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Brady Tuttle ~ August 2015

Page history last edited by michianawriterscenter@... 6 years, 9 months ago

Magical Mystery Tour

By Brady Tutlle


The air was different here, at home it had been moist and heavy, clinging to the edge of your lungs, but here it was crisp and tart, like constantly biting into an apple.  He breathed in and out again, and then the peculiar nature of the situation hit him: he was dead.  Well, he supposed he wasn’t, seeing he could still breathe and think.  He wondered if he could still use his other senses, and then, almost as if on cue, a warm melody washed over him, confirming that yes, he was alive.  “Nothing is real, nothing to hung about…”, the words came out softly, rhythmically, like they had been said many times before.  The voice, which he decided was his, was course, and he didn’t like it very much at all.  It reminded him of the taxmen, who used to hang around his house, always wanting more, never having enough, and then more words popped out his mouth, without control, triggered by some old memory “Cuz I’m the taxman”

He tried to think back, but all he got was his mother’s tearful face, and a stern doctor telling him he would one of the first.  “The first what?” the man inside the long grey tube wondered, as the team of white medical assistants outside prepared to open it.  Back inside the tube, a small but blinding window of white light had opened up and a warm woman’s voice had accompanied it.

“Hello, and welcome back Mr. Georgie Wood.  You probably don’t understand most of what’s going on right now, so I’ll give you the fast rundown.  The year is 2159, and you’re currently located in the Temple of Solitude Cryogenic Resting Center.  You were one of the first patients to be taken under, all the way back in 1975.  You had an, at the time, incurable bone cancer.  Just last year, our scientists found the cure.  You are one of the first ten patients to receive it”, by this time Georgie had opened his eyes and the woman was starting to take shape in the video screen.  “We wish you the best of luck at this continuation of life.”

The first notes of “A Hard Day’s Night” trickled down the tube.  He sat there, everything spinning, as a minuscule crack of light opened directly above him, illuminating his surroundings.  A motor rumbled from somewhere outside the tube as the crack of light grew into a wedge and on the other side of the wedge, which was still growing larger by the second, he could see sterile white lights, and a smooth white ceiling that went off past the range of his view.  The vast whiteness above him grew and grew until he not only see above him but to the sides as well.  Everything was white and sterile and nothing like he remembered.  The motor like noises rumbled to a stop just as the last lines of “Hard Day’s Night” floated out into the room, causing the little group of assistants in the corner of the room to jolt.

They turned towards the grey cylindrical tube which occupied the center of the room, whispering among themselves about whether or not they should help the poor guy up or go and get Dr. Ernest, until the boldest of them bravely walked to the tube and peered into its depths, putting on a brave smile.

Georgie was in the midst of making a plan on how best to exit his former bed, which was proving quite difficult, seeing as to it all curved in, like an egg that had had its top cut off, when the nervous smile of an pretty intern with coffee brown eyes and cream teeth came into his direct line of view.

“Hello.”  The cute intern said simply, while his hand pushed a button on the outside of the tube which caused the walls to retract completely into the little grooves surrounding the entire surgery like bed.  Georgie looked slightly taken aback by the sudden loss of walls, so again the intern said simply: “We only keep them up, because back when the first got up, they would wander off before we could help them, and that was a whole fiasco.  While at least that’s what Dr. Ernest tells me, I wasn’t even born when the first woke up.”

Questions were swirling in Georgie’s brain faster than he could keep track and they were spilling out his mouth even faster.  “What do you mean ‘the first’? And who’s this Ernest guy? And what’s going on? Where am I?”

The cute intern, whose name badge read “Jonathon McFarley”, patted his shoulder in a consoling manner.  “Well I can’t answer all your questions, but I do what I can.  The first were simply the first to people to be taken out of cryo.  I think it was, maybe, -- well it was right after we got here---hmm…”

Elsbeth, one of the interns still huddled in the corner, piped up, “It was in 2100.  My grand-dad was one of them.”

“Right, thanks Els,” Jonathon continued, “well that’s all they were.  You know, I think some of them might still be alive…. Ahem, well Dr. Ernest is your doctor.  He’s in charge of all reawakens that deal with patients from before the 22nd century.  He should be here soon to help you with the ‘readjustment process’.”

“The what?”

