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Chapter 19
Beyond the Reaches of Fame

I did not update last week because Tripod was taking care of a virus that infected my website.  Normal updates are here at last.

"Like he said HIGH expectations," George pouted, "no wait that's Ringo's dick cause he hasn't been laid in so long. People are so focused on how long his nose is they get distracted from the tent inside his pants."

"Gee George you're a lil' edgy, aren't you?" Ringo rested a hand on his shoulder comfortingly, "there's no need to RELEASE all your emotions on me, okay? Take it to the hooker like you normally do and I am sure you'll get your normal discount for bein her best customer and all."

I could see feel the tensions mounting as everyone began to pick each other apart over little insignificant details of no importance. I was praying that Neil would come in and alleviate the stress building up in everyone from our growing hunger. I was already jumpy once today for not having anything in my stomach and I feared if my name was mentioned in an unflattering light I might repeat the process once again.

"How come pretty boy is gettin exempt from all the name callin?" John interrupted loudly, "everyone here has insinuated I am a pervert, George is gettin a prostitute, and that Ringo has a big nose which prevents him from getting laid but no one has said a word against our dear Paulie."

"I didn't think this was Nazi Germany where the beautiful people are exempt from the shots that us low folk have to deal with, did you George?" Ringo turned to him, seeking his support. He was practically about to have a barnie with him only a few seconds ago but how quickly things change when you feel justice is not being served.

"No I wasn't aware that they enacted that policy either," George agreed, "but perhaps we missed him cause he's still attached to the umbilical cord of his dead mother or is that her dick?" Luckily Neil came to my rescue or I might not have been able to hold my tongue long enough to avoid a black eye.

"Good thing I got here when I did," Neil said setting down the food on the table, "if looks could kill Paul would be dead right about now. What happened while I was gone? Never mind it's probably better that I don't know."

"Trust me you're a lot better off bein naïve on this one mate," Mal agreed quickly, "I thought we would have a barnie if you got here any later than you just did. I was ready to break it up right when you walked in that door."

"Less talking more passing out of food," Ringo barked banging his fork and knife against the table like a hungry child, "I don't care what you brought from that Italian as long as you brought a lot of it."

"Where's the fettuccini alferedo?" George asked rummaging through the bag Neil set on the table, "You better have gotten me some or I'll beat the livin shit out of you. A hungry man should not be tested."

"I didn't order any fettuccini alferedo because you normally order spaghetti and meat balls," Neil answered hesitantly, "I would have asked you lads what you wanted but then you would have had to wait two hours to eat it and I could let you go out there with empty stomachs, could I?"

"You could but I wouldn't recommend it," John answered matter-of-factly, "they get ruthless when they haven't eaten especially Paulie. Once his sugar level gets low he gets to be one ornery bastard."

"Luckily he had a snack earlier or you would see a room full of headless Beatles," Ringo teased, "hmmm that doesn't sound quiet right I better rethink it. Well regardless of what cliché you use it wouldn't be pretty."

"Hey, I think we strayed just a tad from what's REALLY important here," George growled crossing his arms over his chest, "I wanted fettuccini alferedo and now I have to eat spaghetti with meatballs. The one time I want to try something different and Neil doesn't ask. Well I guess it just goes to show you that change is the devil's sport."

"That's a rather strong opinion if I ever heard one," I pointed out while serving myself from the discarded salad container, "would you mind passin the container with the pasta? We have less than five minutes to eat and I haven't even been severed yet."

"Here you go," John said reluctantly handing me a half empty container of pasta, "but save a lil' for me cause I want seconds. All this talking about food has given me an appetite." After that, the room was relatively quiet except for the slurping of food from four very hungry Beatles. We were accustomed to having to eat our food very quickly so it wasn't that big a deal. You never knew how long you would have to wait between meals so you didn't eat leisurely. But then leisure isn't exactly something you hear in the Beatle circle to often either.

"Sorry to disturb you but they are ready for you on stage again," Mal said popping his head around the corner swiftly, "can't keep 'em waitin to long or we'll end up with another one of those riots and the one last week was more than I can handle for the rest of this whole tour."

"We're comin," I said quickly shoving the last bite of pasta in my mouth before I grabbed my bass in the corner, "some on lads we would want to let the beast get to rowdy or we might not come out alive this time."

"We wouldn't want the beast to get to rowdy?" John asked rhetorically, "Sounds to me like a certain Beatle doesn't want then to get too wild cause of a certain incident whish shall remain nameless. Let's just call him Paul M to spare him from embarrassment. No that's too obvious we better call him P McCartney."

