For some reason Juno found the ride back south on Monday real hard. For the first time ever memory lay on her like unfulfilled promise. She told herself it was the comedown after the weekend, but at Morro she couldn’t stand it any longer. Luckily Jackson was fast asleep. Interrupting Billy and Judy’s excited chat about how peaceful it had all been, how there’d been no injuries nor arrests and how nearly all the unsigned bands had got deals, Juno snatched their car out of the fantastic homeward-bound train on the coast highway and transported it straight back to LA.
Three days later the president came to town. Jackson dragged Juno along to the Century Plaza Hotel, where LBJ was scheduled to speak, and outside which they and a few thousand others were charged by helmeted police. Jackson managed to drag Juno out double quick, or so he thought. He was used to folks being friendly in his company, so he took the couple cops who were suffering a momentary confusion of allegiance in his stride. The full-scale pitched battle that followed crystallized into a week-long Angry Arts Festival centred around the Ash Grove. Something really different once again. The old Troub gang mostly stayed at the Troub.
As the summer blew on Juno noticed pretty soon that Cass and David were doing smack. The constant hanging was an art form in their circle by now, but Juno knew for sure that no-one else had taken it that far. She said nothing and watched.
Jackson was hanging too, but as usual with an added pinch of purpose. He mostly split his time between Billy’s place and zany Barry’s down the road. Barry turned out to be acquainted with purpose himself. It was his idea to assemble a band around Jackson, the first recruit to which came in the person of an angel-faced and real easy-going guy called Ned. Barry was hell-bent on landing a record deal for Jackson at last.
‘You should really do something ’bout that yourself,’ said Jackson to Juno one day as they and Ned were passing a spliff around, dangling their feet in Barry’s pool. ‘You just need to write more. But what you got is incredible. Y’know, this year’s been kinda… complicated, with all this Sergeant Pepper stuff. But I reckon it’s all gonna get simpler again. Quieten down. That’s when people like you and I strike.’ He leaped to his feet, holding a hand out to Juno. ‘C’mon, I’ll play you something!’
Inside the house he left his guitar against the wall where it was and instead put on a bootleg. ‘Check this out,’ said Ned. ‘It’s Bob Dylan and the Hawks. They’ve left New York and are all living together in this house in the middle of nowhere. Tiny little town in the mountains. Woodstock. That’s where they hang out and jam, real stripped-down, real removed from everything…’
But nothing at all quietened down for Juno. Everything, everything started to happen at once.