7 – Blog 20 – Sins of the Father

Margaret Thatcher, Tory Opposition Leader 1978

“the British character has done so much for democracy, for law and done so much throughout the world that if there is any fear that it might be swamped, people are going to react and be rather hostile to those coming in”, as well as “in many ways [minorities] add to the richness and variety of this country. The moment the minority threatens to become a big one, people get frightened”

Paul McCartney & Wings – Let ‘Em In

Someone’s knockin’ at the door
Somebody’s ringin’ the bell
Someone’s knockin’ at the door
Somebody’s ringin’ the bell
Do me a favor, open the door and let ’em in
Let ’em in now, oh

Someone’s knockin’ at the door
Somebody’s ringin’ the bell
Someone’s knockin’ at the door
Somebody’s ringin’ the bell
Do me a favor, open the door and let ’em in
Yeah-yeah, now, oh, let ’em in

Sister Suzie, brother John
Martin Luther, Phil and Don
Brother Michael, auntie Gin
Open the door and let ’em in

Oh, now sister Suzie, brother John
Martin Luther, Phil and Don
Uncle Ernie, auntie Gin
Just open the door, let ’em in
Someone’s knockin’ at the door
Somebody’s ringin’ the bell
Someone’s knockin’ at the door
Somebody’s ringin’ the bell
Do me a favor, won’t you open that door and let ’em in
Oh, let ’em in, let ’em in, let ’em in, let ’em

Well now sister Suzi and brother John
Hey, Martin Luther, Phil and Don
Uncle Ernie and my auntie Gin
Said, open the door, let ’em in
Well, someone’s knockin’ at the door
Somebody’s ringin’ the bell
Someone’s knockin’ at the door
Somebody’s ringin’ the bell
Do me a favor, won’t you open that door and let ’em in
Oh no, come on, let ’em in, let ’em in, yeah-yeah

Someone’s knockin’ at the door
Come on, come on, let ’em in
Oh, let ’em in, let ’em in, let ’em in, yeah
Oh yeah, oh yeah

Songwriters: McCartney

Let ’em In lyrics © Mpl Communications Ltd.

Nothing like performing to make one feel good about oneself. Hardly a moment to feel smug before it is time to plan the next show. Luckily, the creator and director of the Montreux Music Festival, Claude Nobs, is in the Knobs, our pickup ensemble of roadies and guests who just show up. He runs the Montreux Casino. Their welcoming stage is available for whatever purpose we can conceive.

“Friday or Saturday?” Claude is so accommodating. “Will the Knobs be performing?”

“Of course,” Freddie declares. “We love the Knobs. Have you been practicing your tambourine?”

“Naturallement.”

“Let’s have a full rehearsal on Friday afternoon,” I suggest.

“You,” Claude, pointing at me, is no fan after the last show ended with a minor punk rock riot. “I thought you moved to Lausanne.”

“No. We’ve been having music lessons by the Lake here in Montreux. David Bowie brings his son and teaches songwriting after swim lessons.”

“Are those the same kids who ruined the Queen show?”

“They are learning Sufi dance movements to become whirling dervish, not the violent thrashers that scared the seated patrons last time.”

Claude shakes his head. Once he realizes David Bowie will perform, he agrees to everything we want. He is just a tambourine player.

Back at the Lake House, the Knobs are pleased to learn that they will open for Bowie. We discuss what songs to play and agree that covers are better at this point in the band’s development.

“Who’s ready to sing?” I stare at Billy, who just shakes his head. I swear that Jock, Tommy and Steve hide behind Billy, all afraid to step up.

“In that case, I’ll be the Knobs singer for this gig. But, I better hear you singing backups because soon someone must step up. It won’t work for the Knobs having some dumb American teenager telling you what to do and getting all the recognition. Com’n, guys.”

I turn to Roger and Deacy smirking on the couch.

“You agree to let Billy sub for Brian while he’s on maternity leave?”

Queen will be an unannounced guest between the Knobs and Bowie’s headlining show.

Roger and Deacy agree to let Billy substitute.

The inadequacies of the Lake House studio become evident with three different lineups trying to practice for the imminent show on the weekend. Freddie and David need a modern recording complex in Montreux. Claude arranges investors to create Mountain Studio, based on the prospect of Montreux becoming a major music business hub. He provides space for the studio at the Montreux Casino. Knob Records is mothballed as all three recording stars, Freddie, David and all, appear to have major labels vying for their future work. The record companies will pay for the star’s recording time, an instant income for the fledgling studio.  

