That's Colburn behind the kit on the right. (Photo: Harry Herd / Getty Images)

A corny musician joke about drummers came to life for Belle & Sebastian’s Richard Colburn this week, when the group’s bus driver looked around, said, “yup, everyone’s here,” and pulled out of the parking lot of a Walmart in Dickinson, North Dakota, leaving Colburn behind. “I was coming out of the Walmart, and he was coming into the Walmart, and he was waving very happily, in a good mood,” frontman Stuart Murdoch tells The Current. “And that was the last time that we saw him.”

It seems that it took a while for Murdoch and company to notice Colburn was gone. Murdoch first tweeted about his disappearance from Maple Grove, Minnesota, which according to Google Maps is a seven-hour drive from Dickinson:


Since Colburn went into the Walmart without his phone and it was late at night, he apparently sat there for four hours waiting for someone to come get him before saying ”fuck it” and checking into a nearby hotel. Eventually, someone responded to Murdoch’s SOS and gave Colburn a ride to the Bismarck airport, where he caught a flight to Minneapolis. He even made it on time to the gig at the Palace Theatre in St. Paul that night:

While this might seem like an act of twee passive aggression—The Current host Mary Lucia even jokes about it in her interview with Murdoch, saying, “that’s one way to get rid of a drummer”—Murdoch says it was simply a whimsical accident. And to be fair, Belle & Sebastian has more members than your average band, “so it’s maybe not surprising that something like this happened,” as Murdoch puts it. Anyway, steps have been taken to ensure it doesn’t happen again:


Belle & Sebastian’s new single, “Someone Is Off The Bus, Please Heed My Sign,” is presumably forthcoming.

[via Stereogum]