This is the prologue of a story I started writing a long time ago. I one day hope to come back to it – I’ve written over 12,000 words for it so it’d be silly to give it up…
I guess, all things in perspective, it started back in 1963, two years before the band really took off. Ian and I were still at the polytechnic, and we’d met a very pretty, nineteen-year-old American girl from the art college. Michelle from Maine, we called her back then. And, well, that was pretty much where the truth ended; she was actually just-turned sixteen at the time, and attended the secondary school round the corner from my house. Ian’s younger sister had recognised her one time when we were hanging out. Sixteen or nineteen, Chelle was gorgeous and, with hindsight, clearly had a thing for me which I should’ve acted on – she was beautiful. Ian and I used to skip lectures to get lunch with her and her friend, Polly (Christ knows how they got out of that school). By the time we found out that they were actually three (and in Pol’s case, four) years younger than they’d said, we didn’t really care. These girls were cool, and they’d become a pretty integral part of our friendship circle.
It was through them that we were introduced to Jean Tobey (dead now. Breast cancer in 1998, there was a tribute on the telly), seventeen at the time, who was 4’9”, and had the biggest sex drive (and Napoleon Complex) known to man. But she was the one who got us the spot at the White Rabbit which kickstarted our entire career. By which I mean, she did the manager a couple of ‘favours’ and we were booked.
Thinking about it, if I had pursued anything with Chelle, I wouldn’t even be in a position to write this. Even as family friends, I only spent so much time at the house with Jude and everyone because I was very, very keen on his sister, Sarah. However, as fate would have it, I saw right past my opportunity to make it with a gorgeous, blonde American, and instead got to see my childhood best friend stumble down a path of destruction that I – we – didn’t exactly help to prevent.