After a long discussion, the band lineups are set. Nothing is said about punk rock, but I am with the Knobs. I remember a political song with an American perspective, ‘My Uncle Sam.’ I am ready to perform at a moment’s notice. With Freddie and David only playing a few songs each, the Knobs will have to carry the show. It will be non-stop rehearsals for the rest of the week.

Since adult musicians never get up in the morning, we join Amar at the Lake for swim lessons. The presence of Bowie who drives Duncan over from Lausanne proves to be a draw for the local kids. David sits under the willow tree and helps the musically inclined to get into their groove. Kids start bringing guitars, which David is happy to tune and encourages them to work on their fingering. He always ends his sessions with an acoustic version of ‘Heroes,’ in English, German and French depending on his mood.

 The swim instructors have accomplished the trick of carrying their mates on their backs while stroking butterfly and undulating like dolphins. They swear a white dolphin is swimming with them.

Their students rush along the shoreline cheering them on, ignoring us under the willow tree. Lake Geneva is truly magical.

Jim always has the grill going when we return. Bowie’s Turkish bandmates arrive at lunch time. After eating, the older musicians disappear to smoke pot. They are being discreet due to Amar and Duncan’s presence, and I guess as well, for Mike and me. They return boisterous and ready to rehearse. It confirms my instinct that smoking pot relaxes musicians and helps inspire the collaboration necessary for a band to click.

After I promise to listen in to the call, Mike phones his dad in Encino Hills, west of Los Angeles. I reassure him that no matter how it goes, it is right thing to be reaching out. His fear of his dad finding him and dragging him back to the States has become a dark cloud hanging over my friend. With Brian May in London, I have a bedroom again. Mike has been staying with me as Bowie ‘hotel’ is crowded with the Turkish musicians there to play the Casino show. Mike’s fear of his dad keeps him from enjoying the rock n roll circus we are all living.

“Hi Dad,” Mike greets Joe Jackson. “Sorry I haven’t called. I got the chance to travel once ‘The Wiz’ wrapped up filming.

“What makes you think you can take off and not let anyone know where you are,” are the first words his father utters.

“Sounds like you missed me,” Mike tries to lighten the mood.

“I need to know where you are. Pepsi is ready to do a commercial.”

“I’m done with that dad,” Mike becomes more assertive. “I’m in a new band and we plan to go on tour.”

“You will not, I repeat, not do any such thing. We have a contract and I say where and when you play.”

“And you keep all the money,” Mike fires back.

“God damn it, Mike. I work my ass off for you. That money is for your education.”

“Dad, I’ll be twenty this fall. I haven’t been in school since we left Gary. I’m not going to college.”

“You tell this new band of yours if you sing with them or they even use your name, I will sue them for every penny they’ve got.”

“That is why I am calling. The band’s lawyer is petitioning to end your contracts with me. I was a minor when they were signed and unable to give legal consent. He asked me to call you so we can work this out amicably. It is time to be on my own.”

“You little shit. When I find you, you will wish we never had this conversation.”

“Dad, how can you say that. All of us have always done what you told us to do. We made millions but we have nothing. I’m going on tour for world peace, not doing some dumb Pepsi commercial.”

“You get your ass back here. World peace, hah. You’re declaring war on your own family.”

“Please, dad. You should be proud of me. How much money do you need? You have millions.”

“You accusing me of stealing from you and your brothers?”

“We know what you have done. I don’t care. I just need you to release me from my contract.”

“You tell that lawyer he don’t know who he is be messin’ with. I’s Joe Jackson.”

“I am trying to make this work for you, Dad. I can’t be doing commercials. I am with real musicians. I wrote a new song that is already number one. I gave it away so the band will get the money. I am no longer your slave.”

“You’s Black Trash, that what you are. Tell me where you is. I will find you and you won’t ever look pretty again.”

“No, Dad. Just let the lawyers handle this.”

“My lawyers will have you home before your lawyer even knows I got you.”

“I want this, Dad. You can’t stop me now.”

Mike hangs up and looks at me.

“Well, that went well. Don’t you think?” I try to cheer him up.

I grab him in a hug before he can collapse into my arms.

We sing Freddie’s new song ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’

‘Don’t Stop me now

I am having a good time’

“We got him now. I am a witness that he threatened to harm you several times. Let me write it down, so Miami Beach has it word for word. Let’s see. First he said, “When I find you, you will wish we never had this conversation.” Next, he said, “I will find you and you won’t look pretty ever again.”

