Chapter VI

"And so the salesperson said, 'You can tune a piano, but you can't tune-a fish.' Get it? Tun-a fish?" I said. The others cracked up at my joke. I smiled.

It was around seven o'clock, and we had about an hour's drive ahead of us - I was so glad we were almost there. We were telling corny jokes, and boy, some of them were very corny.

"Hey, I got one," George said. We all quieted down to listen. "There was this man, and he worked in the M&M factory. He wanted to be the best M&M maker, and make the best M&M's in the world. So he inspected every single M&M he made, and was careful to throw away all of the candies with a 'W' on them." There was a pause, then we all got the joke.

"But all of them put upside down could've been 'w's!" Ringo said.

"Bet he lost a lot of good M&M's that way!" Paul added. We all laughed again.

"I've got one," Neil called from the front, laughing. "Why did the dinosaur cross the road?"

"To get to the other side!" we all replied in unison.

He laughed and shook his head. "Cos chickens weren't invented yet!" he replied. We all cracked up.

"Hilarious, Nell," George said, giggling with Paul.

"Okay," John said, "Here's one: Why did the bubblegum cross the road?"

We thought. "Cos it was blowing its own bubble?" Ringo replied. Paul snickered at that. Ringo just shrugged and smiled. John shook his head.

"We give up," I said.

"Cos it was stuck to the chicken's foot!" John answered. We cracked up at this joke too. I though that was hilarious.

"I'll remember that one. It's pretty funny!" I replied.

"My turn," Ringo said. "Okay. A boy told his mum 'I'm glad I wasn't born in Spain'. And his mum asks why. He replied, 'Cos I can't speak Spanish'. Get it?"

We all laughed. "Funny," John said.

"You'd be able to speak Spanish if you were born and lived there," George added. I shook my head and laughed again.

The joke telling went on for a while after that. I got out my bag of fabric and jeans to work on them. I finished one leg. George complimented me on it. I thought it looked really cool so far.

We reached the town in Colorado where our hotel was at 8:30. We were a little behind schedule.

Before going to the hotel, we stopped at a gas station (we seemed to go to a lot of those) to ask for directions to the place the Beatles were playing at. Mal and Neil went in.

When they came out again, Neil looked worried. They got in, and mal drove onto the road.

"What's wrong, Nell?" Paul asked.

"Well, the ampitheatre you guys are playing at is several miles out of town, and if we can't find a train or bus soon, then we'll be late."

"Uh oh," I said.

We drove around for a couple minutes looking for a bus stop sign or train tracks. None could be found.

I began to grow worried. What would happen if we were late? How come there weren't any buses or trains we could take? There had to be some kind of public transportation to the ampitheatre place.

"This's ridiculous," John said, "Why don't we just walk there?" Ringo laughed a little at that. No one else did. Neil was thinking about our dilemma, looking out the window.

We ended up in front of our hotel. It was 9:02. The show started at 9:30, Neil said, but the Beatles weren't the first act to play, so that gave us a little time to get there. We could be a little late. And we would be, I knew.

We stopped for a minute at the hotel so the Beatles could change into their concert suits. They piled out - I stayed in the van with Neil - and practically ran into the hotel. Mal got in the back of the van and pulled out a suitcase. I figured their suits were in there.

"So what other bands are playing with the Beatles?" I asked Neil.

He turned around in the front seat to face me. "This tour has some other groups on the bill. Maybe you've heard of some of the bands. There's the Righteous Brothers, Bill Black Combo, the Exciters, and Jackie DeShannon."

I nodded. "I've heard of the Righteous Brothers and Jackie DeShannon. Do other the other groups play at all of the concerts the Beatles do?"

"Aye, most of the time," Neil replied.

The Beatles came out of the hotel, laughing and half-running to the van. Mal was behind them. Wow - they had gotten changed really fast. In six minutes, we were driving around again, looking for a road to take us to the ampitheatre since a bus or train couldn't be found.

Paul and Ringo had piled in next to me. "So what's the name of the ampitheatre you're playing at?" I asked them.

