Daily Update: Monday, January 30th, 2017

01-30 - Rooftop of Apple Records

Again we have no Saints to honor today. On this date in 1969, the Beatles performed what turned out to be their last concert on the roof of their Apple headquarters in central London.

The Beatles were finishing up the work on what would be their last studio album, Let It Be, with keyboardist Billy Preston on board for the last ten days. Various ideas had been tossed around for a location for the live performance of their material, but it was not until just days before the show that they settled on performing on the roof of their Apple headquarters in central London. The unusual venue made sense; they had also commissioned a studio in the building’s basement (where some of the final Let It Be recordings would be finalized), and cables could be snaked from the roof down the stairwells to the multi-track recorder there. So, the Beatles and Preston tromped up to the Apple rooftop accompanied by a few friends, associates, and Michael Lindsay-Hogg’s modest film crew. The air was so chilly that George Harrison and John Lennon opted for heavy fur coats, and Ringo Starr wore a bright red rain slicker. The audio was recorded onto two eight-track recorders in the basement of Apple by engineer Alan Parsons, and film director Michael Lindsay-Hogg brought in a camera crew to capture several angles of the performance, including reactions from people on the street. When the Beatles first started playing, there was some confusion from spectators watching five stories below, many of whom were on their lunch break. As the news of the event spread, crowds of onlookers began to congregate in the streets and on the roofs of local buildings. While most responded positively to the concert, the Metropolitan Police Service grew concerned about noise and traffic issues. Apple employees initially refused to let police inside, ultimately reconsidering when threatened with arrest. As police ascended to the roof, the Beatles realised that the concert would eventually be shut down, but continued to play for several more minutes. Paul McCartney improvised the lyrics of his song “Get Back” to reflect the situation, “You’ve been playing on the roofs again, and you know your Momma doesn’t like it, she’s gonna have you arrested!” The concert came to an end with the conclusion of “Get Back”, with John Lennon saying, “I’d like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves and I hope we’ve passed the audition.” The Beatles rooftop performance quickly became an iconic rock touchstone, often imitated by other bands since that day.

Yesterday afternoon our LSU Lady Tigers beat the Arkansas Lady Razorbacks in their College Basketball game by the score of 53 to 43; our LSU Lady Tigers (15-6, 4-4) will play an Away College Basketball game with the Tennessee Lady Volunteers (13-7, 4-3) on Thursday, February 2nd, 2017. Richard gathered up the trash and wheeled the trash bin out to the curb, and our New Orleans Pelicans lost their NBA game with the Washington Wizards by the score of 94 to 107.

On getting up to get ready for work I did my Book Devotional Reading, and on our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading and said the Sixth Day of my Novena to Saint Blaise. On getting to ADR I called the Pharmacy and renewed three prescriptions. When we clocked in, Richard was on Three Card Poker; I was on Mini Baccarat, and batted a thousand, having no guests for the full eight-hour shift. On my breaks I continued reading Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry via Overdrive on my tablet.

After work I picked up one prescription at the pharmacy; one of the other ones is on order, and they said that the third one could not be renewed until February 8th. On our way home I finished reading Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry via Overdrive on my tablet, and Richard got gas for the truck. When we got home I ate my lunch salad and read the morning paper; I then came to the computer and did my Book Review for this Weblog and for my Goodreads and Facebook accounts for Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry. I also took Richard’s music and photos off of his old phone and put them on his new phone, ordered an Otterbox and Screen Protector from Amazon for his new phone (Galaxy S7), and got the MP3 of the new Rolling Stones album Blue & Lonesome. Richard and I then watched Jeopardy!; he went to bed immediately after Jeopardy!, and I will join him as soon as I finish this Daily Update.

Tomorrow is the Memorial of Saint John Bosco, Priest (died 1888), and tomorrow is the birthday of my friend Linda in West Virginia (1957). We may try to sign the Early Out list, but as I have eight hours less than Richard does (due to calling in yesterday), we might not both get out. On my breaks I will start reading the Ebook of What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe on my tablet. In the afternoon I will try to get some stuff done. Our New Orleans Pelicans (19-29, 2-6) will be playing an Away NBA game with the Toronto Raptors (29-19, 9-1).