"Well thank you for keepin me confidence, err I mean P McCartney, as your top priority," I snickered at his ridiculous comments, "I am sure he greatly appreciates your extra efforts to keep his identity a secret."

"Any time," George answered for John who was busy stuffing the remnants of his pasta in his mouth before picking up his guitar, "we better stop talkin about what is GOING to happen or it will at this rate. We are goin slower than molasses on a cold winter day."

We all filed out back onto the stage to pour out our next set. Not to mention pour out some perspiration, what was wrong with these people just cause it's the middle of winter doesn't mean that the inside of a building won't get broiling hot and muggy from all the bodies compacted into a tiny space. I fanned my shirt back and forth between numbers to let it trickle down my hair-laden chest. One of these days one of us is bound to have a heat stroke under these conditions and not just your typical teenage fan either. I pushed my dripping bangs out of the way and breathed in heavily as we got ready for our second to last number.

"She loves you yeah, yeah, yeah. She loves you yeah, yeah, yeah. She loves you yeah, yeah, yeah," we sang, as I winked at a cute petite blond in the second row or so towards the middle. She seemed more than thrilled to receive this meaningless sign of affection or more accurately flirtation. She screamed loudly and whispered something to her friend I couldn't quiet make out with the loud wale's of moaning fans.

Anyroad, I smiled politely seeing how much longer I could keep the game up before getting into trouble. She was more than ecstatic about all my attention and appeared to be bragging to her friends that Paul McCartney winked at HER. Even though her friends' body language said, she was exaggerating and the wink had been meant for someone else. The game continued until I was bored of the monotonous routine and just lucked at the imaginary face somewhere in the center of the crowd.

I never made eye contact after that episode only played my bass and whipped out the McCartney PR smile every now and then. As the last coarse yell escaped John's lips on "Twist and Shout," we bowed politely and ran behind the curtain. Only one more show and then its all over we can go back to the hotel and I can finally relax for a change. No crazy fans or unusual dreams, just pure peace and quiet void of all concentrating thought.

"Two down three to go," Ringo said, toweling himself off, "it's a bloody circus out there, it is. Paul smiles at one fuckin bird and they all go into a heated frenzy. Absolutely crazy, I just don't understand it at all."

"He smiled at me," George imitated, punching John in the arm, "I mean his eyes were all over me and what gorgeous eyes they are too. Oh, look at how big and brown they are I could just melt. I mean he was practically undressing me with them."

"In your dreams I bet he wasn't even looking at you," John said in a high-pitched falsetto voice, "if he was looking at anyone it was I. I think he winked at me in the middle of "Twist and Shout." Although it kinda looked like he had somethin in his eye, so I'm not sure. But either way he still definitely wasn't looking at YOU."

"You're just jealous that he was starin at me," Ringo teased, adjusting his imaginary chest, "I'm the one with the body after all. You girls don't stand a chance against me, but if you like I might be able to use my connections to get you with a different Beatle like Ringo. Isn't he cute?"

"Sod off you wanker," George growled, "up to then we had a pretty accurate representation of what was goin on out there those last two numbers. You HAD to fuck it all up by bein cocky, didn't you?"

"Yeah, you selfish prick," John echoed angrily, "you had to benefit yourself in stead of makin it more realistic by replacin you name with mine and then it would have been perfect."

"Look whose interest are bein met now?" I corrected, "Once again the hypocrite within is strong in you Lennon. Nevertheless, I don't see why this conversation is so important in the first place. They are just a bunch of girls actin like teenagers act."

"Ooh defensive are we?" Ringo smiled smugly, "Looks like someone was more interested in a certain blond than just flirtin with her. You're such a slut McCartney, one minute you're fuckin some maid at the hotel and the next you're droolin over some ditzy minor."

"I was just toyin with her I wasn't REALLY interested," I explained, "just seein how long I could get away with flirtin before she passed out. It's not as fun as when we all do it in the car though. Those birds are batty."

"I don't know why you're tryin to justify yourself Macca," George commented, "once we come up with an opinion its not gonna change no matter what you say. Especially with John or Ringo, so you might as well save your breath."

"Hey, that's not true," John glared with contempt; "We change our minds all the time. So what if we are a lil' stuck in our ways once in a while that doesn't mean we're stubborn brats who don't listen to what you say, right Ringo?"

"That's ri..." Ringo started before John interrupted him as if he hadn't been recognized at all. John can be a real bastard at times at the expense of others or his point.

"Now where was I?" John continued "Oh yeah, we don't take kindly to things that don't have truth to them and won't stand this unjust name calling. We demand a lil' respect and won't rest till we get it."