"Red Rocks Ampitheatre, I think," Paul replied.

We all talked about different places they've played at as Mal rushed us to the Red Rocks Ampitheatre in Denver, Colorado.

* * * * * * *

"Ow," Ringo said, rubbing his ears. "Me ears are popping."

"Me too," Paul said.

Neil turned around in his seat. "We're going into a different altitude than you're used to."

"Great," John muttered. "Our ears are gonna explode."

My ears began to pop. Mal said we were almost there.

We bumped along the road for a few more minutes until we could see the ampitheatre looming up ahead of us - or part of it, anyway. Some buildings surrounded it. Mal drove us to the one on the left.

"Your instruments should already be in the dressing room, boys," Neil said. We stopped by an entrance. The Beatles hurried out of the van. Policemen were guarding our vehicle closely. Not a fan was in sight.

"Are ya gonna watch our concert, Lee?" George asked me.

"Hopefully," I replied, beginning to grow excited. A real live Beatles concert - in 1964! I knew I should ask Neil if I could go to this one soon.

Ringo shut the door and they ran inside the building. Mal pulle daround the side of the building and parked.

I could hear faint music playing. "What group is playing now?" I asked.

"The Righteous Brothers. They and a few other bands are on tour with us," Mal answered.

"Those other groups will play after the Beatles do," Neil added, "The Beatles go on at 9:30."

I couldn't hold in my question any longer. "So, will I get to see them play?" I asked, hoping.

"Sure, if you'd like," Neil replied. I smiled. Yes!

"Seeing them is about all you'll get to do, though," Mal added, shaking his head. I was puzzled.

"The fans scream so mch that you'll be lucky if you hear a whole song," Neil explained.

"Oh. So most of them come just to see them and scream?" I asked smiling.

Neil smiled. "Probably," he replied.

"Here comes the limo," Mal said. He turned to me. "If ya wanna watch the show, go with Neil into the limo. You'll get in that way."

I got out, and Neil did also. "Mal's not coming?" I asked. Neil shook his head.

"He has to look after our stuff and be ready to drive to the hotel," Neil replied. I nodded. The limo pulled up alongside the building. I saw the Beatles run into it, policemen carefully on the lookout for fans. Neil and I jogged over to it.

John opened the door for me from the inside. "Well, well. Didja find yourself a band to play with onstage, then?" he asked me, smiling. The limo sped through the ampitheatre gates.

I made a face at John. "I just want see you guys perform," I replied as I smiled. The others nodded. I saw they all had their instruments (except for Ringo, of course). I loved John's Rickenbacker - you know, the black one. Paul's bass is pretty neat, too. I play a little guitar, and I've always wanted a Rickenbacker guitar like John's. I love the sound.

We were through the gates now. Policemen surrounded the limo as the doors were opened.

"Enjoy the show!" Paul called to me as they stepped out.

"If you can," Ringo added. The door was shut, and the Beatles made a dash for the stage.

I could hear the screams of fans through the closed windows of the limo. "Gosh," I said. Neil nodded.

Police barricades were everywhere, as were policemen themselves. The driver pulled around to a part of the ampitheatre with a couple seats roped off. A couple of people were sitting there already.

"We'll sit here," Neil told me as we got out.

My hands immediately went to cover my ears. "It's really loud," I said. Neil didn't hear me. The limo drove away.

We sat in the roped-off seats, near the ground. My eyes went to the stage.

I saw the Beatles were plugging in. I suppose they were tuning up also, but I couldn't hear anything over the steady roar of fans - there at least five thousand people there, I thought.

My attention went back to the stage when I heard a faint chord. I saw the Beatles playing and singing, but I could bairly hear the music.

After a while, I recognized the song as "A Hard Day's Night". I turned to Neil. "This's amazing," I shouted to him.

"The noise or seeing the Beatles play?" he asked, laughing.

I smiled. "Both, actually," I replied. Even though I could bairly hear the music, I was happy that I was actually at a Beatles concert.

