Apologies for anyone wanting anything to do with photography in this post. August is upon us so precisely sod all is happening.

Having recently picked up drumsticks again for the first time in about 5 years, I was thinking back to my previous job as a drummer in the Sheffield band Elfin (insert any drummer joke you can here, I can tell you them all..)

One story that always tickles me happened when we were doing a tour around Wales and the South. As it was the Summer holidays, the band manager’s son would occasionally join us in the bus for the odd week when he wanted to be subjected to the horrendous smells and primal grunts of 6 guys stuck on a tourbus.

elfin

The afternoon in question involved a long journey in the morning between venues that no-one was particularly in the mood for. The usual post-gig session of the previous night was weighing heavily on us all, apart from the ever-energetic 11 year-old. Stopping off at a service station, he got back on the bus with the biggest gobstopper we’d ever seen. Easily the size of his fist and having probably cost him about a fiver on the weighing scales, I realised that it gave us an opportunity for some rest. Once the journey was under-way again, I bet him £10 that he couldn’t finish it by the time we got to the next venue. The challenge set, we could all doze in peace as he desperately battled to wear the additive-infused ball down.

Two hours later and we arrived at the venue. The manager leapt off the bus and went to grab the owner of the club as we started to get ourselves ready to unload. It was now that Josh staggered us all by showing us his empty mouth. Damn it. Being a cruel and evil man, I told him in a less than polite way that I would not, in this situation, be paying up and made a dash for the door.

By now, the owner had come out of the club to greet us and was talking business with the band manager. His first impression of the band was me bursting out of the bus with an 11 year old boy slapping me while hanging onto my back, shouting “Give me my tenner! I’ve been on that bus sucking for the last 2 hours and my mouth hurts! You promised you’d pay!” This was immediately followed by three other ragged looking musicians collapsing with laughter as they fell out of the doors, half-dressed.

The second punchline came after we’d all calmed down and dried our tears of laughter and the gobstopper, only marginally smaller than before, fell out of his sleeve..

4 Responses to “The Gobstopper”

  1. Hi Leon.

    I am a young Swedish photographer, who has followed you for a long time.
    I think personally that you are a really good photographer, and I think you give me a very good inspiration. Your pictures are really good!
    You are a really good idol to me.

    Take a look at my homepage.
    (If you look, I hope you like my pictures)
    http://www.mbspicturedesk.com

    Good luck!

    / Bjorn

    (Sorry for my bad English)

    Posted by Bjorn
  2. That’s classic! The sort of story that spawns urban myths.

    Posted by miles
  3. That is a fantastic story, something which should have been incorporated into the film Almost Famous.

    Posted by Will
  4. Thanks so much for your extremely kind words, Bjorn. It’s a pleasure to know that, somehow, I’m doing something right! Seeing the Swedish team brought the experiences of EURO 2008 rushing back to me! ;) As for doubting your English, you clearly haven’t read any of the terrible use of language by the English horse-lovers on the other posts!

    Miles: I’m glad it made you laugh! It’s just one of those stories that occasionally pops into my mind and makes me chortle.

    Will: Cheers, m’dears! If this goddam silly season doesn’t get any more interesting, there’ll be more of those stories on the way.. ;)

    Posted by tabascokid

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