Chapter Nine - Come Back Tomorrow Night and Try It Again

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Lifting up the collar of his leather jacket, cigarette precariously held between his lips, Tony Sheridan cut an intimidating figure as he crossed Admiral Grove Street.

He was a temperamental young man, prone to punch-ups, but also a gregarious sort.  Tony enjoyed his women, drink, and pills. He was a hard rocker on and off stage, making a name for himself in the Hamburg music scene. He was in complete contrast to the young man walking alongside him.

Peter Eckhorn was polite and soft-spoken. An impeccable dresser, preferring to wear suits. He was also part of the Hamburg music scene. The young man was the owner of the popular Top Ten Club and booked bands for the venue.

They were in Liverpool to find a drummer. Tony needed a house band to back him during his residency in Eckhorn's club, and wouldn't be backed by just any group of musicians around. 

Peter also had other motives for this trip, intent on booking the Beatles for a return to the Top Ten.

"Where the fuck is it?" Tony spat out, speaking around his cigarette, stuffing his cold hands into the pockets of his jacket. They'd been looking for awhile. Turned down by Gerry and the Pacemakers drummer Fred Marsden, he'd suggested Ringo Starr, and pointed them in the direction of his house.

"This way I think." He replied.

"I hope so." Tony gruffly stated, taking a final drag off of his cigarette and flicked it to the pavement.

Peter stopped in front of a row house.

Tony took a deep breath, pausing before he knocked on the door. He was booked from January to the end of February, and only had a few days left in December to find a drummer if Ringo turned them down, he wasn't sure who they'd get to back him. A few moments later, Ringo opened the door.

(————)

Joan placed her portrait of Ringo onto a chair. "What do you think?" She walked over to him and stood by his side. 

Ringo didn't know how he felt about it. He'd been down these days. Being confronted with that image made him feel out of sorts. Looking at how miserable he appeared was an odd feeling. 

She'd captured his likeness, Joan was disappointed by his underwhelmed reaction. "You don't like it." She looked over at him.

"You think I look like that?" He softly asked, continuing to stare at the painting. 

"That's how I see you." She simply replied. 

He halfheartedly smirked. "The bloody life of the party." Ringo wryly stated.

"You've got a lot on your mind." She pointed out. They stood there for several moments in silence. "You brought the paperwork with you?"

Ringo nodded, slipping his hand inside his coat, and pulled out the folded forms from a hidden pocket. He handed it to her. Wanting to get a closer look at the portrait, Ringo stepped forward, pulling out his pack of cigarettes and lit himself one. He couldn't recall how long he'd felt this way, but he wanted to change and didn't know how to go about doing it.

Joan flipped through the pages. "You answered a couple of questions."

He'd heard her voice, but not her words. "What's that?" He distractedly asked.

"You filled out a few things. Your name," She smiled to herself. "Richard Starkey." 

"What did you think? That me mum named me Ringo Starr?" He defensively questioned.

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