THE GREAT FRENCH FRY RACE
A story from the book
When you tour together, you learn little quirks about other guys in the band. I've travelled so much with Jerry Marotta that I know his quirks better than I know my own. And it always bugged me that when we ate at MacDonald's, which used to be often, he'd get two small orders of french fries, never a large one. Was it cheaper? Did they taste different in the small paper bags than in the large cardboard container? He wouldn't say. He didn't even know why he did it-it was just a habit. But it bugged me.
After years of discussing the pros and cons of two small bags of fries versus one large bag, the whole Gabriel band decided to find out once and for all which was the better deal. The band was recording a punk version of "Whiter Shade of Pale" at Trident Studios in London. Outside the studio there was a long alley. And a MacDonald's down the street. The whole band came along to watch as Jerry and I bought one large and two small bags of fries. We considered weighing them but decided that a better method for judging would be to lay them out end-to-end in the alley and see which line was longer.
We gathered in the alley. Sid McGinnis, the only guy with a calculator, stood by to do the math, allowing for the price difference. Larry Fast watched. And Jerry and I, on our knees, began to place the french fries end-to-end. A couple of local bums watched with great interest as the two lines stretched slowly down the alleyway onto the sidewalk.
The result: two small bags by a length! All bets, discussions and preferences notwithstanding, Jerry, without knowing it, had sensed the better buy.
Evidence recently discovered: Larry Fast's photo of the very event!
(Leave it to Larry to have his Nikon ready at all times.)