“’The readjustment process’, oh, it’s just our term for the time in between your awakening and when we release you into the world.”

“Please don’t wake me…

Jonathon cut off midsentence, looking at Georgie like he was a rare and endangered species, “What?”

Georgie could feel himself blush, something he was pretty sure he hadn’t done in a long time, but then his memories were still trying to straighten themselves out, “Oh, it’s just what you said really reminded me of that song.”

“What song?” now Georgie was the one getting cut off by Jonathon midsentence.

The name shot to the surface of Georgie’s lagged brain, like a diver surfacing, “I’m Only Sleeping.  It’s from Revolver.  You know, the Beatles album?”  He glanced around the stark white room into the interns’ confused faces.  Some looked like they thought he was crazy and Elsbeth and Jonathon looked like they were seriously contemplating sticking him back into that confining tube- bed object.

“You know like, all you need is love?  Drive my car?  Help, I need somebody?

All around blank stares and nodding of the head.

Three weeks had passed since Georgie had meet Jonathon and been “reawakened”.  Since then, he had regained use of his legs, gotten to eat steak, meet a man named Paul whose Grandma had mentioned the Beatles to him once, and seen the outside world, and spent an inordinate amount of time with his personal intern Jonathon, who had become his own personal guide to the new world.  But today was the big day, the day they, being the doctors and all, released him out into the world, which had drastically changed since the last time he had walked it.  For one thing, humanity didn’t even live on Earth anymore, and everywhere was tall skyscrapers made of white marble which was found in abundance here, and the water was naturally lavender and tasted like the mountains.  Another was that everyone was all the same nationality, and the world was ruled by Her Majesty the Great President and High Ruler Margret.  Georgie had made a personal vow to meet her.

The interns where all standing by the door trying their hardest to sing “Across the Universe” which he had been teaching them for the past three weeks.  Although they were all horribly off key, and most were improvising words wildly, he had to hold back some tears at the heart warming gesture.  At the front of the group stood Jonathon and Dr. Ernest, both clutching small gifts wrapped in turquoise paper.

Jonathon handed him both gifts, being too sure to catch Georgie’s eye and hold his gaze, as well as an envelope which contained the directions to his apartment, how to access his money, and how to meet his distant relatives, if he so choose.  Georgie breathed deeply, trying to contain the frantic beating of his heart, the beads of sweat that were being to form in his armpits, and the general shaking of his legs.  Which he couldn’t decide if they came from the general overwhelming-ness of having to start his new life all alone, or from the intensity of Jonathon’s forest green gaze.  Jonathon patted him on the back, and then like that, the pure white doors opened outwards, and he was out on his own in the granite colossus that surrounded him.  He took a deep breath, trying to steady his dizzy head, and gather his surroundings.  All he could see, going either direction of the street, where block upon block of tall and symmetrical white buildings, with dark blue windows that showed his dark- haired reflection back to him, and white doors that would open outwards occasionally, emitting a brightly dressed business person, who would walk out and then down the street, paying him no mind.  He breathed again, feeling the crisp air biting his lungs, and he realized he missed earth more than anything, more than his family, more than the Beatles.  He missed the clingy air, that pulled you with it, the smell of grease and street-food, and the color black, and concrete, and heckler’s trying to get you to donate to their campaigns to send away the hippies.  Once again, as if his mind was trying to tell him something, a song popped into his head, without warning, “Penny lane, there is a barber showing photographs…” A few tears slipped down his face, hot and burning, but at the same time he felt so relived to cry, to let it out, and even though the deep blue window across the street showed his face to be red, and his eyes to be watery, he felt so relived.



