Too Much Man, a Gigantean rock band, and its drummer's growth to fame.
|Even though she'd been told what was coming, she could hardly believe her eyes as screen lit up and the speakers boomed to life. He was young.
He was gorgeous.
He was huge.
No, HUMONGOUSLY HUGE!!
And, he could SING.
She tore her eyes off the wide screen and glanced down at the album cover again. "Too Much Man". She looked up again, as he filled the screen, then down again, scarcely taking in the text.
"Too Much Man began when Rob, Gavin, Johnny, J-D and Roman met in college. Paul replaced Roman as their drummer a year later when Roman moved.
"Shortly after Paul's arrival, the boys recorded their second album, which went platinum, propelled by their first video. Paul features heavily in the video.....
"Their sound is a blend of straight ahead rock numbers with rock ballads and a number of dance pieces. They cover other hits, and write their own material."
She tore her eyes away from the text as the screen returned to the yellow boy sun god she had heard about. She was entranced as he opened his mouth and began the groups signature tune....
"My zippers bust...my buckles break.
I'm too much man...for you to take."
Watching, she remembered that this was the guy her friend had told her about, and that a car accident had figured widely in his, and the band's, success.... Strange how such an unlucky thing could have such 'weighty' consequences. Her friend had sent her the tale:
In a car accident, Paul breaks his left shinbone and ankle while driving alone the night before a concert. Of course, the concert is cancelled. At press conference at hospital, the rest of the band expressed their shock, and cancelled concerts until Paul could re-join them (estimated at eight to 12 weeks), and urged their fans to pray for Paul's speedy recovery and to "send food, to help him regain his strength".
What can we say, this is Gigantia. Their fans responded, especially to the last part.
Paul, after a few days of pain and an operation to pin his tibia and ankle, starts to respond to the incoming masses of food arriving by consuming them, though he also despatches excess food daily to the other band members. The band gathers for regular "food parties" in Paul's hospital room, to help him deal with quantities of incoming gifts and to cheer him (also encourages him to eat more, to keep up with the others).
At a press briefing on the day of his discharge after three weeks in hospital, Paul (in a wheel chair) and the surgeon exchange jokes about Paul "keeping his weight off the damaged ankle" and about Paul "getting enough nutrition". Paul thanks fans for the prayers and care packages, and jokes that he is "eating like a hog" and that he has "gained a few pounds". The doctor notes that, while Paul is being released from the hospital, it will be 4-6 weeks or more before his ankle will be able to "take his weight - which is substantial" and another 4-6 months for full recovery, "although, even after that, we've put enough steel into that leg that you'll set off metal detectors in every airport."
Three weeks later, at "Too Much Man"'s first concert since Paul's accident, the lights come up on Rob, Gavin, Johnny and J.D., but not Paul. Rob, on the mike, urges Paul to "come-on" and, after some extensive mechanical noises, Paul appears in an electric wheel chair being carried by a forklift, leg in cast stretched out in front of him. Paul grabs a mike from Gavin and growls, "That blasted electric wheelchair was only rated for 350 lbs, guys. I think I must have burned out its motor trying to get to the stage, so I ‘borrowed’ Carl here and his forklift."
Rob: "So how is the recovery coming along, Paul?"
Paul: "Doc says I can start putting a little weight on this foot in two weeks, and that the cast comes off two weeks after that."
Rob: "Speaking of a little weight, Paul, you seem to have put on a few pounds since the accident."
Paul: "Yeah, well, I have to keep my strength up, you know! Thanks to all our fans, I've had lots to eat. Keep the food coming! I've got room for more! [bounces hand off rotund belly] I want to have lots more weight to really test this ankle when it's finally ready."
At concerts, Paul's arrival by forklift continued as a promotional gag until the cast came off.
At his first concert without his cast, Paul rolled on stage in a new, heavy duty electric wheel chair, but stood to take his place at his drums, which resulted in wild cheering from the waiting crowd. Paul’s appearance was extraordinary - clothed in a long, brilliant yellow t-shirt that stretched to cover his newly inflated gut, bathed by a spotlight that made his golden-yellow shirt and blond hair seem to glow, Paul became an obese yellow sun-god, radiating back the crowd's adulation. As the cheering waned, Paul spoke. "Hey, look, no cast! And thanks to all your generous care packages, I'm much more man than I used to be - almost one hundred pounds more man than I was before!" The wild cheering started up again, and when it declined, Paul went on. "In fact, when I weighed myself this morning, I discovered that I weigh 500 pounds. I’m a quarter ton of Too Much Man!"
Paul then shimmied in the spotlight, the motion making his hugely fattened gut and pecs bounce under the sunlight-yellow shirt. The crowd went wild, cheering and stamping as Paul pirouetted slowly in the spotlight, showing off every newly fattened curve.
