It is an inexplicably light bus day, one of those days where you look around, note that more than half of the usual commuters are missing and frown slightly.
Perhaps today is really Saturday? Where are all the people?
But more importantly, why is Rob Halford in town; and why hasn’t he called me?
Because there he is, right up there at the next stop.
As has previously been reported, I used to be something of a metal head; and so you can (mostly) believe me when I tell you that no one was more surprised than I when Rob Halford got on the bus this morning.
What do you mean, who’s Rob Halford? Just the lead singer for Judas Priest and the screaming-ist, hardest rocking leather boy to come out of the 70s and 80s, that’s who!
So you can imagine my confusion when he boarded the 17C.
Yikes, poor Bus Rob’s looking rough though. From its warm, dry interior, I watch as we pull up to the stop just before the river, watch him hot-box a cigarette as the bus slows, field-strip it and then tuck its tattered, stinking remnants behind his ear before boarding.
He’s not the first celebrity to be sighted on the bus, by the way. We also have someone who could pass for Bruce Springsteen and a woman who looks distressingly like former Vice President Dick Cheney, minus the good looks.
I write it down, right then and there, this near-brush with near-stardom – “Rob Halford is on the bus!” – in the little book I carry with me. I can now add this to a long line of hoi-polloi credentials that include the fact that I know a guy that bought the legendarily warted singer for Motorhead Lemy Kilmeister a beer, that I used to know the niece of the keyboard player for Chaka Khan, and a friend of a friend once relieved herself on Prince’s lawn.
You heard it here first, people:
I rub elbows with people who rub elbows with the stars.