Sitting in an old, dark blue morris van surrounded by his bandmates and their equipment, Brian was worried. If finishing a gig in the St Helier Arms and being paid by one of the Kray twins wasn’t enough. “Come on Lads, I can’t go out there alone. I need backup.”
“You know the rules mate.” Terry replied, “It’s your amp. You left it behind so you have to make the run.”
“b..b..bu…but, it’s dangerous out there. This ain’t a regular pub. I remember what happened last time.” Brian was trying everything to weasel out of leaving the van alone. The last time this happened Dave got out and Terry drove off, parking up half a mile away for a laugh. It wasn’t a laugh for Dave though. Running top speed carrying his base drum to get away from the chasing pack was not easy. He was knackered when he jumped into the van. They all chipped in for his dinner down the chippy though which made him smile as he ate pie and chips, recounting his little adventure.
“You gotta do it mate. We’ve all been there. It’s like one of them rights of passage things or an initiation.” Dave said as he rolled down the front passenger passenger window to get a view outside. Spotting an opening, he added. “Quick Brian, there’s only 5 of ’em out there go now and you might stand a chance.”
Brian opened the rear doors and was greeted by a hoard of female teenage autograph hunters. They were really after the lead singer but anyone in the band would do.
He signed their autograph books and went inside. As he entered, conversation stopped and all eyes turned to him. He spotted a gun to the side but chose to ignore it. Trying to look sheepish, he said. “Really sorry guys. Forgot me amp.”
“ok.” The barman said, clocking along with others that he’d spotted the gun.” Go get it and be quick about it.”
The barman followed him, knowing he was in trouble with the Krays now for not locking the door when the band had left. A mistake he would not be repeating again. He watched as Brian picked up the amp and headed back to the door. Stepping back into the open, the barman locked and bolted the door behind him. Brian heard him say “Sorry sir. Won’t happen again.” then nothing else.
‘ok’ he thought. The car park at night wasn’t much to speak of as the pub sat on a roundabout. Even so, this was a very rough area, even by Brian’s standards. ‘Damn, where’s the van?’ He was scared for a second. Then he realised. It was partially hidden by the group of 20-30 girls surrounding the back. ‘hold on. 30 girls after the band, I’m holding an amp and they’re blocking my way. Oh my days, this isn’t good.’
Just then, one of the girls spotted him. He heard “look, it’s Brian.” Then there was a good amount of swooning that meant he was a favourite for some (always good for the ego). They started towards him.
“Now girls. I gotta get this amp in the van but I can sign your books once it’s in.” They didn’t reply. They just kept on coming. “Damn it, why’d it have to be a heavy amp.”
Brian legged it as fast as his feet would carry him. Looking back at the pub, he could see everyone inside having a decent laugh at his expense. Hearing a rough engine start, he looked across the car park to see Terry had started up the van. ‘Oh no. I’m gonna be on me own’.
He headed for the roundabout, thinking he could simply run all the way around, back to the van and off again. It didn’t help the van was on the move but his plan was scuppered as he rounded the top to see the girls coming at him from all sides. This wasn’t good.
He took the closest exit and headed for the park. He could hear the van in the distance but was too scared to look behind.
“We’re going to have to do a driving grab guys!” Terry said. He’s gonna head across the park to Rose Hill roundabout via St. Helier Hospital. That’s what I’d do!”
“Sounds good.” Dave said, pointing out he’d taken the exit for the park.
“when I give the word, I want you to open the doors and help him in.” And with that, Terry took a different exit off the roundabout and headed the long way round to the hospital on the other side of the park.
Brian was knackered. His amp weighed a ton now and was getting heavier by the second but it was also bloody expensive. The park was generally flat which helped, although he could do with being in the van with the boys on the way to the chippy.
The only problem with the park was the girls heading home from their gig. As he ran past, amp in hand. He couldn’t not give his standard greeting “Evening ladies”. Of course, they heard this, saw him, looked at the amp he was carrying, looked at the girls giving chase, realised the situation and stormed off after him.
As he reached the far end, he was really starting to slow down. He perked up though when he saw the van mis-firing down the road behind him. They pulled up just in front, the other Brian and John getting out.
Running up to him, John said, “Come on mate, I’ve seen snails slide faster ‘n you can run!”
“I’m… Doing… My… Best!” Brian replied. “Wanna… take… the… amp?”
Finally being asked, Brian grabbed it from his namesake and threw it to Ray in the van. “Oi.. Be careful fella.” Brian shouted as best he could. “That’s a lot of money and no gigs if it gets damaged.”
“ahh, leave it Brian.” Ray said. Just get your arse back in the van will ya!” Ray got out to help him up.
The Brian who got out, got in after the amp and turned to help his knackered namesake up. Ray pushed as Brian pulled and he was in.
Just then Ray got pulled away. He was grabbed by a group of girls and they wanted souvenirs. Ray held up his hand as he went down, smothered underneath the gang of girls. Instantly feeling like he was drowning in a pool of whiffs from the boots perfume counter in Sutton.
John tried to help, grabbing hold of his hand as it went under. He almost fell out of the van himself and It took both Brian’s to stop him doing so.
The boys heaved but the girls weren’t giving up that easily. They grabbed at Ray’s clothes, pulling them to hold him back.
Ray felt completely molested. These girls wanted everything from him. He felt their hands everywhere. He felt fantastic and rotten at the same time. Not every day he got molested in this way. Still he was hungry and he needed to try to keep a semblance of dignity. There was also his gig money hidden in the pocket in his Y-front underpants.
Just then, Ray’s trouser belt snapped, ending the tug of war. Ray flew into the van. He’d lost his shoes, socks, suit and most of his shirt to the girls. The scratches would also take a few days to heal but at least he had his pants and his money. “Thanks guys” Ray said as the doors closed and Terry roared off. “Looks like two of us get free chippy tonight.” They all smiled and he added. “Can we stop at my mum’s on the way so I can get me spare suit?”
“Terry instantly replied “No mate. Chippy always comes first!” Everyone laughed.