"Thanks for illustratin your point," I replied sarcastically, "for a minute I was convinced that George was right. Thanks for settin me straight I don't know what I'd do without you bringin justice to the British ideals."

"You're welcome" John answered sincerely. Sometimes I wondered exactly how much of what I intended to be sarcasm was in his thick skull. He seemed to create his own views on what her wanted things to mean. Nevertheless, there was no sense in arguing it, after all, it would just be a circular conversation of repetition, and I didn't want to subject myself to that on my short break.

So I decided I would contemplate what had happened the past twenty-four hours. Just trying to focus on that amount of time made my head spin like a hurricane. Well perhaps its best to retrace my steps and then stop when something significant happened. Let's see, I finished a couple of shows. Not much exciting there, so I decided to move on. Hmmm... I talked to that strange bird before I caught my taxi. That was confusing to say the least. Why did I kiss her? I couldn't come up with any decent answer except I followed an impulse. She handled it gracefully enough but somehow I fear we will meet again with an awkward silence for not clearing it up.

However, what was much more significant about the episode was my guilt. Or was my guilt more important? Perhaps there is something with this bird I can't see because I am so obsessed with Miss Stevens. On the other hand, maybe this bird is only here to show me I am obsessed with Miss Stevens and direct me to someone else. Or is Miss Stevens the right one and I'm just to scared of commitment so I am leaving myself other exits incase this doesn't work out and she hates me.

Alternatively, all of these fruity French girls are here to make me appreciate the simple complexity of my relationship with Jane. Or maybe they were supposed to finally drag Jane and me apart. That makes the most sense for the present, but wait maybe I just want them to break us apart because I am still stuck on the fear of commitment thing. Okay so trying to rationalize my relationships with women was a bad idea. All I got was a headache and a head full of questions and possibilities.

"Earth to Paul," John yelled as I drifted back into reality, "Paul are you with us, or has an alien from another planet invaded your body? Because if they did I better get me a cage because you'll be the biggest freak show in England."

"Or at least the alien inside him will," George corrected thoughtfully, "assuming we can eradicate 'em from you without damaging 'em. He's our ticket to easy street, we won't need to sing after we finish this marketin scam."

"The government's not gonna be happy that we discovered their plan," Ringo cleared his throat, "to invade pop icons with aliens to influence the youth to buy various products and support government policies."

"I knew there was a strange reason for wanting to buy Marlboro ciggies with a micro-tip finger," George exclaimed enthusiastically, "those theories of nicotine are just a cover up to keep people away from the REAL answer of a bloody government conspiracy."

"Well that's the fuckin system for you," John sneered distastefully, "always out to fuck you any way they can. Whether it's your human rights, bloody money, or damn soul they take every bloody thin they can get their fuckin hands on those greedy bastards."

"Well let's try and look past the government conspiracies of the world and realize that I am in fact Paul McCartney and no one is brainwashing the youth using my body as a vessel, okay?" I said irritatedly.

"Whatever you say intergalactic being from a far off universe," Ringo teased, "but he does have a point why would extraterrestrial intelligent life want anything to do with OUR government. They travel millions of miles to make deals with the most incompetent humans on earth, not likely. I retract my original theory and say they are in it by themselves to takeover from the inside out. No pun intended."

"Yeah anyone who possesses the power to travel across the galaxy most likely wouldn't want to deal with people of their sort," George agreed, "it's an insult to their intelligence, not to mention if the government found out intelligent life existed they would blow them the fuck up or do weird biopsies and shit to 'em."

"As entertainin as it might be to listen to the most ridiculous bullshit story I have ever heard in my life," Neil interrupted, "you all need to get ready you're on in less than five minutes and you aren't even dress properly."

"Yes mother superior," John said obediently fluttering his eyelashes innocently, "how utterly awful it would be if we weren't on time. I would be so dreadfully embarrassed I wouldn't no how to handle it. Oh, the mere thought makes me want to do twenty Hail Mary's. I try ever so hard to be a good boy."

"Keep your blasphemy to yourself Lennon," Mal said short temperedly, "we're about to go to people's house all over Europe and the last thing I need is for you to start and international conflict. Or spectacle for that matter so just do your best to stay quiet."

"I don't see your damn point on how the fuckin volume of my voice is gonna make a shit of difference to the bloody content flyin out of it," I whispered sarcastically, "you might as well tell him not to talk at all if you don't want to arise an international incident and just sing the songs when we're on cue."

