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Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014 07:34 pm

He's got a van

More on the lowly status of the drummer in the band, this time from Sting. In Broken Music: A Memoir, published by Dial Press in 2003, he recalled his days as a struggling up-and-coming bass player on the club circuit.

The scene is a bar at which Gordon Sumner, the future Sting, sits with Gerry, a piano-playing band leader, a man he’s just met, who asks him who Sting plays with.

“Nobody really some friends from school, that kind of thing.”

“That’ll be 40p, gentlemen,” says Ken the barman.

“Do ye know any drummers?) says Gerry, feigning to have mislaid his cash.

“Yeah. . . . There’s this guy I play with, Paul Elliott, plays a Slingerland kit.”

Gerry nods sagely as we both begin sipping the warm beer from our pint glasses.

“He’s got his own van,” I say, trying to give my situation a professional gloss, and Gerry, who has been Mr. ****ing Cool up to this point, is now spluttering beer.

“A van, really? Does he wanna join a band?°°

 “What band?”

“The college band, we need a drummer.”

“I’m sure he’d be happy to, but how do you know if he’s any good?”

“He’s got a van, hasn’t he?”

“Oh, I see.”

This guy is clearly an operator, and aware that he may have seemed a little too venal, he softens a little. "Oh yeah, I’m, er, looking for another bass player.”

“What’s wrong with the old one?”

“Oh, nothing, it’s just that he doesn’t have a friend who’s a drummer with his own van.”

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