Obama drummer banned for being a winker
29th Jan 2009 | 11:09
Lack of protocol results in suspension
A drum major who broke ranks by winking at US president Barack Obama during a parade in the US has been reprimanded.
John Coleman said it would have been rude not to have acknowledged President Obama and said the experience was a "great honour".
"He waved, and I just gave him a wave and a little nod and moved on,'" Coleman said.
"I just happened to glance over and made eye contact with the president. He is the president - I could not just ignore him."
"He is the president - I could not just ignore him" Winker John Coleman
He later told the bandleader of the Cleveland Firefighters Memorial Pipes And Drums he never winked and simply blinked with both eyes.
However, the gesture made on parade in Ohio was caught by TV cameras and Coleman has now been suspended from drum duties for six months.
Pipe Major Mike Engle said: "Protocol and proper decorum had to be followed at all times. Unfortunately, John chose to ignore that."
And now Coleman says he will never return. "There are too many bridges burned with the pipe band, too many hurt feelings on both sides," said Coleman, 53, a 17-year veteran of the band. There are some of the members of the band who wouldn't want me back. I figure it's best for the band if I leave."
My god, this is almost as traumatic as whether Led Zeppelin should have continued without John Bonham.
Good job Keith Moon isn't alive to salute Obama. Imagine what he would do...