On this Monday Afternoon our Parting Quote comes to us from Geraldine McEwan, English actress. Born as Geraldine McKeown in 1932 in Old Windsor, Berkshire,  her maternal and paternal grandfathers came from Ireland. Her father, a printers’ compositor, ran the Labour Party branch in Old Windsor, a safe Conservative seat. McEwan won a scholarship to attend Windsor County Girls’ School, then a private school where she felt completely out of place, and took elocution lessons. As a teenager, McEwan became interested in theatre and her theatrical career began at age fourteen as assistant stage manager at the Theatre Royal, Windsor, where she met Hugh Cruttwell. She made her first appearance on the Windsor stage in October 1946 as an attendant of Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and played many parts with the Windsor Repertory Company from March 1949 to March 1951, including a role in the Ruth Gordon biography play Years Ago opposite guest player John Clark. McEwann made her first West End appearance at the Vaudeville Theatre in 1951 as Christina Deed in Who Goes There! In 1953 she married Crutwell. She first appeared on television in a BBC series, Crime on Our Hands (1954), with Jack Watling, Dennis Price and Sonia Dresdel. In 1957 she took over from Joan Plowright in the Royal Court production of John Osborne’s play The Entertainer during its West End run at the Palace Theatre. McEwan appeared at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon during the late 1950s and early 1960s, during the period when it was evolving into the Stratford venue for the new Royal Shakespeare Company formed in 1960, and at The Aldwych, the RSC’s original London home. During the 1958 season in Stratford, she played Olivia in Twelfth Night in a production directed by Peter Hall. McEwan’s performance split contemporary critical opinion between those observers who considered it “heretical” and others who thought it “revolutionary”. In the same season at Stratford, McEwan portrayed Marina in Pericles and Hero in Much Ado About Nothing. She returned to the theatre in 1961 to portray Ophelia in Hamlet, opposite Ian Bannen as the Prince, and Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing with Christopher Plummer as Benedict. In a production of Sheridan’s The School for Scandal directed by Sir John Gielgud in 1962, McEwan replaced Anna Massey as Mrs Teazle during the run at the Haymarket Theatre, London; her husband was played by Sir Ralph Richardson. After an American tour this production was staged at the Majestic in New York in early 1963, and was McEwan’s debut on Broadway. Her husband was the Principal of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art from 1965 to 1984. Back in England, she appeared with Kenneth Williams in the original unsuccessful 1965 production of Loot by Joe Orton, which closed at the Wimbledon Theatre before reaching London. After this debacle she joined the National Theatre Company, then based at the Old Vic, following the suggestion of Sir Laurence Olivier, then its artistic director, and performed in eleven productions over the next five years. She appeared with Olivier in Dance of Death, staged by Glen Byam Shaw and first performed in February 1967. A film version, with the same two leads, was released in 1969. During her first period at the National, she also portrayed Angelica in William Congreve’s Love for Love, Raymonde Chandebise in Georges Feydeau’s A Flea in Her Ear, Millamant in The Way of the World and Vittoria Corombona in John Webster’s The White Devil. McEwan took the lead role in an adaptation for Scottish Television of Muriel Spark’s The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1978). Her other work for television in this period included roles in The Barchester Chronicles (1982) and Mapp and Lucia (1985-86) with Prunella Scales as Mapp and McEwan as Lucia. In 1983 McEwan played Mrs Malaprop in a production of Sheridan’s The Rivals at the National Theatre in a production by Peter Wood which also featured Michael Hordern as Sir Anthony Absolute. For this role, McEwan won the Evening Standard Award for Best Actress. She made her directing debut, in 1988, with the Renaissance Theatre Company’s touring season, Renaissance Shakespeare on the Road, co-produced with the Birmingham Rep, and ending with a three-month repertory programme at the Phoenix Theatre in London. McEwan’s contribution was a light romantic staging of As You Like It, with Kenneth Branagh playing Touchstone as an Edwardian music hall comedian. McEwan won another Evening Standard Best Actress Award in 1995 for her role as Lady Wishfort in a revival of Congreve’s The Way of the World, again at the National Theatre. With Richard Briers, she starred from November 1997 in a revival of Eugène Ionesco’s absurdist play The Chairs in a co-production between Simon McBurney’s Theatre de Complicite and London’s Royal Court Theatre (then temporarily based at the Duke of York’s) who had staged the British premiere 40 years earlier. This production had a brief run on Broadway between April and June 1998; McEwan was nominated for a Tony Award. Her later television credits included Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit (1990), for which she won the British Academy Television Award as Best Actress in 1991, and Mulberry (1992-93). She was also in the Cassandra episode of Red Dwarf (1999), playing a prescient computer. McEwan played the demented witch Mortianna in the film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991). In Peter Mullan’s The Magdalene Sisters, (2002), she played the role of Sister Bridget. McEwann was selected by Granada Television for Marple (2004-2007), a new series featuring the Agatha Christie sleuth Miss Marple. She announced her retirement from the role in 2008 after appearing in twelve films. In 2005 she provided the voice of Miss Thripp in the film Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit and again in A Matter of Loaf and Death in 2008. McEwan was reported to have declined an OBE, and later, a DBE (in 2002), but she did not respond to these claims (died 2015): “I was very shy, very private [as a child], but I realised [acting] was going to be a way in which I could manage the world. I could protect myself by losing myself in other people.”

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