Georgie felt a sharp jab from his stomach, and the image of strawberries, fresh and red, their green leaves adorning their top, like a mess of wavy green hair.  He wiped the tears from his eyes and decided to follow the mauve clad business-man in front of him.  They walked down the white paved street for many blocks, passing over cross streets with names like Dromos, Uzọ, Viae, and Heol.  At the cross of Daroha, Georgie saw what looked like a supermarket, while, it at least had pictures of food and other things on the outside, and the people who were leaving all had bags of what looked like food.  His stomach rumbled angrily again, and he walked into store without further hesitation.  The inside was like nothing he had ever imagined, the shelves were from floor to ceiling and made of a shiny, purple plastic like substance, and the things the shelves contained Georgie had never heard of.  He wandered them, overwhelmed by the sheer number of products he had never heard of.  The meat was a deep red, deeper than blood, and there were more varieties than he ever remembered.  He moved away from the meat counter, and towards the fresh area, where he saw, up-ahead, the strawberries, red and fresh, untainted by the new earth and the new air.  He picked up the container, almost cradling it to his chest, as he made his way to checkout.  But, just like everything else, nothing in check-out was the way he remembered.  Instead of the man in the apron who scanned everything and placed it into the large brown bags, there were only more of the same purple plastic contraptions, expect this time, they all had little whirling and spinning and jingling contraptions that took the groceries and scanned them and moved them bagged them.  Georgie cradled the fruit to himself, contemplating just leaving without it.  Suddenly, a well-groomed man walked by him, clutching several large bundles of various colors, and overcome with the urge to eat strawberries, Georgie boldly tapped his shoulder.  The man turned around, revealing a wrinkly, yet well-kept face, and a slick comb of white hair.  “Can I help you?’

Georgie clutched the precious fruit to himself even harder, wishing he could have never been reawakened.  “I was    I was just wondering if you could tell me how to buy these.”

The man broke into a smile revealing two rows of perfect white teeth, “You’re one of the reawakened aren’t you?  I’ve always wondered how you would look in society.  I would love to help you buy those, but only if you agree to meet me for lunch let’s say—tomorrow—so I can interview you for my records.”

“Uhh, okay.  Thank you -very much.”

The man smiled again, “I totally forgot to introduce myself.  Well, I am John Franklin the third, and I am the official archive keeper for Her Majesty the Great President and High Ruler Margret.  It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

Georgie’s eyes widened as he realized this was his ticket to understand everything that had happened.  He stuck out his hand, “I’m Georgie Wood, it’s nice to meet you too.”  John stared down at his hand blankly, and Georgie retracted it quickly.

“Very well, let’s make it lunch tomorrow at let’s say—ah noon—at let’s say Carla’s.  Oh, but of course you have no idea where that is.  How silly of me.  He pulled out a crumpled piece of paper and a pen and scribbled down an address. “Here you go.  Now let’s buy those strawberries.”

Needless to say, John helped Georgie buy his strawberries, but he also insisted on helping him buy some suits, find his apartment, and admire the view and finally, around 10 pm, he excused himself with a final, “See you tomorrow!”  Georgie collapsed on his new couch, which thankfully had come with the apartment, and breathed deeply, trying to register what exactly had happened to him that day.  He had seen so much, the suits, which apparently only came in varying shades purple, and were all made of varying rich materials that felt exquisite to the touch, but which he felt very guilty wearing around.  And although all the buildings shared the same white marble exterior, the insides were all a mess of colors, varying so greatly from shade to shade, from theme to theme.  The one suit store was entirely covered in red velvet, which was apparently quite rare now, and another had been done entirely in blues of the ocean.  His apartment itself was a mirage of colors.  The kitchen and the dining area where a rich, forest green, and the living room was a cranberry color.  The one thing that was consistent however, was that all the furniture was a similar shade of either black or white.  He realized that the strawberries from what felt like so long ago were still clamped to his hand.  He opened the box and pulled the first one out, as the tears formed in his eyes again.  He bit into it, and felt the sugary tartness roll around his tongue, stirring memories from the days before all of this, when the world still made sense.  The memories of another song came back to him, and he felt himself get swept away by the tune as the words popped out of his mouth, seemingly by their own wishes, “There are places I remember, all my life though some have changed.  Some forever not for better, some have gone and some remain…” As the silent radio played on in his head, Georgie realized that more than anything, he longed to hear the Beatles again, aloud, not in his head, or from anyone else, but from them, at the source.  He pushed the strawberries aside, and made his way to bed.

