GUITARIST Ian Lloyd has taken giving his vocal cords a warm-up to a new extreme.
When the 58-year-old rocker took a sip of his pint, he got a lot more than he bargained for when he accidentally swallowed a plectrum, which is used to strum a guitar.
Ian, of Longlands, High Salvington, who is a founder member and lead guitarist with Raw Deal, had to spend several hours in hospital following the incident, which happened during a gig in Shoreham.
It started when Ian dropped his plectrum, but he could not find it, so he started using another one and did not think any more about it.
But then, he had a sip of his pint, and suddenly found he had a big object lodged in his throat.
Ian said: “It was a bit of a shock, really. I could breathe, but I was struggling and it was so painful.
“It was then it dawned on me it must be the plectrum, as I hadn’t been able to find it on the floor when I dropped it.”
Ian managed to keep playing until the end of the gig, at the Duke of Wellington pub, in Brighton Road, but after he got home, he decided he would have to go to the hospital.
He went to A and E at Worthing Hospital, where they took an X-ray of his throat, but doctors could not see anything.
Ian said: “They told me I would be best going to the A and E department at the hospital in Brighton, so I went there, but they still couldn’t find it, as it must have been lodged so deep.
“They didn’t know what to do, so they admitted me and were planning to operate the next day. But then, another doctor came in and told me to eat something, which dislodged it a bit.”
Ian was then allowed to be discharged and go home.
He added: “They told me just to wait until it passed through my system, so you can imagine all the jokes I’ve had.
“They have said there shouldn’t be any damage, so I think I’m lucky, as it could have been a lot worse.”