Chapter Eleven: A Musical Reunion
"So who is this Perl woman exactly?"
Stormer slipped out of the big black limousine, pausing to hold the door open for her bandmates. "I mean, this show we're doing...what do we know about it? Is it the British equivalent of Harriet Horn or what?"
"Beats me, duckie." Jetta shrugged. "I can't say I remember 'er name from when I was livin' 'ere. But she seems to be a big deal...look at the crowd!"
"We are the big deal." Pizzazz reminded her. "Come on, kiddies. We have an interview to attend!"
Roxy exchanged looks with Stormer, who shrugged, following Pizzazz and Jetta into the big Pebble Mill television studio. They had had a car collect them from their London hotel for the one and a half hour drive north west to the centre of England's second city, and the weather, though not the scorching heat of California had held good, allowing a large crowd to have gathered in order to catch a glimpse of the mysterious band which had taken Top of the Pops by storm the night before.
"Where exactly are we, by the way? I mean, where's Birmingham in the big scheme of things?" Pizzazz asked as they made their way down the corridor, attended to by one of the studio's employees as they were directed to the dressing room. Jetta hid a smile.
"You don't say it like that, ducks." she said. "The locals call it 'Birmin'um' And as for where, try central England. Birmingham's a big city, just ain't as much cop as London, is all."
"So it's a big deal place to be?" Pizzazz ignored the correction of her pronunciation. "I mean, people come here? Not just nobodies?"
"Pizzazz, it 'as an airport. Of course people come 'ere." Jetta grinned. "So people are gonna see us on T.V if we're filmed 'ere, yes."
"How did you know that was what I was gonna ask next?" Pizzazz shot her companion a confused look. Jetta shrugged.
"Obvious lead-in." she said airily. "'Ere, what time are we gonna be pulled on set, anyway? It ain't a live show, is it?"
"You'll be wanted in makeup in about half an hour, they'll send someone for you." The man accompanying them said. "And this is your dressing room, I hope it'll have all you need."
"Not bad." Roxy pushed open the door, glancing around it in approval. "Check this out!"
"It'll do." Pizzazz shrugged, dropping down into a chair. "Hey, Jetta, where you creeping off to?"
"Nowhere. Just gettin' a can of somethin' from the vendin' machine. You want anything?" Jetta responded.
"Soda. Any flavour will do." Pizzazz responded. Jetta glanced at Stormer.
"Ain't you gonna ask me?" Roxy bristled. Jetta snorted.
"You don't need encouragin', you eat an' drink too much as it is." she retorted, before disappearing into the corridor. Roxy growled.
"That girl has some nerve." she muttered.
"Aw, come on, Roxy, it was funny." Pizzazz smirked. "And you do eat like a pig."
Roxy folded her arms, tossing her head. It was true she had a big appetite - growing up with a lack of certainty as to where the next meal was coming from had taught her to take advantage of plenty when it was available to her. Despite how much she ate, however, her busy lifestyle and her fast metabolism generally kept her from gaining any extra pounds.
Meanwhile, in the corridor, Jetta had wrestled with the vending machine for the drinks and was about to return to the dressing room when she heard someone call her name. Swinging around, her confusion turned to surprise as she recognised the speaker.
"Snake?" She demanded.
"Jetta! I knew it was you!" Snake, the leader of the Tinkerbillys cast her a smile. "But I thought you were in L.A with your new band...what 'appened? Didn't it work out?"
"Worked out better than a dream, duckie. Don't you read the papers?" Jetta responded dryly "We took the nation by storm last night on Top of the Pops, this mornin' this Perl woman wants to interview us, called us the 'hottest sensation out of America', or somethin'...we're the next big hit in this country, trust me."
"So you're all over here?" Snake lounged against the wall, running his gaze casually over the other girl. He had always had a crush on Jetta, though his hands had always been tied by his clingy and possessive girlfriend Allie, who also sang with the band. In any case, Jetta had never had any time for him that way, and he had never pushed it...but there was no getting away from the fact he held a great amount of respect for her talent.
"Yep. Drove down from London this mornin'." Jetta nodded. "What about you? I don't suppose..." she grimaced. "I don't suppose you're alone."
"No...the other Tinkerbillys are here too, like you we're doing Perl's show." Snake responded. "The Tinkerbillys are big time here now, Jetta. We got signed to a major British label and we've had a few top twenty hits - even one top ten. We're goin' places."
"Good for you." Jetta replied dryly. "Look, if you're not alone, Snake, I ain't stickin' about to make chit chat. I don't want to meet up with you know who if I can 'elp it."
