One night, a very long time ago, I was a security guard at a Billy Bragg concert. It was the only time I have ever been a security guard at any concert or any other thing for that matter. It must have been sometime in 1991 or 1992. There was a war on. I was living in Totnes at the time. I was a student. Totnes is full of hippies. Hippies hate war so they had a anti-war concert and invited Billy Bragg who surprising said yes. For some reason I ended up on the door doing something called “security”. Now because I was even thiner back then it was decided that somebody needed to help me secure the door so they asked a gentleman named Robert (name has been changed) to stand next to me and secure everything.
Robert was a massive man. Huge. Robert was big, hairy and very scary indeed. I knew him because he would sing songs about ghosts, loves lost and wolves at the local folk music evening and he’d bang a bloody big drum whilst doing so. Huge man. Massive. He was also one of the sweetest men I’ve ever met; gentle, caring and wonderfully intelligent. And Massive. Jesus, Robert was big.
So it was me and Robert on the door, hippies in the town hall and Billy Bragg on stage. If you’ve never seen Billy live then you should. I asked Robert if he’d be alright on his own as I wanted to go and have a quick listen. When I came back ten minutes later, the police were there and Robert was sweating and someone had a bloodied nose. Something had happened. The audience were telling Billy Bragg off for being too “anti-Sadam” and Robert had lost it with a hippy.
We’ve all moved on since then. Totnes doesn’t have a college anymore but they have a new supermarket. I don’t do security and that war ended, leading the way to new and improved wars. Billy has a beard. And Robert? Well, Robert became a woman.