17. Chains

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Chains, well I can't break away from these chains

Can't run around, cos I'm not free

Whoa, oh, these chains of love won't let me be.



Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Wild Reception as The Beatles arrive in USA!

I slide the newspaper under Minnie's nose as she sits opposite me in the studio canteen. She glances at it, then her eyes flick back to the magazine she's reading. There's no other reaction.

'Seen it?' I ask, raising my eyebrows.

'Mmm, yeah, I've read it,' she says, sullenly. She pushes it back towards me with one finger.

I take it and fold it up, studying her. Last week she wouldn't stop talking about the Beatles imminent arrival. Now they're here, she suddenly couldn't be less interested.

'What's the matter?' I ask her.

'Nothing.' Still pretending to be enthralled in the magazine. I lean over to look at it. It's an article on how to apply eye shadow.

'Minnie?'

'What? Hannah, I'm trying to read.'

'What's the matter?' I repeat.

She finally looks up at me. 'What's the matter? My sister won't fuckin' well shut up for two minutes.'

'Alright, sorry I spoke,' I say defensively. Minnie goes back to her reading. 'Have you fallen out with him or something?'

'Who?'

'John, of course.'

She pulls her face at me. 'Don't be daft,' she says, quietly.

'Are you going to try and call him then?'

She sits back in her chair with a sigh, closing the magazine. She shakes her head. 'No, I don't think I'll bother.'

'What? Why?'

'Do you see all those people? Four thousand at the airport. There's no way I'm getting through. What am I supposed to do? Call the hotel and ask for John Lennon?'

'He didn't give you their phone number?'

'I don't suppose he knew it, but no. He didn't give me any info on how to get in touch, which probably means he doesn't want me to.'

I purse my lips. Undoubtedly, it would be difficult to get in touch with them, but it's unlike Minnie to give in without trying. We're going away as well, in three days, down to Florida to do some rescheduled appearances which were cancelled before Christmas. That only leaves this weekend to arrange some sort of reunion. I'd left it all to Minnie. I'd assumed she'd arrange something with John and we'd all meet up like old friends. Now it looks like that's off the cards, I can't help but feel disappointed. I'd be nervous of meeting George again, but I think I would still like to see him, see how he is. I can't contact them myself. It wouldn't look right, not now I'm with Ricky.

'Does that conclude the Beatles interview portion of the evening?' Minnie asks testily.

I nod, but resolve to question her about this change of heart again later. We've got a live TV performance this evening. The last one of the season. It wouldn't be a good idea to fall out with Minnie before that.

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