This week on #askNat we are hearing from Jim Trawiki in Austin, Texas who has sent me this inquiry:
In the film Let It Be, there is a scene during the rooftop performance of two women sitting in the street below, near a red phone booth. One of the women is blonde, and is wearing dark sunglasses. For years I have wondered if this woman was indeed Cynthia Lennon. It’s not unlikely that Paul (or even John) but more likely Maureen (Ringo’s wife), who was ON the roof, would have told Cynthia that The Beatles were playing on the roof that day, so she wouldn’t miss their final performance. Any insights?
I have to admit, I was somewhat skeptical about this one at first. But then, after a few more email correspondences back and forth with Jim, I found out exactly the scene he was referring to and his curiosity started to make more sense.
During that January 30th, 1969 performance on the rooftop of Apple Headquarters in London, The Beatles played “Get Back,” “Don’t Let Me Down,” “I’ve Got A Feeling,” “One After 909,” “Dig A Pony” and then a second run through of “Get Back.” There were actually more repeat performances but these were cut out of the film. During the performance of “Don’t Let Me Down,” the cameras scan the busy street below to show the reactions of the passers-by to the surprise lunch-hour mini-concert. It is this part of the film that Jim mentions above. Just before the camera returns to the roof and John comically flubs the first line in the final verse of “Don’t Let Me Down,” we see these two young women pictured below sitting on a street-side bench seemingly enjoying the music as they observe the crowd that is building up around them. And yes, the blonde looks a lot like Cynthia Lennon (see photo).
Looking at the picture of Cynthia to the left which is from around the same period and despite the different shade of blond, I can still see the resemblance and why Jim wonders if it is her. However, I’m sure some will say “no way!” It’s a moot point anyway though because there is nothing to substantiate that it’s her. One might also ask themselves if they think Cynthia would have even wanted to be there so soon after John had replaced her with Yoko Ono. I’m thinking “no, probably not.” However, when the Let It Be film made it’s premier at the London Pavilion on May 20th, 1970, Cynthia was in attendance, along with Paul’s ex-fiance Jane Asher. Needless to say, The Beatles themselves, with their break-up already official, didn’t bother to go themselves, which is a little sad.
Extra info: Ringo Starr’s wife, Maureen Starkey and John’s future wife, Yoko Ono, were present on the roof during the Beatles performance. I’m not sure where Paul’s fiance Linda Eastman was or George’s wife Pattie Boyd.
Thank you for a great topic for discussion, Jim! If anyone has anything to add please do so in the comments section below. Thanks all for reading!
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Here are some Amazon links to read more on, or purchase music or media related to this post:
1) John – Cynthia Lennon’s newest book (published in 2006) about the truth between her and John.
2) Let It Be 2009 remaster of original 1970 LP (CD or vinyl available). Includes three tracks from rooftop concert: “Dig A Pony,” “I’ve Got A Feeling” and “One After 909.”
3) Let It Be… Naked – 2003 issued re-working of Let It Be LP removing production by Phil Spector and allowing for “stripped-down” versions of the music (available in import vinyl or CD). Includes four tracks from rooftop concert: “Dig A Pony,” “I’ve Got A Feeling,” “One After 909″ and “Don’t Let Me Down.”