After the song ended, Paul and John went over to the sides of the stage, where policemen had something in their hands. "What are those?" I asked Neil.

"Oxygen canisters," he replied. "Because of the altitude, the police captain ordered that those canisters be brought cos the boys would run out of breath easily."

"Oh," I replied. Poor guys. A policeman handed Ringo a canister, which he used then placed by his drums.

Paul then stepped up to the microphone. He said something like "How do you do", but when he talked the screams increased all over (which amazed me - I didn't think it could get any louder!). The frantic and hysterical girls sitting to my far right were crying and screaming. A couple of girls were throwing something at the stage. Was the jelly bean rumor I had heard true? I looked closer, and saw a big bag of....jelly beans.

"They're actually throwing jelly beans at them?" I asked Neil.

He nodded. "It's a tradition, you know."

"Ow," I said, looking back at the stage.

Paul had finished talking and the faint strains of "Can't Buy Me Love" rang through the ampitheatre.

After that song ended and all four Beatles breathed in the oxygen things, John talked about something. He also did one of his little dances, which increased the volume of screams again. "I Feel Fine" was next. I tried to sing along to it because I liked this song, but it was basically impossible.

After a quick oxygen break, they went straight into "If I Fell". I smiled. I loved this song. Through what I heard, John and Paul were way out of breath. I saw all four of their faces glistening with sweat. It was really hot in here.

Ringo got a chance to sing after "If I Fell". I heard Paul say, "Now, let's hear it for our drummer Ringo!" Screams. Paul handed up a microphone and stand to Ringo, then breathed into an oxygen canister.

Ringo sang "I Wanna Be Your Man". The girls who were throwing jelly beans to my right must have been Ringo fans, because through the whole song they yelled "Ringo!" and threw big handfuls of jelly beans.

After the song ended, Paul took the stand down as Ringo breathed the oxygen. George sang next. The song was "Roll Over Beethoven". After that song, John, George, and Paul went to the sides of the stage to breathe into those oxygen canisters again.

"Poor guys," Neil said to me. I nodded.

They all got into their playing positions and sang "Long Tall Sally". Then, after they all breathed into those oxygen canisters, Paul announced, quite out of breath, that this was going to be their last song.

They blasted into "She Loves You", putting all they had into it. I clapped along. This song was more audible than the others.

Halfway through the song, Neil stood. "Come 'ed, Lee. We hafta leave now."

I stood. 'Wow,' I thought. I actually saw a Beatles concert!

I followed Neil into the heavily guarded limo we came in. Neil spoke to the policeman, and they let us in.

I heard the screams increase as the Beatles bowed after the song ended. Paul stepped up to the microphone and said something (probably thanking the fans for coming - I don't know, because from inside I couldn't really hear him say anything. Well, I probably couldn't have heard him say anything if I was outside the car anyway!). My ears were ringing loudly.

Then the Beatles ran offstage, guitars in hand. Police blocked several running fans from the car as the Beatles jumped inside. George ended up on my lap.

"Why hello, Lee," he said. I laughed, and he squeezed into the seat beside me. Paul was in the seat behind me, next to Neil, and John and Ringo sat sideways on the seats opposite the doors. It was a little scrunchy inside with six people and three guitars (the limo wasn't that big, you know), but it worked. The four boys were sweaty and were breathing heavily.

"So, how didja like the concert, then?" Paul asked me, wiping his face on his sleeve. Neil passed out towels that were found under his seat to the four sweaty boys and they all wiped their faces on them.

"It was really great!" I replied, smiling. "From what I heard, the music sounded okay."

They all laughed. "Glad you actually heard something," John told me.

"The fans were really loud. My ears are still ringing," I said.

"Your ears?" George retorted, rubbing his own ears. I smiled.

"We kept on running out of breath up there. The air seemed really thin," Ringo commented.

"I saw you guys use those canister thingies," I told them. They nodded.

"Those helped," George replied.

"Immensely," Paul added.

I turned around to Neil. "So, what's happening next?"