"Actually that doesn't sound like a bad idea," Neil said rubbing his chin carefully, "What do you think about it Mal? Do you think it's worth a go or are our expectations to high for this low life?"

"Hey I'm no low life," John defended bitterly, "the politically correct term is scum bag and I expect a sincere apology right now for offending me. Not to mention hurting my feelings like I am some sort of animal."

"Perhaps it's best that he not comment on that," Ringo chuckled, "I think all of us here have a pretty good idea of what John is capable of and how long he holds a grudge when he looses at his own game."

"Hey, I haven't lost a game of checkers yet mate so you better watch what you say," John corrected, "all I want is a lil' respect is that too much to ask. Give credit where credit is due, alright."

"Yes, John you are the supreme checker player now can the four of you go on stage or so I have to drag you by 'em wigs of yours," Neil said, reaching towards John's uncombed hair, "I'll do it, if you don't cooperate."

"You can tear down me character, make rude comments to me face, or even say I am wrong, although I admit that one would be a lie," John said in a dignified tone, "but don't EVER touch me wig, is that understood?"

"Yeah, yeah," Mal mumbled as he pushed us along, "now get on with it before I call Brain here to escort you personally. You know how much he likes to leave important business matters to baby-sit you lot."

"Most people consider bein in our presence an honor, hell a privilege," George mouthed off defiantly, "so I don't see why our manager would be any different. Even if he is a lil', well you know."

"A fruity queer bastard," John added roughly, "the likes of that sort will be stuck in hell for a long time. Men aren't supposed to be attracted to one another. It's just a sin against nature, and I personally want to barf me guts out merely at the though of our manager playin for the wrong team."

"Well let's not beat around the bush then," Ringo said compassionately, "honestly John sometimes you can be a cruel insensitive bastard. Especially to people you don't know or understand, I think it's a fear that you are or will be like 'em one day."

"Sigmund Freud that was a wonderful analysis but really we are a bit short on time so if you wouldn't mind can you spare us the conclusion until after the show," Neil quickly spat out before John could defend himself or comment and lead us to the stage entrance, "You boys have one minute and then you're on. Good luck, you'll need it."

I bit down on my finger nervously as I watched the host jabber away making stupid jokes or silly commentary. I couldn't help but wonder what impression we were going to make on the majority of Europe today. So many people would be watching us, after all Musicorama is a smash down in the greater European countries. Not as big as the Ed Sullivan show, mind you, but a hit all the same.

The butterflies were devouring my stomach as I nervously wrenched my hands in a circular motion trying to stay calm. I always had nerves right before we went on, even back in the good old days at the Cavern. However, as soon as you went on stage you knew you were all right. A wave of relief would sweep over you and you can then suddenly forget all your troubles because for that one brief moment you follow your heart and true passion.

That flush of ecstasy never dies no matter how many times I get up on stage. I feel like a very different person, a completely confident person. By nature I like to be praised for my efforts, it just enlists my confidence. At the same time, however I have a bit of an ego, overconfidence because of the praise from others. You couldn't have one without the other from my experience at least. I didn't have a split personality or anything of that sort, just an unknown void that remained unfilled over the years.

"Finally the moment you all have been waiting for," the host lips puckered as he dwindled on the last part of his moment to shine, "all the way from Liverpool I give you The Beatles."

I stood there still frozen as my three companions stepped onto the stage. They motioned me to follow them but my feet felt glued to the floor. As I slowly dragged them, they pounded against the wooden floor like a ball and chain the prisoners wear. I stepped into the blinding sunbeams as a roar of thunder filled the hysterical theater. My face perked into a cheery grin as the fear dripped from my body and the fulfillment burst through my veins. So, the stage once again cured me from the terror it inadvertently caused.

The cycle complete I picked up my instrument prepared for anything and everything, they could possibly throw me. That rush was so intoxicating, so addicting, so exhilarating, you wish it could last forever but it is only a quick orgasm of pleasure as you step in front of the microphone and reality hits you in the face. I glanced up and took in my surroundings but the faceless crowd did not evoke any emotion. My heart began pounding however when the combined blurs added to a memory that haunted my days and nights.

I felt my fingers tremble as my surroundings continued to fall victims to the plague of mirage running rampant through my mind. I could not stay in focus as my mind wandered again to the illusion in front of me. Life is filled with illusions. Some we create to avoid pain while others are caused by lack of sleep or traumatic experiences. I dont know what caused this particular illusion only that it was to real for comfort and had to be stopped or I wouldn't be able to sing tonight. I was on the verge of passing out as the count to three faded into the bright white light.