"And there's still three more months of rehab to come!" he proclaimed, grinning broadly and giving his prodigious gut one last upward heave. As the bouncing died away, Paul dropped heavily onto his drummer's seat, and with a flourish set the band off into their first set.
Just before their next concert, backstage, Paul asked the rest of the band, "Do you like chocolate truffles, guys?"
"Yes, of course'" they chorused in response.
"Well, have a couple now for luck," he said, handing around a box, "because we're shortly going to have a flood of these!"
"What do you mean?"
"Just watch when I make my 'thank you' speech!"
The boys went on stage, and Paul, clad again in his golden-yellow t-shirt and reprising his obese sun-god act, thanked the crowd for their prayers and care packages. Then he went on, "I'd like to say a special thank you to Myrna for the chocolate truffles. Thanks Myrna! They were fabulous! Could you send me some more?"
By the end of the concert, chocolate truffles by the truckload were arriving for Paul...and he shared them.
Although his weight gain rapidly slowed as he resumed exercise during rehab, Paul's weight did continue to increase, as the slow healing of his ankle combined with his added girth to slow down his formerly semi-active lifestyle. His appetite, on the other hand, primed by all those gifts of food and his self-perceived need for extra nutrition during recovery (ha!), continued to be glorious, greater than before the accident, with the result that during the next six months of rehab, Paul's weight climbed to 600 pounds, a gain of 100 pounds over the six months and a total gain of 200 pounds in the nine months since the accident.
At his first concert after the end of his rehab, Paul reprised his obese yellow sun god appearance - clad in a fresh, larger, golden yellow t-shirt - the latest in a line of them, as his ongoing expansion meant he’d outgrown not one, but two smaller yellow shirts. First, the rest of the band came onto the stage together, and as the four took up their instruments the spotlights were extinguished. When the spotlights came up again, they were filtered to produce a more yellow glow, and were all focused on the the spot where Paul would enter the stage, so as to catch and emphasize the magnificence of Paul’s vastly inflated 90 inch gut. Clothed in golden yellow, the obese young sun god waddled slowly forward out of the dark to be bathed in yellow light, drinking in the adulation of his fans.
“Just look at this gut, girls,” Paul intoned breathily into the mike pinned to his collar, “this glorious, golden gut. YOU built this gut, girls and guys, you and all your generous gifts. I dedicate my glorious gut to YOU!!” he concluded, braking his bulk to a halt mid-stage.
It was probably ten minutes before the cheering died down enough for Paul to move over to his drums, and launch into a driving beat and set the concert on its way....
As a 600 pound rocker, Paul is a man in rarified company. Even in Gigantia, the land of male girth, rock stars rarely make it to such a sensational size. (Rapper Fat Pun is probably the only popular musician outside of Gigantia to make it to 600 pounds.) While it does help that he’s a drummer, and thus able to do much of his rocking sitting down, Paul’s stage moves are somewhat limited by his gigantic girth - not that this matters to any of his adoring fans. Fortunately, it doesn't much matter to the band, either, as Paul's prodigious physical appeal has contributed greatly to their financial success; and that success gives them the means to accommodate Paul's remarkable rotundity, buying him specially fitted drums and equipment that allow him to keep playing, despite the size of his gut (seated, it extends to his knees!).
Paul actually has two sets of stage equipment - one is a set of electrically driven drums, with touch pads that Paul actually plays, which are small enough to be carefully placed so as to clear his burgeoning belly and pecs, when he is seated in a conventional drummer's position.
The other set of stage equipment is a radical adaptation to Paul's extraordinary bulk, and is both very unconventional and visually very dramatic! With it, Paul can play conventional drums. This is accomplished by having him lie down forwards at a 45 degree angle in a sort of motorised forward reclining stretcher. Paul steps into the stretcher frame, is strapped in, and then the entire frame rotates forward with Paul on it. Broad straps are strategically placed to support his legs, pelvis, and mid-chest, letting his massive gut and pecs hang free between, and clearing space for his shoulders and arms to work freely. Paul insisted that the band buy this gear, and it has proven very popular with female fans, even though Paul finds it tiring to play for long while strapped in. Still, the fans clear appreciate it, so it features in every concert.
With Paul's mushrooming mass and gargantuan girth driving the band's robust sales, though, the band has the finances and confidence to try such experiments. And Paul loves the adulation!
Of course, Paul's popularity, flourishing appetite and slower lifestyle rubbed off on his bandmates... thanks to the truffles alone, they'd all put on another 15-20 pounds!
And, their upcoming tour, "Immensities in Immense cities", (IM-MEN-sities in IM-MENse Cities) where all their monumental anatomies will be on display for their fans...
Rob, 23, lead vocals and guitar,
Gavin, 22, vocals, sax and guitar,
Johnny, 23, vocals and bass,
J-D, 24, keyboards and background vocals, and
Paul, 21, drummer and vocals.