"Too late." A fresh voice joined the conversation, and Jetta swung around to see Allie herself standing in the doorway of the Tinkerbilly dressing room, her arms folded and a petulant scowl on her face. "What's she doing here, Snake, and what are you doing talking with her? She's a traitor to the Tinkerbillys, not to mention a no good piece of trash..."
"Sorry to 'ave to educate you to the new structure of things, Allie, but you ain't gonna find many people who agree with you callin' me trash." Jetta interrupted her sweetly. "You see, duckie, I 'it the bigtime when I joined the Misfits. We've done America. We've topped their charts. And now we're takin' my own country by storm...oh, I don't think I'm trash. I think I'm doin' okay for meself, that's what I think."
"What would those losers you play with say if they knew your brother was a thief?" Allie snapped.
"The other Misfits? Cool it, Allie. They know. They met 'im." Jetta shrugged. "And I wouldn't try and strain your brain with any little piece of blackmail, neither...because I'm signed to a Music company whose owner jus' 'appens to be a close friend of mine, and whose lawyers 'ave more sway in this world than you ever will. So back down, love. You're playin' with fire if you mess with me." She winked. "See you around, Snake. Nice talkin' to ya."
And with that she was gone, leaving Snake staring after her and Allie seething inwardly. She had never yet managed to get the better of Jetta's quick tongue, and to see her boyfriend practically spellbound did nothing to improve her temper. With a scowl she grabbed him roughly by the arm, pulling him into the dressing room.
"Don't get any ideas about her. You're with me." she warned him.
"Oh, leave me alone, will you?" Snake shook her off. "You don't own me."
"What's goin' down?" Jerry glanced up from his magazine, eying the couple in interest.
"Jetta's here." Allie pouted.
"Jetta? Really?" Bongo looked surprised. "What's brought her home?"
"She and her stupid group think they rule the world." Allie folded her arms petulantly. "They have a segment on Perl's show too."
"Wow, talk about a small world." Jerry grinned. "How's she doin', Snake? She recognise you or is she too bigtime now for us?"
"We chatted a while, before my minder here interfered." Snake cast Allie a glare. Allie put her hands on her hips.
"You're meant to be my bloke, not droolin' after that floozie." she retorted.
"If you 'ate it so much, then you don't 'ave to stick around." Snake shrugged. "I ain't noone's property, Allie, an' you can't control me. If I want to speak to Jetta then I will...there ain't never been anythin' for you to be jealous of. She ain't interested, any fool can see that."
"But you are." Allie's eyes narrowed. "You're a hopeless waste of space sometimes, you know that? One minute alone with Jetta Burns and you're all gooey over 'er again. Don't think I 'aven't noticed it! Well, it ain't gonna 'appen, so wake up and smell the cocoa. She ain't biting...and if you don't pull yourself together you'll lose me an' all!"
"Do I look like I care?" Snake snapped. "I'm going for a walk. Don't bother me!"
With that he stormed out of the dressing room, slamming the door behind him. Allie dropped down into one of the chairs, her arms folded and a scowl on her face.
Jerry glanced at her, then at Bongo, who shrugged helplessly.
"Don't ask me, mate. Women are beyond me." he murmured in low tones.
"Snake always 'ad it bad for Jetta. Think he still does?" Jerry wondered. Bongo shrugged again.
"Beats me, but it looks that way. It don't look good, Jerry. We got a show to do, and if these two are fightin' it won't be pretty for the cameras. You know Allie when she's sulkin'. She won't perform."
"I'll bet Jetta said somethin' to her to get 'er goin'." Jerry sighed. "Look, let's leave 'er to it. We can't do anything to perk 'er up, anyway...we might as well go for a wander ourselves, maybe drop by and say 'hi' to Jetta ourselves. It's been a long time."
"I'll go with that. Anything to not have to stay 'ere with her." Bongo responded dryly. "Let's go!"
"You took your time." Pizzazz sent Jetta a look of irritation. "How
does it take to get a soda?"
"I got waylaid. 'Ere. Catch" Jetta tossed the can at the singer, who caught it deftly. "Looks like we ain't the only band to be playin' Perl's gig."
"Oh? Who else is playing?" Stormer looked interested. Jetta grimaced.
"The Tinkerbillys." she replied darkly. "I just 'ad an encounter with Allie an' Snake in the corridor. Snake I can take but Allie needs to be put down, kindest thing for her."
"That's kinda harsh." Stormer frowned. "She can't be that bad, Jetta."
"Can't she?" Jetta let out a hollow laugh." You don't remember that night I first joined you guys, when she was layin' in wait for me?"
"She hardly spoke to us." Stormer responded. "I admit she wasn't pleasant to you...but I figured that was because you were walkin' out on them."
