This secret has been kept for 10 years between 4 people, and I honestly didn’t know if they’d let me share it with you. Replies of ‘Yes! It’s a good un’ and ‘I’ve never seen Guthrie laugh so much’ makes this the first of ten stories to celebrate the past decade of my photography career.
So what’s the story?!
In 2010, Rotosound ran a bunch of adverts in magazines for their endorsees, and I had the honour of working with both guitar heroes Guthrie Govan and Alex Hutchings in the same session. Location and tour schedules meant we had to find a studio that worked. Rotosound gave a simple brief to shoot them with guitars against a plain white backdrop – I asked the studio to set up what we needed before arrival.
Intro’s were made, and Alex had a great idea of grabbing an amp out his car for them to jam for a few pics to get warmed up. Guthrie was on board. Not all artists like a photoshoot but it’s a necessary evil for promo.
So I’m snapping away and Alex kept looking out the corner of his eye.
He stopped playing.
“Marie, what kind of studio is this?…the stuff in the corner over there”
It’s hard to ignore the giant strap-on in the room.
I explained the studio was a great space for large backdrop settings, but it was a fetish studio. There were some props that clearly hadn’t been moved out of the room for our booking.
“Let’s do a photo!” Alex and Guthrie agreed, and before I could move the studio lights, Alex had cuffed himself to the raised faux-leather bed. Guthrie couldn’t speak through the laughter.
The ice was well and truly broken. And the rest of the session went brilliantly.
Afterwards, Guthrie suggested we have lunch together. I tossed aside my home-made sandwiches for the opportunity, and the three of us left in search for a bite to eat. We of course didn’t know it would bring even more entertainment!
None of us knew Hackney, so we got as far as the nearest pub that looked like it had a food menu of some sort.
We walked in to a deathly silence.
Our bellies spotted a hand written food menu which didn’t look all too appealing but we were there and the beer was there so we sat down.
Guthrie ordered a beer and beef burger meal, as did I. Alex ordered a chicken burger meal.
The chef umm-ed and ahh-ed.
He’d never cooked that meal before but assured Alex it would taste “nice”. With bulging eyes, we tried to hide our sniggers. You can tell it’s only going to get worse.
The “chef” wandered back to the kitchen, I noticed that he was holding one hand out of sight. He opened the swing door to the kitchen with a hand covered in a blue plastic bag!
Telling Alex and Guthrie, we waited eagerly for his return. Our meals appeared in quick succession, but only one at a time. It was clear there was a problem with the chef’s hand. Mine arrived first, and then Guthrie’s – which almost landed in his lap from the clumsy chef. Finally the elusive chicken burger arrived, with an apology that he couldn’t be faster as he had a “gammy hand”. He returned to the kitchen, minus the blue bag this time, revealing what looked like a sock covering his “gammy hand”.
We didn’t know what to do?! We bravely ate the food hoping the beer would kill any germs (or numb the pain) if the food was bad. Guthrie said we needed to check with an update of any suspicious stomach incidents that may occur in the following days.
Incidentally, the pub was The Crooked Billet, and thankfully sock hand man didn’t poison us.