Mike is still dazed. I call Miami Beach from Freddie’s phone and relate what I heard on the call.

“Well, we tried a reconciliation. What he said is clearly verbal assault. You did good, Laz, copying down his words. But we won’t use it in the brief we file in LA to void the contracts. We will let him know that we have a witness to verbal assault. He will be advised to let Mike out of the illegal contracts.”

‘Can Mike go on tour with us?”

“We’ll get an injunction to forestall any legal action his dad takes. There is so much money involved, he’ll be crazy to contest us in court. Public records show that the Jackson Five have been earning millions every year since the mid sixties. I talked with Barry Gordy, head of Motown. He’s on our side. He has Quincy Jones ready to produce new albums with Mike.”

“That is great. Everyone is on Mike side. He feels so alone here. He’s terrified of his dad.”

“We are doing everything through our London and NY offices. No way Joe Jackson will find Mike until all the legal details are finalized.”

“Just keep us advised.”

“You are something else, Laz. Henri says you lost your memory but you seem to know everything about the music business.”

“I’m just Mike’s friend. I need him as much as he needs me.

“Well, I’m your friend, too. Your arrival heralded the events that now dominate my career.”

“You don’t owe me a thing.”

“Ha.’

I explain what Miami told me. Mike seems a little relieved. I suggest we visit our friends at the Lakefront to cheer him up. He even gets his bathing suit so we can ‘dolphin’ near the shore.

“Did you hear about the white dolphin that swam with the instructors?”

“Wow.”

He is such a kid.

We swim and hang out. They know we are friends with Bowie and Mercury but no one recognizes Mike yet. Maybe because of the dreadlocks or maybe because all Black kids look alike. Several ask Mike why he seems sad.

“I had a fight with my dad,” he explains.

“That sucks. My dad  is always complaining that I need to get a job,” one of the locals commiserates with Mike.

“My dad said he’d kick my ass,” Mike shares.

“What an asshole. Call the cops if he tries.”

Mike smiles and seems better.

Amar is there. He and Mike work on their whirling dervish moves. Mike shows Amar how to do what he calls the ‘moon walk,’ backwards and forward without seeming to move his feet. Amar finally gets it and adds spinning at the end. He looks like he is a flying saucer.

Some of the kids ask Amar to teach them. Several are girls. Amar gets all flustered and whispers to Mike and me that girls are not allowed.

“Fuck that,” Mike defends the girls. “I’ll teach them.”

He grabs me, saying, “You need to up your spinning.”

I join the rebel girls but still stumble like a drunk. Mike laughs and the girls point at me – relegated to the bench.

As we walk back to the Lake House, Amar and Mike mock my lame dancing.

“White boy got no rhythm,” they agree.

Henri has called. He is adding a second show on Friday night due to demand for tickets. He has limited us to 50 Standing Room Only for the Lake kids. We will have to select the best whirlers to stand in the pit before the stage. Henri has put back the seats he removed last time.

With the first show moved up a day, we need a set list for the Knobs. We all congregate in the lounge. Jock suggests we do ‘Smoke on the Water,’ Deep Purple’s ode to the torching of the Montreux Casino by the Mothers of Invention in 1971. We can celebrate the restoration and launch of our band’s road to glory.

“We need to change a few lyrics,” I comment, “We can’t refer to Claude as ‘Funky Claude was running in and out, Pulling kids on the ground.’

“How about, ‘Fireman Claude was running in and out, pulling kids from the fire.”

“And change ‘the Rolling truck Stones thing just outside
Making our music there,’” Billy suggests, “to ‘the Mountain Studio now inside, making our music there.’”

“That fits,” I agree, “Claude can use it to advertise the new studio.”

We are fast going commercial.

“Let’s do a reggae song,” I want us back on track.

“We can’t do ‘Pressure Drop,’ Bowie is doing that,” Billy knows. “How about Bob Marley’s ‘One Love.’

“We shouldn’t use Christian symbolism as in ‘Let’s get together to fight this holy armageddon
So when the man comes there will be no, no doom. Have pity on those whose chances grow thinner
There ain’t no hiding place from the father of creation.’”

“Change ‘armageddon’ to ‘conflagration.’” Jock suggests. “And, ‘when the man comes’ to ‘when the time comes.’”