"She and I never got on. She probably threw a party the night I quit." Jetta said dryly, sitting down and opening her own can of lemonade.
"Sounds like a girl with taste." Roxy observed.
"Roxy, love, pointless as I find you, I'd rather spend eternity in a band with you than a week more in one with Allie Blackwell." Jetta responded. "That's 'ow bad she is."
"Woo, sounds like you and she have some history going on there." Pizzazz let out a whistle. "We gonna meet this girl or what?"
"You might do, on set. You can't miss 'er, she's a blond bimbo with a permanent scowl." Jetta grimaced again. "Brilliant. Never in my whole life did I expect the Tinkerbillys to be a hit."
At that moment there was a knock at the door.
"Probably the guy coming to call us to makeup." Pizzazz decided, getting to her feet and swinging open the door. "Well? What do you want?"
"Sorry if we're intruding, we were looking for Jetta." Bongo smiled his most amiable smile, seeing that Jerry was more than a little intimidated by Pizzazz's confrontational expression. "We're...old friends, you could say."
"Jetta, it's for you. Tinkerbillys, I assume." Pizzazz rolled her eyes.
"Tinkerbillys?" Jetta looked surprised. "Oh, Jerry, Bongo...guess you'd better come in, so long as you ain't brought satan's mistress with ya."
"No...Allie's having a sulk in our dressing room. We wanted to see how America had changed you." Bongo replied, obediently coming into the dressing room and pulling Jerry with him, perching on the windowsill. "What did you say to her, Jetta? We gotta do a set later too, you know!"
"Not much. She pretty much threatened to tell the world about Jeremy and I told her to forget it, since these guys 'ave met 'im, and Misfit Music's lawyers don't take a kindly view of anyone messin' with us. Do they, Pizzazz?" Jetta glanced at the singer for confirmation. Pizzazz's eyes narrowed.
"Too right they don't." she agreed. "Noone messes with my band or my company!"
"Fair 'nough, we come in peace!" Jerry raised his hands in mock-surrender. "We ain't got no quarrel with you girls, believe me. We jus' wanted to catch up with our former sax player, that's all."
"Relax...she don't bite. Often." she said, sounding amused. Pizzazz glared at her, but did not rise to the bait.
"Seriously, Jetta, I think Allie may be out for your blood." Jerry dropped his teasing tone. "She and Snake 'ad one 'eck of a blow up just now...he walked out on her an' all. Be careful, huh? She ain't good in a rage."
"Thanks for your concern, guys, but I can 'andle Allie Blackwell." Jetta responded. "And if Snake 'ates her so much 'e should drop her anyway. She ain't worth noone's time. And unless she learnt to sing in the last year or two, I can't see what good she does you guys, either."
"She's...just part of the band I guess." Bongo shrugged. He glanced around the room. "You girls must be big, this room's bigger than ours." He grinned at Stormer. "Hi...I remember you. Stormer, right? You play keys?"
"Um, yes...that's right." Stormer looked startled. "But I don't...oh! At the hotel!"
"Yep, when you were helping Jetta 'ere move on out." Bongo nodded. He winked at her. "How's it goin'?"
Stormer blushed, lowering her gaze, much to Pizzazz's amusement.
"You might as well not bother. Stormer ain't too good at flirtin'." she observed.
"Pizzazz!" Stormer protested, her cheeks reddening further. Pizzazz shrugged.
"Well, it's true." she said unrepentantly.
Fortunately at that moment the call came to bring the Misfits to makeup and the two Tinkerbillys took their leave, returning to their own dressing room as the American based group headed to prepare for their interview. Finding Allie was not inside was a relief to the two men, and they soon forgot that their bandmate was in any kind of a mood.
But Allie had ideas of her own. As soon as she was sure the Misfits were gone, she slipped between the corridors and into theie dressing room, glancing around her momentarily till she saw what she was looking for.
A slow smile crossed her face.
"Well, well, just lyin' there in the open. Careless...someone could just take it." She murmured to herself with a delighted grin. "I'll show you, Jetta...noone interferes in my relationships and gets away with it!"
PART THREE: BACK IN THE CITY
Chapter Nine: The Misfits In London
Chapter Ten: On Every Screen...
Chapter Eleven: A Musical Reunion
Chapter Twelve: Jealousy
Chapter Thirteen: An Old Acquaintance
Chapter Fourteen: Doing London
Chapter Fifteen: Sabotage!
Chapter Sixteen: The Final Straw
Chapter Seventeen: Opening Night
Chapter Eighteen: Jetta
(The Misfits and Holograms and other animated Jem characters are copyrighted to Hasbro Inc. All characters who do not appear in Jem episodes are my own creation. This story is copyrighted to E.A Woolley (2001)