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Rest of Goth Band Really Wishes New Guitarist Would Stop Wearing Big Floppy Gardening Hat With Sunflower on It

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Sullen members of goth-rock band Vacant Belfry are reportedly embarrassed with their new guitarist’s proclivity for perpetually donning a big floppy gardening hat with a sunflower on it, exasperated sources confirmed.

“So far, he’s absolutely ruined three attempts at photo shoots with that stupid, ridiculous hat. We’ve tried hiding it, we’ve tried making fun of him, even pleading with him to spray paint it black…nothing works,” said Vacant Belfry singer Tina Ephraim. “He just keeps rolling up to shows with that monstrosity on. Not to mention that chipper smile! If only he wasn’t so good at the guitar, we’d kick him out just for being jolly. Curse his ability to shred!”

Ted Pheasants, the hat-wearing guitarist in question, took the rest of the band’s repeated pleas to throw it away as merely gentle suggestions.

“I’ll defend this big floppy gardening hat with the sunflower on it till the day I die. Heck, I see it as a part of me, and thus, a part of my art. I wouldn’t be surprised if I get some of my guitar skills from the good vibes this hat brings me,” said Pheasants. “I get that the sunflower may not scream ‘goth’ at face value, but think about it: that flower’s dead. Long dead. I’m basically wearing a corpse up there. Nothing more goth than that, I reckon.”

The guitarist’s mother Ms. Penelope Grier-Pheasants has, perhaps surprisingly, taken the rest of the band’s side.

“I’m not saying he doesn’t look downright dear in it, but the simple fact remains: my geraniums need tending to, and I need that hat back,” said Grier-Pheasants. “He can get his own big floppy gardening hat, but that certain big floppy gardening hat—the one with the sunflower on it—has been mine all along. Maybe I’ll get him one for his birthday, or even a few so he can share with his little bandmates. That ought to brighten their day, I saw them grabbing at mine. And from the looks of those kids, they need all the brightness they can get.”

At press time, members of Vacant Belfry were further embarrassed after Pheasants showed up to practice with matching overalls he just got back from the dry cleaners, noting that the sunflower on them was even larger than the one on the gardening hat.