“How about ‘Woodstock” next?” Billy suggests. “Change Yasgur’s farm to Freddie’s house and ‘By the time we got to Woodstock,’ to

‘by the time we get to London
We will be half a million strong
And everywhere there is song and celebration.”

“The show is going to London?” Steve asks.

“Sure, once we achieve world peace,” I laugh.

“Good luck with that.”

“We’ll slowly build the show’s crowd from here to West Berlin, Paris, Rome, Istanbul, Tehran, Prague, Amsterdam, and finally London,” I dream.

They all just stare at me. We decide to do ‘All Along the Watch Tower’ by Hendrix, ‘Let Them In’ by Paul McCartney & Wings, and finish with Queen’s ‘Keep Yourself Alive,’ which will bring the real Queen on stage to switch out with the Knobs.

“No,” Mike objects. “We want to do a song for the dervishes. I’ll sing ‘Ben’ to Laz. After the first verse we’ll switch to Amar which will get him started whirling. We’ll get everyone singing it to their whirling partners. By the end, all the Dervish will be whirling. Then do the Queen song to get everyone into it. The Knobs, except for Billy, will exit and Queen will make their surprise appearance.

“After the Hendrix, I’ll do my punk song to really rile the crowd. Mike’s sweet Ben will calm them down until Amar gets them whirling.”

“We need to try it out,” Mike knows how to prepare.

“I’ll get Henri to set up dress rehearsals at the Casino on Wednesday and Thursday. Tomorrow we’ll choose the fifty whirlers to rehearse with us.”

“We need to go over the songs today,” Billy insists. I can tell he is stressed about playing in place of Brian May. It is good to spread your wings.

I pull Mike aside.

“You’re going to sing to me?” I smile at him.

“’ a friend to call my own
I’ll never be alone
And you my friend will see
You’ve got a friend in me.’

I answer back, ‘You’ve got a friend in me.’

We practice religiously with the Knobs, even my punk song. Bowie says he likes it, waiting with the Turks for us to finish. He asks me to stay and rehearse with him.

“What do you call this band?”

“The Young Turks,” he laughs.

“How about Laz and the Young Turks.”

“You’re just singing back-up, kid.”

 “Well, how about The Young Romanian and Turks.’

“Okay. The Young Turks and Romanian.

“I’m headlining,” I crow.

“I’m headlining with special guests Queen. You’re in my back-up band.

“I’m backing up the headliners,” I am totally happy just to play. “Do I get paid?”

“You need a work permit.”

“Oh,” my enthusiasm is slipping away.

“We’ll pay you under the table. You’re an illegal alien.”

“I’m in the Spiders from Mars?” I am happy again.

With two days of practice under our belt, it is time for a dress rehearse.

“What do I wear to dress rehearsal?” Amar is unsure of the concept. “Do my robes count as a dress?”

Everyone pouts which makes him pout.

Luckily, we are doing well, choosing Sufi dancers at the Lakefront. The final cut comes Wednesday afternoon. Two kids are bereft at being cut.

“We have tickets and don’t need to get for free,” several Sufi dancers save the day so their friends can be on the list. Having kids come out of their seats will encourage other kids to do the same. Assigned seating is anti-Rock’n’Roll.

Wednesday’s dress rehearsal is scheduled for 2 pm. We show up with the kids at noon. We explain to Henri that we are only going to practice the whirling dervish choreography. He shrugs and opens the concert stage. Claude Nobs shows up with his tambourine, thinking we are starting early. We press him into service as percussionist. Knobs rule.

Amar arrives with his sisters who have been busy with their sewing machines making robes for all the Dervish. They look around anxiously, hoping to catch a peak of Bowie. The bands are not due for two hours. Amar orders them home, unfulfilled celebrity stalkers.

Mike and Amar stand with the kids, all in their whirling robes. It is an early Harry Potter wizarding convention, except the robes are all white. I stand at the mic with Claude behind me.

“The opening song is ‘Smoke on the Water,’ I announce. Claude gasps and looks very unhappy. I turn to him and count off, “One, two, three, four.”

‘We all came out to Montreux…’

At the line ‘Funky Claude’ I substitute our change to ‘Fireman Claude was running in and out
Pulling kids from the fire.”

He laughs and his tambourine shaking livens up.

We run through our set list with me singing and Claude shaking. Amar and Mike work with the kids, pairing them off to move and shake without any actual spinning.

