I had been transported into and through a time warp. When I finally popped out, the bright blue of my California skies were replaced by a steel grey cool. Thank goodness for time machines. And to think, I did not even need 1.21 gigawatts. Faintly in the distance, I could hear something.
I hadn’t heard these tracks in forever, but this time it seemed real. More real than reel. Climbing up the ladder bolted into the side of my five-story brick tenant building, only now did I realize that I was back in London. But this was a London I hadn’t seen, couldn’t remember. Savile Row looked different today. And yet the music was familiar. I wanted to dance.
But I climbed instead, following some pied piper I could only see in my head, feel in my heart. I noticed people milling about below me. A couple buildings over, I could spot a couple large cameras with a crew set up behind them.
Something big was happening. And I started bipping. And bopping, all the while, climbing.
I just happened to catch a bathroom mirror as I climbed past a window. I didn’t even look like myself. I was middle-aged, graying at the temples, my skin pasty-white, wearing horn-rimmed specs with a grey slacks, black wingtips, a topcoat and bowler. Decidedly not cool, perhaps playing the fool. What had happened to me? Where were my threads? Who was I?
The music beckoned as I buried those thoughts of unfamiliar apathy. But seriously, I didn’t even look like myself! Maybe this is what Doc meant by losing yourself upon time-travel, messes with the space-time continuum. At least, inside I was me; and I was hoping against hope that what I was hearing was what I thought was playing.
This five-story climb seemed much longer than five stories. But the music was getting clearer and cleaner. I’d heard this song before. The crowds were getting bigger below. And people started sticking their heads out their windows, all from some bygone time. Some even were beating me to their respective rooftops.
Something big was going on.
And there they were!
“Jojo was a man who thought he was a loner
But he knew it wouldn’t last.
Jojo left his home in Tucson, Arizona
For some California grass.”
I lived in Caifornia! What was I doing in the UK? Never mind I thought. I was in London. On a rooftop. In 1969.
With moptops that had long since morphed into long hair, whether sporting a mustache or a beard, dressed slick as only they could, I was looking at what cooler than cool looked like, listening to what cooler than cool sounded like.
Ringo slammed his drum kit, stylish in his red raincoat. George and John slashed licks on their guitars, furry coats adorning their slender frames, George wearing his trademark green pants, the apple of them all. And bearded Paul belted the lyrics, slapping that bass, trading lines with Lennon. Billy Preston kept them all together on the keyboards.
For 42 minutes, I was in heaven, never questioning how or why I got here. They performed “Get Back”, “Don’t Let Me Down”, “I’ve Got a Feeling”, “One After 909”, “Dig a Pony” before coming back to “Get Back”. I left soon after the cops tried to break up the love fest, waiting till the foursome plus one decided it was over. I knew something no one else there knew. This would be the last time the Beatles would ever play together.
Right before I left, I heard John say, “I’d like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves and I hope we’ve passed the audition.” In a world with people, some cool, Lennon was by far the coolest of them all.
Today only seemed like yesterday.