-percent minority shareholders, with five-percent each, and God knows who else running it. And that was the idea for Apple. But I dunno, it got screwed up somehow (McCabe/Schonfeld p. 102. For the Record).
• Interviewer:Wasn't Apple Paul's idea, basically?...a sort of foundation.John: Oh, no. No. That was us all talking, just about what we wanted to do. See, initially Clive Epstein came up to us and said, "You've got so much money and we're thinking of investing into retail shops for you".You can just imagine the Beatles with a string of f***in' retail shoe shops-that was the way they thought. They were still on Queens Drive in Liverpool, mentally. Clive Epstein still is,all he wants to do is get back to the hills. So we said, "We don't want to be. Imagine us owning f***ing retail shops". So we said, "We don't want to be in that. At least if we're going to open a shop, let's open something that we'd want, that we'd like to buy". We were thinking, "Let's be the Woolworth of something". Or how great it was to go into Marks and Spencer and get a decent sweater when you were about eighteen. Cheap, but good quality. We wanted Apple to be that. So we were just tripping off, having a joint and saying, "Well, we could have films, and we could help young artists, so they wouldn't have to have the trouble we had with all that tramping round, being undiscovered. So we just built it up. That's what we were going to do. We could have a foundation, and all that, which could have been feasible...We ended up with a clothes shop. I don't know how (McCabe/Schonfeld p. 103-04. For the Record).

General Statements:

• John: "Paul had a nice idea about opening up a white house where we would sell white china and things like that. Everything white you know which was pretty groovy, and it didn't end up like that. It ended up with Apple and all this junk and those idiots The Fool and all their stupid clothes and all that" (Wenner).
• John on Apple: "It's more of a trick to see if we can get artistic freedom within a business environment".
• John: It's [Apple] a house we own together, and there's no way of settling it unless we all decide to live in it. It has to be sold.
• After Brian died Apple started to expand into music publishing, signing new artists, sponsoring inventors, and generally putting into practice the principal of making business fun. Business at NEMS wasn't fun at all, so a phone call from John a few days ago was very welcome. "Hello, Alistair. You're looking a bit pissed off at NEMS recently". "I am, really", all the infighting is getting to me". "Well, would you like to come and be General Manager of Apple?" I didn't need a second invitation. I've given my notice to NEMS and I'll transfer to Apple as soon as I can (Taylor, A. p. 108).
• Ritchie York (one time Lennon personal assistant): Well, they'd arrive from Tittenhurst Park and arrive at the office around eleven o'clock in the morning. Then they'd usually just stay for the afternoon and see people they felt were important to the youth movement...It was a real zoo (Giuliano interview fr. Glass Onion p. 276).
• One of the Scruffs was eventually hired by Apple as a receptionist and John paid her a clothing allowance because he liked to see her dressed in all in black or all in white. Another became a tea girls at Apple (Flippo, p. 275).
• Pete Bennett: Paul McCartney hated the strings on Let It Be, and he didn't want Phil Spector producing the album. Paul complained to us, but we put it out anyhow. It wasn't even Klein's doing...We put it out because John Lennon wanted it out. You have to understand that Lennon was Director of Apple Records. Lennon had the last say, and for whatever reason, they made Lennon the president when they set up Apple (Granados, S. Those Were the Days. p. 130).
• Hunter Davies claimed that under Yoko's influence, John started to take charge at Apple. This, in turn, affected Paul's pride and the two were no longer close friends after this (Giuliano, Lost Interviews p. 138).
• Dubbed "Magic" Alex by John, Mardas convinced him that all kinds of fantastical ideas and patents were possible if he were given the financial backing (O'Del, Denis. At the Apple's Core, p. 74).
• Since Apple's inception, Paul McCartney and John Lennon had been very interested in launching a budget-line label to issue what would essentially be known three decades later as "audio books". In October 1968, Apple hired Barry Miles, who co-owned the Indica bookshop with John Dunbar and Peter Asher, to manage the proposed spoken-word label. The initial idea of Zapple was that it would release avant-garde and spoken word records at a reduced price that would be comparable to that of a paperback novel. While the idea looked good on paper, the reality was that when the few records actually put out by Zapple finally made it into the shops, they were priced like any other full-priced music album (Granados, S. Those Were the Days. p. 76).
• John commenting on Neil Aspinall: I was the one that protected him many times from Paul. Paul had no love for Neil and vice-versa. And all of a sudden he's a Paul man. Because they clung to Paul-Derek included-because they all thought Paul was the one who was going to hold it all together. So they had a choice of which side to come down on, and they chose Paul, and the past, and I cut'em off. You see they get under the delusion that they are the Beatles. They begin to think that they are the Beatles, that they are the source of power (McCabe/Schonfeld p. 72. For the Record).
• John soon afterwards bought, for a whim and twenty thousand pounds, two small uninhabited islands know together as Dornish off the northwest coast of Ireland. At considerable expense he had the colorful psychedelic horse-drawn wooden Sgt. Pepper wagon shipped to Dornish. It was the only standing structure on either island. John visited the islands once, traveling by helicopter to conduct a job interview with a potential manager of Apple. It was John's idea to hold the interview there. He later gave Dornish to a hippie commune (Flippo, p. 242).
• John: It's a business concerning records, films, and electronics and, as a sideline, manufacturing or whatever. We want to set up a system whereby people who just want to make a film about anything don't have to go on their knees in somebody's office, probably yours.
• JG: "How about this new organization, 'Apple'?"John: "Oh yeah. Well you see, our accountant came up and said, 'We got this amount of money; do you want to give it to the government or do something with it?' So we thought..."JG: "Which government?"John: "Oh... Any old government."John: "So we decided to play businessmen for a bit, because... uhh... we've got to run our own affairs now. So, we've got this thing called 'Apple' which is going to be records, films, and electronics-- which all tie-up. And to make a sort of an umbrella so people who want to make films about... grass... don't have to go on their knees in an office, you know, begging for a break. We'll try and do it like that... That's the idea. We'll find out what happens, but that's what we're trying to do."Paul: "If you want to do something, normally you've got to go to big business and you've gotta go to the big people, you know."John: "You don't even get there. Because you can't get through the door 'cuz of the color of your shoes."Paul: (laughs) "But you know, people are normally... Big companies are so 'big' that if you're 'little and good' it takes you like 60 years to make it. And so people miss out on these little good people. So we're trying to find a few."JG: "Paul, is that because of your background? You came from a poor background."Paul: "There's a 'little bit' of that."John: "It's not sort of..."JG: "If you didn't feel it as a youngster, you wouldn't feel it now."Paul: "Yeah that's right, you know. It's just 'cuz, we know what we had to fight to, sort of..."JG: "Was it tough for you to get started?"John: "Well, no tougher than anybody else, you see, but George said, 'I'm sick of being told to keep out of the park.' That's what it's about, you know. We're trying to make a park for people to come in and do what they want."Paul: (comical voice) "Symbolically speaking."JG: "Is he the spokesman, would you say, John?"John: "Well, if his spokes are working, he is. And if mine are..."John: "A policeman."(The Tonight Show Interview. 1968)
• John: The aim isn't to get a stack of gold teeth in the bank. It's more of a trick to see if we can get artistic freedom within a business structure" (JL Encyclopedia. Harry, p. 750).

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