She got the rep with the Beatles, and then it stayed. THE groupie. Walls covered, imitative haircut, listening and listening to Paul’s sneeze, the absolute works. Although, as far as I know, she never saw them in concert.
Years later, people still say, “Hey, groupie!” when Jeanie walks in. They still reminisce as she meets them at the check-out counter, the china shop, the Social Security Center where she files for retirement.
She never changed to another group. She never mentioned them once they broke up. I don’t even know how she reacted to John’s and George’s deaths.
She never sold the paraphernalia or the record collection. It was all still on the walls, in the record cabinet. And she got one of those turntables that plugs into a computer so she could preserve it all and send backups.
Just the other day I was at her place. I caught her rearranging the photo display.
“Just for fun?”
“It’s all in the juxtaposition. You see, the dynamics right here, in the left-facing George and the right-facing Ringo. It’s all about interconnection.”
I stifled my “ooooooooh-kayyyyyy . . .”
Last month Jeanie talked to me about “embracing her bohemianism”.
“How can you be the town’s most well-known groupie and not embrace the bohemian?
She had no answer to that.
Then the fire hit and her whole house went and Jeanie stayed at my place until she could find a new place of her own.
“So, what’ll you do about your collection?” I asked the night after, as we sat in the living room casually drinking and pigging out on chips and dip.
“I don't know yet. I feel like I’ve just gone through a divorce.” She tossed down another gulp of beer.
Then the next days became awfully busy. Every time I was in town for errands someone would come up to me. Times fixed, directions to their house. Trunkfuls of the stuff.
I admit that I was glad when Jeanie found a new place. I was glad when her new furniture arrived. I was glad when I pulled up at this new place in the neighbor’s pickup and had her help me haul out all the posters, records, photos, bubble-gum cards, mementos, paraphernalia, lava lamps, wigs, Lonely Hearts Club band insignia and dump it in the living room. Each carefully labeled to indicate the contributor. When she was through bawling we set it all up, she plugged her new turntable into the new computer, and we listened once again to ‘We Can Work It Out’.
published 12 November 2012