"Well, we'll stay for a while at the hotel. We need to leave at three o'clock to make the plane to Ohio," he told me.

"Three tomorrow afternoon?" I asked, hoping he didn't mean in the morning.

He did. "No, sorry luv," he corrected me. "Three in the morning." I groaned.

"You can sleep on the plane," George told me, smiling and patting my hand.

"Aye. That's what we always do," John added.

"Okay," I replied, smiling, "I feel better now."

We laughed, and the limo stopped when we were near the hotel because of fans - wow, there were a lot. Fans were crowded around the front of the entrance to the hotel. Police had barricades up, and the fans started screaming when they saw our limo approaching.

"Wow," I murmured, amazed at the fans who were outside. Some had posters, saying things like "Beatle or Bust", "I love Ringo", "Beatles Rock!" and the like.

Our driver turned quickly onto a back road, and stopped in front of a back entrance to the hotel. As the limo doors were opened, the screams of the fans increased.

We all piled out, the Beatles leaving thier guitars in the limo. Policemen opened the doors to the hotel for us. Other police officers were holding back the fans from entering the alley way.

A bell hop showed us the way to our rooms, on the top floor, which was floor ten. Mal had our luggage upstairs already. My room was near the end of the hallway, number 1010 - easy enough to remember for the time I'll be here. John and Ringo's room was on one side of me, and Paul and George's was next to theirs. Neil and Mal had a room a little ways down the hall.

My room was nice looking, with pale blue walls and flowered drapes. There was a little television in the room, and two king-sized beds were also in the room. I had a bathroom all to myself - the room it was connected to was empty.

I looked at the clock by a bed. It was almost eleven o'clock. I figured I shouldn't change into my pajamas tonight if we were going to fly part of the night. I could just put on something more comfortable later on.

I left my room to find the others and see what we were going to do until three in the morning.

I ran into Paul and Ringo in the hallway. They were going to Mal and Neil's room, so I followed them.

The door was open, so we went in. John and George were already there. A tea cart was by a bed, with tea and crackers on it. All four of the guys in there were sipping tea. I smiled.

We came in. Paul and Ringo went straight for the tea. I don't like tea very much, so I sat on a bed next to Paul. The tv was on; some corny sitcom was playing.

I took some crackers from the cart. "The members from the other bands should be here sometime," Mal commented.

The other bands? "Oh, you mean the other bands who played at the same concert earlier," I said. Mal nodded.

George lit a cigarette, and handed the lighter to John, who lit up as well. "Can we invite some people up here tonight?" John asked. Neil shrugged and nodded.

"Once the other bands get here, I'll get some birds up here," he replied.

Oh no. They're inviting fans up here? "You mean 'tweet-tweet' birds or 'scream-scream' birds?" I wondered, cracking a smile.

They all laughed. "Uh, 'scream-scream' birds," Paul replied.

So what am I supposed to do while the Beatles and those 'birds' are partying? Surely I don't want to hang around here while girls hang and smooch all over the Beatles and the other bands. I just shrugged.

We all sort of half-watched the tv and talked about random things. A knock came on the door a while later. "Who are you?" John called.

"BBC!" a voice returned. I heard laughter from the other side.

"So what does that stand for?" I asked Paul.

"The Bill Black Combo. They're one of the bands touring with us now," he explained.

"Clever - I thought of the radio station!" I replied, giggling. He smiled.

Ringo got up and opened the door, then just left it propped open. Two guys walked into the room. "Hi Bill and Bobby," Ringo said to the guys. The others greeted them also.

They sat on the floor. Paul introduced them to me. "Lee, this is Bill Medley" - he pointed to the guy on the left, then the one on the right - "and Bobby Hatfield. Fellas, this's Lee Baker." I shook hands with both of the guys and said hello.

"She's touring with us for a while," George said.

"You mean playing at the concerts?" Bobby asked. I shook my head.

"No, just travelling with them, I suppose you could call it," I replied.

"We're part of a group on tour with the Beatles and Jackie DeShannon and all those other bands. We're in the band called the Bill Black Combo," Bill explained. I nodded.