When we finally get to Ben, Mike comes on stage and sings the first verse to me. Then he calls Amar on stage, and I sing to him. Mike and Amar start whirling on stage as I continue singing. Mike saves the moon walk for the show, as I continue to sing with Mike backing me up,

‘Laz, the two of us need look no more
We both found what we were looking for
With a friend to call my own
I’ll never be alone
And you my friend will see
You’ve got a friend in me
(You’ve got a friend in me)

Mike, you’re always running here and there
(Here and there)
You feel you’re not wanted anywhere
(Anywhere)
If you ever look behind
And don’t like what you find
There’s something you should know
You’ve got a place to go
(You’ve got a place to go)’

I turn to the whirlers awaiting their cue

‘I used to say “I” and “me”
Now it’s “us”, now it’s “we”
I used to say “I” and “me”
Now it’s “us”, now it’s “we”

Don’t let people turn you away
(Turn you away)
Don’t listen to a word they say
(A word they say)
They don’t see you as I do
I wish they would try to
I’m sure they’d think again
If they had a friend like you
(A friend)
Like you
(Like you)
Like you’

Writer(s): Donald Black, Walter Scharf

I repeat the final verse with all the kids singing along. Mike and Amar have been seriously twirling on stage. They jump into the crowd in front of the stage and everyone is twirling as I repeat the final verse and chorus over and over.

Time for our finale, Paul McCartney’s ‘Let Them in.’

We expect an encore which will be Queen’s ‘Don’t Stop Me Now.”  Roger and Deacy will replace their Knobs counterparts. Roger will do a thundering drum roll. It is Queen time.

The other bands are wandering in and sitting in the front row seats. All they see is the twirling mass of Lake kids. They shrug and wonder how this is Rock and Roll.

I will explain it all later. Claude leads the kids to the café for a free lunch. They are real troupers.

“Thanks for the Deep Purple rewrite,” Claude compliments me on the way out. “I like it much better.’

“You deserve better.”

“And the promo for Mountain Studios.”

“Things are moving right along.”

He shakes his head and rushes to catch the kids before they invade the Casino gaming rooms.


Henri has all the robes collected from the kids, to be stored at the Casino until the performances. Amar and Mike keep their own, citing their custom fit.

“Like bespoke couture,” I mock them, remembering that Debbie Landis told me I designed the togas in ‘Animal House’ from bed sheets. What an odd memory.

The kids leave and the musicians take over the stage. Roger, Deacy and Freddie have yet to arrive. The Knobs start setting up for their rehearsal. I send Henri to fetch Claude who is feeding the Lake kids in the café. A photographer follows Henri.

“See the paparazzi,” I motion to Mike. He pulls a knit Rasta-man cap from the band gear, pulling it down to cover half his face. Miami has yet to get the injunction he promised against Joe Jackson disrupting our show. As far as the Casino is concerned Mike is just one of the Lake kids.

“You guys are going to be on stage before the Knobs start as I explain why we are promoting immigrant tolerance. Once the band starts, jump into the crowd of your friends down front.”

They nod and wait for their friends to return from lunch. They will explain the choreography to the kids.

Billy and the others setup. Claude returns with his tambourine.

“Do you really need me to practice with the band?”

“Are you kidding. This is your band. You are the world’s premier impresario. We need your opinion on how well we are playing and any suggestions you have. If there is something you don’t like, we need to know.”

He is surprised, being used to bands telling him how they want things.

“You are as important as everyone else on stage.”

We plan to open with ‘Smoke on the Water.’ I motion 1 2 3 4

‘We all came out to Montreux…

It is a shambles. Each musician comes in at a different time

“Stop,” I yell. “Steve count it off with your drum sticks.”

Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.

‘We all came out to Montreux…’

We make it about halfway through the song. Billy stops and looks disgusted. We all skid to a stop. Even Claude is unsure when to stop shaking the tambourine.

“I hate this song,” is Billy’s excuse

“I used to hate it too,” Claude agrees.

“What if we do the Wings song first?” I suggest. “It is about immigrants, not burning down the Casino.”

“Don’t remind the audience,” Claude agrees.

“Let’s just get through the set list and not worry about anything. We can make changes tomorrow,” I decide.

It is not a great rehearsal. Songs we have practiced do not come together. The Knobs were so great backing up Freddie and making the original members worry that they may be replaced. Maybe my expectations are too high. Billy seems the most out of sorts, stopping and starting at times when he seems lost in a song. I believe the pressure of substituting for Brian May is getting to him. We’ll work on his confidence back at the Lake house. I worry that all the time I spend with the kids plus time with Bowie makes them think I am not into the Knobs as much as before. It has been two weeks since I came out of the coma. I have memories now.