The journey to Carla’s the next day was a whole new barrage of sights and sounds for Georgie to see.  Everywhere was still the same white marble and deep blue windows, but the further away from the “Temple of Solitude” the more vibrant the people became, almost as if the city was becoming alive right before him.  The restaurant itself was tucked right on a corner of two very alive streets, with dancers and streamers floating everywhere, almost as though a rainbow had exploded on top of the people there.  Georgie and John Franklin the third were tucked into the corner booth, which gave perfect access to watch both streets and the festivities on either side of them.  John insisted on ordering for both of them, and also on making most of the small talk, telling Georgie about everything from the predicted weather to how the people dancing on the street where actually celebrating an old earth holiday, that he did not know the name of, nor did he care to find out, but most of all he talked about Georgie, not to him, but about him, and how exciting it was to finally have a first-hand account of what it was really like to awake from the tube, and how Georgie was so lucky to have this second chance.  The food, chicken with a side of quinoa and carrots, finally arrived, and John tucked in, giving Georgie a chance to ask the question that had been on his mind all day.  “Do you guys still listen to the Beatles’?”

John looked up from his food, a befuddled expression causing his white eyebrows to crinkle inwards, creating a deep crease in his already creased forehead.  “I’m sorry, the whom?”

“The Beatles.  They were a very famous pop-rock band from my time.”

I can’t say I’ve heard of them.  Name some titles, maybe it will ring some bells in this old brain of mine.”

“Um, well there’s Revolution, A Hard Day’s Night, Twist and Shout”

“Nope, sorry, not ringing any bells up there.  But do you know that in just one week the annual bell-ringing festival will be taking place, just four blocks away from here.  It really is so fun, you must go.”  Georgie tuned out as John continued enumerating the many positive attributes of the bell festival, realizing his last real hope of hearing the Beatles’ was truly gone.

“How far back do your archives go?”

John stopped his rambling mid-thought, looking utterly confused, “I’m sorry, what?”

“How far back do your archives go?”

“Well, the one’s since we’ve moved here are quite complete, but before that, let’s say, the 1970’s or so.  To be quite frank, I’ve never really looked, because we have so many records to deal with now, I’ve never had time to go that far back.  Why?”

Georgie felt a huge weight leave his shoulders, and he left out a deep breath.  “The Beatles’ last album was released in 1970.”

“Oh,” John looked less interested, “I’m sure there are many other great artists out there now, Georgie.  You just have to have them look.  But, if you would agree to another interview or two, I could look into it for you.”

Georgie didn’t either bother weighing the options in his head.  “I will give you as many interviews as you need.”

John threw down his napkin and stood up, “Very well, thank you for the wonderful interview Georgie, but those records won’t be able to find themselves.  I must dash if I intend to do that and all the other work today.  See you around.”  With a flourish of his violet suit jacket, he was out the door.  Georgie sat there, pushing his chicken around in his still full plate, not entirely sure if he liked John or not.  But he was willing to stick with him for as long as it took to find the Beatles music.  He pushed his not eaten plate away, and got up to leave.  On his way home, he passed the street dancers who were still dancing, and the deep blue glass buildings, which showed a more hopeful man than he had seen yesterday.

He had just settled down onto his blank white couch that stared out into the blank white city, when a loud knock sounded through the door.  He stood, sighing loudly, wishing whoever it was could come another day.  He opened it, and was surprised to see Jonathon, his intern, standing on the other side, holding a few daises that were peeking their white pedals and yellow faces up at both of them, and a card.  Jonathon himself was not wearing his usual sterile white uniform, but a pair of lavender pants and a navy shirt, his chocolatey hair swept to the side, and blushing profusely.  “Hey.”  He said meekly, sounding profoundly embarrassed.  “I know this is totally out of the blue, and that I have no reason at all to be here, and you can tell me to leave now if you want,” he paused, evidently waiting to be kicked out before he even reached the door, but when he wasn’t he continued, “but, uh, I was just wondering if I could come in?”

“Oh, well.  Yes.”

Jonathon stepped into the doorway, still clutching the flowers and card awkwardly.  Georgie closed the door behind him, not entirely sure what was going on.  Jonathon paused awkwardly in the living room, and Georgie, lost in his own thoughts, ran into him, jolting the card and flowers to the floor.  “What? Oh I’m so sorry,” he scrambled to pick them up, “I will just go take these to the kitchen and find some water.”  He picked up both the flowers and the card.  As soon as he was in the kitchen, he turned on the water, which flowed out of the fountain, lavender and crisp, and opened the card.  The only sound in the whole house was water hitting the sink and flowing into the drain as he read it, and he was distinctly aware of his own heartbeat and breathing, and the flush creeping upon his cheeks.  The card read; “Dear Georgie, I know that this may seem extremely forward and rude, seeing how I can’t even say this to you in person out of embarrassment, but I think I want to date you.  I know they didn’t really have this when you were first alive, and I don’t even know if I’m you’re type, but I just had to tell you, because it’s been on my mind for over a week, and you’ve been all I could think about.  Sincerely, Jonathon.