"Maybe sometime I'll get to hear your band perform at a concert," I said. He shrugged.

Ringo pulled out a pack of cigarettes and took one, then passed the pack to John, who passed it to Paul, and so on until everyone in the room except for Bobby and me was smoking.

Neil got up then, and so did Mal. "We'll be back," Neil said, leaving the hotel room door open as it was.

A girl then came into the room. "Why, hello there, Jackie," John said to her.

She came over and sat next to Paul and me. "Hi. I'm Leeanne Baker," I said to her, extending my hand.

She smiled. "Jackie DeShannon," she told me, shaking it.

"I'm, well, travelling with this tour right now," I said. Jackie nodded.

"Your parents let you?" she asked, smiling.

I smiled back, exchanging a look with John. "Well, actually, they don't really know about me being here, but then again they probably don't even realize I'm gone," I tried to explain without telling her that, hey, I'm from a different time.

"Nice way of putting it," George said softly to me. I laughed a little. The others heard and laughed too.

"Yeah, F.G.," John said. I rolled my eyes.

Jackie just smiled again, probably wondering why we were laughing. "Oh," she commented, shrugging and letting the subject drop. She and George began talking, and I took more crackers from the tea cart.

I heard muffled shrieks and giggles coming from the hallway. Several teenage girls came into the room. One saw Paul and just about passed out!

John was sitting on the couch by the tv. One blonde girl came up to him and sat down right beside him. Another girl sat down on the floor, where Paul was sitting now.

More people came in the room, and this time a couple boys did, too. "Heya," one boy said to Jackie. She rolled her eyes and looked at me.

"Wanna blow this joint?" she asked me.

I nodded. "Fine by me," I replied, standing. The room was foggy with cigarette smoke - almost all of the people in there were smoking. Girls were hanging all over the Beatles, and someone brought in a radio and it was blaring rock music - well, '60's rock, anyway (big surprise, huh).

Jackie and I left the room, passing Neil and Mal and some girls in the hallway. "We're going to the lounge for a while," Jackie told them.

Neil nodded. "Just be sure to meet us all back up here by three. No later, alright?" he said.

We both agreed. It was almost midnight now. We headed to the elevator, and went down to the main floor.

* * * * * * *

"So I opened my eyes, and I was in this strange hotel room," I said. Jackie's eyes widened.

We were at a table in the lounge, sipping Coke and talking. She had asked about the laughter and John's "F.G." remark earlier, so I began to tell her about what had really happened.

"You mean to tell me that you're from the future?" she wondered.

I smiled and nodded, pulling out the change in my pocket. Joackie looked at the dates on the coins. "Woah," she murmured.

"I don't know how or why it happened. It just... did," I told her.

She looked up at me. "So tell me about 1985. What's it like?"

I shrugged. "Well, it's just more 'modern', I suppose."

She laughed. "So who's the president of the United States?"

"Uh, Ronald Reagan, I think. And don't go telling everyone that!" I told her. We laughed. "Well, there are basically the same things there as here." I glanced at the tiny television set in the corner. A man was transfixed by the black and white screen. "Only everyone owns color televisions," I added.

"Everyone has a color tv? Wow," Jackie said.

A blonde girl approached our table. "Hi," she said, "Is this seat taken?"

We both shook our heads and the girl sat down. "People here are more polite than the people I'm familiar with," I muttered to Jackie. She laughed under her breath.

The girl didn't seem to hear us. "Thanks. I'm Katherine Jennings," the girl said, holding out her hand.

"Leeanne Baker," I said, shaking it.

Jackie shook her hand also. "Jackie DeShannon," she said.

A look of recognition crossed over Katherine's face. "Jackie DeShannon...hey! You sang 'When You Walk in the Room', right?"

Jackie smiled. "Yes, that's right."

Katherine smiled too. "I love that song! Wow, I'm glad I finally got to meet you. So, what're you doing here?"

"Well, I'm on tour right now, along with several other groups," Jackie replied.