As we play the Woodstock song, I get Billy to go crazy on the Hendrix psychedelic licks. They are the perfect lead into my punk song, ‘My Uncle Sam.’ He evens rips a few leads of the ‘Star Spangled Banner,’” before we do Dylan’s ‘All Along the Watchtower,’ Hendrix style again. Billy’s virtuoso guitar playing is back. Time for the ‘Ben’s my friend’ ballad with Mike and Amar. The kids up front respond with duets to each other and a frenzy of whirling dervish spins. We save the moonwalk flying for the show.

I look around to see the Queen musicians and Freddie backstage and motion them to be ready to switch with the Knobs on ‘Keep Yourself Alive.’ I start the lyrics and motion for the drummers and bassist to step away as Roger and Deacy slide into their places,

‘Take off

I was told a million times
Of all the troubles in my way
Mind you grow a little wiser
Little better every day’

Freddie joins me at the mic and we sing to each other.


‘But if I crossed a million rivers (Freddie)
And I rode a million miles(Laz)
Then I’d still be where I started (Freddie)
Bread and butter for a smile (Laz – I step away)


Well I sold a million mirrors
In a shopping alley way
But I never saw my face
In any window any day
Now they say your folks are telling you
Be a super star
But I tell you just be satisfied
Stay right where you are

Keep yourself alive, yeah
Keep yourself alive
Ooh, it’ll take you all your time and money
Honey you’ll survive

Ow’

Queen is off and running. I sit at the MOOG and riff with Billy as rhythm guitarist on the keyboard. They do a quick medley of the greatest hits – ‘We will Rock You’/Champions/Bohemian Rhapsody/Killer Queen. After twenty-five minutes of rock hall of fame, they take a break, At the show Freddie will chat with the crowd and play the two new songs ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ and Another One Bites the Dust. The kids in the front of the stage make a great audience as they dance and spin and at the last song some pull off disco moves while the others stand there upset because disco is not rock.

Bowie comes out and joins Freddie with ‘Under Pressure’

The kids cheer their guitar teacher and hero singing with the super star band Queen. It will be even greater at the full concert.

Freddie bows and David takes the mic still hooked to the mic stand. I join him for a duet of hits. The band plays the medley ‘Wild-eyed Boy/Young Dudes/Pretty Things’

The Young Turks take their places on stage.

“Amar get up here. This song is for you and all your friends.”

“Salam Alaikum,” Amar shouts into the mic.

“Get on with it, Amar,” his friends in the pit yell back.

The Young Turks play the intro to ‘Yassassin’.

David and I join Amar at the mic for the call and return

‘Yassassin – I’m not a moody guy
Yassassin – I walk without a sound
Yassassin – Just a working man, no judge of men
Yassassin – But such a life I’ve never known

We came from the farmlands
To live in the city
We walked proud and lustful
In this resonant world’

Mike joins us. He and Amar start their whirling Dervish duet. They put their heads together and spin around each other,   

breaking apart, back and forth together. Like Astaire and Rogers they spin to the left for ten seconds, spin to the right for twenty seconds, then moon walk to center stage where Mike moon walks with Amar spinning until he leaps into the air as Mike moon walks around him. For the briefest moment Amar looks to be flying. Coming back, he moon walks until he pushes the spinning Mike who flies through the air like Peter Pan. The kids in the pit are in awe of the theatrics. David and I keep singing as the Dervish fly around us.

If there’s someone in charge
Then listen to me
Don’t say nothing’s wrong
‘Cause I’ve got a love
And she’s afeared

You want to fight
But I don’t want to leave
Or drift away

Mike and Amar join us in the final chorus

The kids clap and clap. We will have to come up with an encore, perhaps reprising ‘Let Them In,’ with everyone singing.

We are done. Henri has set up a buffet dinner with drinks from a bar. We herd the kids out the front of the Casino and remind them to be there by noon tomorrow for a final rehearsal. They all surround Amar asking how he and Mike were able to fly.

“You be buggin’” Amar tells them as they all head for home.

I want to bring Amar to the buffet, but Mike says to let him go. “He is with his new friends now. We seem old to him.”

“Yeah, you’re old, but my mind tells me I’m only two weeks old.”

“You be buggin’,” as he wraps an arm around my shoulder. We go back to the party together.

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