Georgie stood at the counter, one hand clutching its edge the other still clutching the card, torn between what to do.  He couldn’t remember dating any guys from before, but he also couldn’t remember dating any girls either.  He couldn’t remember doing much of anything romantic before.  And he did have to admit, Jonathon was extremely cute, and had a wonderful way of reminding him of home and his old life.  He wandered out the kitchen, still not entirely sure of what to do, or say, and meet Jonathon in his cranberry living room, standing there, his hands tucked awkwardly into his pockets, eyes searching the ceiling.  He glanced down when Georgie entered the room, and saw the card still hanging loosely from his hand.  “Oh. You read the card.  I can leave now.”  He turned to walk about before Georgie even had a chance to respond.

“Wait.  I—uh—just wait.  I’m not entirely sure of what to do.  I mean, I don’t think I had ever dated anyone before.  So I’m not entirely sure how to respond.  But if you give me a minute, I’ll try to think of a way to tell you how I fell.”

“Do it however fells the most natural to you.”

Georgie felt the words coming out of his mouth almost before his brain registered them, but as soon as they did, he realized they were exactly what he meant, “Oh yeah, I’ll tell you something, I think you’ll understand, when I say that something, I wanna hold your hand.  Oh please say to me, you’ll let me be your man?  And please say to me, you’ll let me hold your hand?

Jonathon laughed and was just about to respond when a furious knock sounded from the door.  Georgie walked over to answer it quickly, hoping whoever was on the other side would leave quickly.  He opened the door quickly, and a beet-faced John Franklin stumbled through, breathing heavily and clutching his side.  He held out his hand to stop Georgie from speaking and continued to breathe heavily for a few seconds.  He finally straightened up, and fixed the lapels on his mauve suit-jacket.  “Georgie, I’ve got such great news, I just had to come and tell you.”  He paused again to breathe deeply, fanning himself with a think- yellow envelope, catching sight of Jonathon in the process.  “Oh, who’s this?  Georgie, my friend, you are moving fast.  Anyways, where was I?  Oh yes, those records you asked for.  While, I did some searching, and I found that we do in fact have all of the—who was it?”

“The Beatles” Georgie quickly supplied.

“Ah yes, those fellows, while we do have copies of all their music, somewhere, because I was able to see the proof of them, but unfortunately I could not find the records themselves.”

“Oh.  Well, thanks for trying then.”

“Georgie, my friend, I would not have run all the way here to tell you that I could not find them.  Although the records were not to be found, I asked around, and found that Her Majesty the Great President and High Ruler Margret does have them stored in her sealed records section.”  Georgie felt any sense of hope leave him, and he gripped the chair back beside him, in an effort to not collapse.  “But,” John continued, “I happen to work with her personally, which means I can get you in to see her.”  Georgie let go of the chair and collapsed onto the floor, a flood of emotions overwhelming him.  He felt the gazes of both him follow his movements as he stumbled from the floor to the couch and threw himself down on it, trying to regain control of himself.  John was still staring at him curiously when Jonathon took over speaking for Georgie, “I’m sure he would love to see her.  When will he get in to see her?”

“Let’s say—tomorrow around 1.”

“How is that even possible?”

“I have connections.  Also, I happen to be married to her scheduler.”

Jonathon moved behind the couch and gripped Georgie’s shoulder, trying to console him.  “Well,” John continued, “I have to be off.  There will be a car here tomorrow at 11.  Be ready to go.  I must dash!”

Georgie smiled in a daze and waved lazily in the direction of the door as John’s retreating back left it.  Jonathon sat down on the couch, leaving a few inches between them, and glanced across at Georgie’s joyful grin every so often, waiting for him to initiate the conversation.  When no start came, Jonathon spoke, “So, why do you love these Beatles’ so much?”

