Chapter 24 - Smiles Returning to the Faces

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On Saturday morning the Beatles were up early again, soaking up the morning sunshine and posing for photographers, splashing in the surf with fans while Mal and a line of police watched carefully from the sidelines. The Deauville Hotel was completely sealed by walls with fenced breakwaters. It was almost impossible for anyone to sneak in, and the hotel had hired extra security men to keep trespassers out. Hotel guests and employees were issued special passes to get in and out of the line of security guarding the property.

The boys had time for a snorkeling lesson in the hotel pool before the crowd of registered guests became too huge and they were whisked away again to a private home a few miles from the hotel. The owners were friends of a comedian the Beatles had met on their first night at the hotel, and they had offered their home as a getaway place.

Sgt. Buddy brought them over in a limo. The owners—a hotel builder and his wife, a former nightclub singer—offered them cold cuts and sodas and opened the sliding glass doors to the backyard where their thirteen-year-old son and a friend were playing basketball.

"Think you can take on the Liverpool Globetrotters?" John shouted, stealing a pass. The four Liverpool lads crashed the game of hoops, to the amazement of the two middle schoolers. For fifteen minutes it was the Beatles against the junior high boys, until one of them elbowed Paul in the eye going for a rebound, and Brian called an end to the game.

Everyone jumped into the pool, except for one of the boys, who quietly sat at a table reading a Spider-Man comic. After a few minutes Ringo climbed out of the pool and joined the boy, and they sat reading his comics together. What a story that kid will have at school on Monday, Marisol thought with a smile.

While the rest of the boys horsed around, Cynthia and Marisol relaxed poolside. Cynthia was having a bit of a rough time of it. She said the atmosphere when they first arrived at JFK airport was frightening. "We all had our hands to our ears when we stepped out of the plane," she remembered. "But the noise wasn't from the jets. It was the fans— thousands and thousands of fans."

Later in New York she was left behind after the band raced away in a car. She and George's sister had to call themselves a taxi to the Plaza Hotel and run upstairs to their rooms to get money to pay the driver. When they first arrived in Miami, Cynthia was again separated from the group when a security guard held her back.

Cynthia said John was angry with her. "Don't be so bloody slow next time," he'd told her. "They could've killed you."

"Amazing as he is, chivalry is not always his strong suit," Marisol mused.

After lunch the Beatles were rushed back to the hotel for a press conference while Marisol and Cynthia waited upstairs in the rooms. The boys returned forty-five minutes later looking frustrated and irritable.

"What is it with these American journalists?" Paul asked, a look of disgust on his face. "Their questions are even more stupid than the ones back home."

"Never a word about our music," John added. "All they want to know about is Ringo's rings and our hair."

"We've been musicians for six years," George said, "and they treat us like some kind of novelty act."

Paul flopped onto the couch beside Marisol. "That press conference, I thought it would never end. The questions were mind numbing." He dropped his head against the back of the couch and stared at the ceiling. "I tried my best to look like I gave the slightest fuck what anyone was going on about, but as soon as the topic of our hair came up, I was done. I was killed by boredom. I was sitting there, quite literally dead."

Marisol made a sympathetic noise and rubbed his shoulder while Brian gave the band the rest of the day's itinerary. They had a camera rehearsal followed by a promotional photograph session, and finally a dinner meeting with Capitol record executives to set up recording schedules and record releases planned for the future.

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