"Any group I might've heard of?" Katherine asked. I looked at Jackie and smiled.

"Let's see. There's the Righteous Brothers, the Bill Black Combo, the Beatles....," she started.

Katherine's jaw dropped. "The Beatles, like the Beatle Beatles? Oh my gosh!" she half-screamed. "Oh, I love George! He's so fab!" Her arm then bumped my Coke glass, and it almost spilled all over the table. I caught it just in time, and only a little splashed out.

"Are they here - in this hotel?!" Katherine asked, her eyes wide with excitement.

I smiled, and started to reply. Jackie cut me off, though. "Naw, they're out, cruising the city. We'll be leaving soon, anyway," she said.

"Oh, too bad" Katherine replied, settling down a little. We talked a little bit more about the Beatles and music - found out that Katherine played the violin and wanted to learn lead guitar, like her favorite Beatle - then Katherine said she had to be getting home. I looked at a clock and saw it was 2:43.

Hey," I said, "We need to get ready to leave." We all stood up.

"See ya, Katherine," Jackie said.

"Nice to meet you," I added.

Katherine shook hands with Jackie again. "It was really great to meet you, Jackie. You too, Lee. Maybe we'll all bump into each other again someday in the future," she said.

"Always a possibility, you know," I replied. We all laughed, but only Jackie knew what I meant.

Katherine then headed to the exit doors. Jackie and I went to the elevators and went up to floor ten.

We passed a couple of girls in the hallway as left the elevator. Jackie said bye to me, then headed towards Neil and Mal's room. I went to my room to change into something else for the plane ride.

To my surprise, the door was open. And as I got closer to it, I heard some pretty wierd noises coming from my room.

I rolled my eyes. So who was in my room? Poking my head in, I saw the shades were drawn and there was a big shape on one of the beds. "Gee whiz," I said. Maybe I wouldn't be changing into something more comfortable - two people had taken over my room.

I just leaned against the doorframe, exasperated, and wondering why whoever was in there was in my room, doing something funky - ha - in my bed.

Then someone started talking in there. It was masculene - after a few seconds I realized it was John. He was saying something about the tour to whoever was in there with him.

"Eh, Lee," a voice said behind me. I turned, and saw it was Paul.

"Hi," I replied. "Do you suppose we should tell Johnny and his 'bird'" - I giggled - "that we need to be leaving soon?"

Paul laughed. "Sure," he said. Reaching his hand into my room, he flipped the lights on and off in the room.

"What the hell -" John cried out.

Keeping the lights on, Paul called out ina sing-song voice, "Oh, Johnny Boy, we need to get ready to leave now!" I giggled again.

"Oh, sod off, Macca. I'll get there," John replied. Paul smiled, and we went to Mal and Neil's room.

Let's see. In the next five minutes, we gathered up our stuff (John returned my room to me - but I had run out of time to change), had it all loaded up in the van, and we all were actually in the van. Pretty amazing, considering some female fans were still hanging around....

The other bands, I found out, were going to travel ont he same plane as us. Neil said we were going to Cincinnati, Ohio next. I was getting tired now.

We zoomed to the airport. I was in the front bench seat this time, next to John and Paul. On the way to the airport, I asked John, "So, how did you end up in my room?"

He blushed a little (really - I saw him!), then regained composure and retorted, "Ringo had already claimed our room."

Ringo hadn't been paying attention. "What? No talking about me up there, Lennon," he called from the back seat.

When we reached the aiport, we immediately boarded the plane. It was really nice inside with plush seats (first class, of course). I chose a window seat near the back. George was across the aisle from me. Paul was in front of me, but moved into to seat next to me when the other bands boarded. My ears popped as the plane began to take off.

"Tired, luv?" Paul asked me. My eyes were drooping.

"A little, yes," I replied. He reached up above the seat in a little compartment and pulled out a pillow.

"Here," he said.

"Thanks," I replied, tucking it under my head, I closed my eyes, and slowly drifted off to sleep to the sound of the plane's engines and the drone of voices around me.

Chapter VII

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