The following morning at precisely 11 am, a black car with heavily tinted windows rolled up to the curb of Georgie’s apartment building, where he stood waiting, wearing the violet suit with sea foam green shirt he had gotten with John.  He climbed into the car, and then realized it was the first car he had seen at all.  The driver nodded at him slightly as he pulled on his seat belt, and the man in the all black suit on the seat next to him remained passive and did not nod at all.  They drove off into a part of the city Georgie had never seen before.  They passed by more and more of the white marble buildings with the deep blue windows, but the people they passed began to look more and more alike, all wearing suits and carrying folders and envelopes.  And although some of the people they had passed closer to Georgie’s area had seemed shocked to see a car, here there were several, but all were the same black with black windows.  They pulled up a gated drive, made from a heavy looking steel that was spaced only three inches apart.  Beyond the gate was a long drive that lead back to the only non-white marble building Georgie had seen since he had been reawakened.  It was made from a speckled granite that varied between midnight black and tan.  The windows were all a deep navy, that was almost black, and the top of the building was adorned with flags that were flapping in the light breeze.  The car rolled down the drive and pulled to a stop in front of two large white marble doors.  The black-suited man exited the car and opened the door for Georgie who climbed out, not entirely sure what to do or say.  Another black suited man came to the car and led him through the white doors and into the most beautiful interior Georgie had ever seen.  The ceiling extended up at least three floors and the entire room was plated in gold and black opals.  Around the room were little end tables that displayed crafty knick-knacks, some of which Georgie recognized as items from his own time.  A powerful woman’s voice called down to him, from a stair case that was hidden within the wall, and he looked up to meet the strong gaze of a green clad woman whose eyes matched her light colored dress.  “You must be Mr. Wood.  It’s a pleasure to meet you, I am Margret Thacter.  I hear you’re hear for a meeting about some sealed records?”  By the time she finished her introduction she was at the bottom of the staircase, and walking towards Georgie.  “Hello, I am Mr. Wood, but you can call me Georgie.  Thank you for meeting me.”  She nodded and continued walking past him and down the gold lined hallway, waving for him to follow.

They entered a sky blue office, with a desk situated in the center.  Margret sat down on a plush white chair, and indicated for Georgie to sit down on a black one opposite her.  “So, what sealed files are these, exactly?”

“For the Beatles’.”

“As in the band, the Beatles?”


“I’m sorry Mr. Wood, but there is no possible way for me to release those.  You see, those were sealed by the first ruler, almost 150 years ago.  They were deemed inappropriate for the general welfare of the new planet, due to the fact that they encouraged and directly supported cultural erasing.  You see on this new planet, there was no countries or nationalities, only one great all-encompassing one, and many of their songs were directly against what our first majesty was trying to do. There is nothing I can do.”

Wait.” Georgie’s voice came out sharper than he expected, “Have you ever actually listened to their music?  How could you know that was true if you didn’t hear it?”

“While no.”

“I have, and I can vouch for the fact that there is absolutely no ‘cultural erasure’.  I am begging you to give it a chance to reach the people.”

“No. I can and will not.”

“At least listen to one song.”


“Please, I only ask one song, and then I will drop it.”

“You are a very persistent man, Mr. Wood.  Since I have read your file, and know that you are just reawakened, I will grant you just one song.  What?”

“All you need is love.”

“Very well.”  She turned to a small screen behind her, swiped a few times, hit a few buttons, and then the music was flowing out, the trumpet, the snare drums ringing, and then their voices, “Love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love,There's nothing you can do that can't be done, nothing you can sing that can't be sung, nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game it's easy there's nothing you can make that can't be made.  No one you can save that can't be saved, nothing you can do but you can learn to be you in time, it's easy, all you need is love....”  The music continued to play on, but Georgie was lost in his own memories from before.  The song rolled to a close, and Georgie was surprised to see Margret wiping a few tears from her eyes.  “That was… so beautiful.  I’m sorry, this is very rude of me to cry.  I now see why you were so insistent.”  Georgie just nodded numbly, surprised to see her cry, and also holding back his own tears.  She wiped a few last tears, and then turned back to her screen.  “We are going to play this music, even if it is only this song at first.  I do need to make sure that anything played will be with all of our rules and so forth.”

The tears fell from Georgie’s face, as she stood and led him out of the room, and down the gold hallway and out the gold room and into the car, and then back home, and as he walked from the car to the door, he heard the opening trumpets of “All You Need is Love.”




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