Fundraiser at full tilt after Stoke Newington celeb Pinball Geoff attacked before gig
- Credit: Archant
“Pinball Geoff” Harvey has been dealing in pinball machines for decades – and when he’s not doing that he’s drumming around Hackney with Mexican surf group the Bikini Beach Band.
So when he was attacked while unloading his kit before a gig in April and badly injured his shoulder, he was in a real jam.
Unable to buy, sell and repair his beloved pinball machines, or play music, Geoff’s bad luck was compounded when his radiator burst in his house, flooding it and causing major damage.
To help him out, his mate and fellow stickman Phil Grosvenor set up a crowdfunding page – and it hit £1,000 in 24 hours. A week on, it’s at more than £4,300.
“I thought I’d get a couple of hundred quid,” said Geoff. “But aside from the money it was just so lovely that someone could be bothered to do it.
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“Phil is a lovely friend I met when I played at his wedding. It was an amazing wedding – they came in on a steam train and, while we were playing, Darth Vader and storm troopers came in and held us at gunpoint. He [Phil] still comes to a lot of our gigs.”
The well wishes have done as much to heal Geoff as the physiotherapy. Following the attack outside Stoke Newington Town Hall, when he was punched in the face and hit his shoulder off the kerb, before having bins emptied on top of him, he began having panic attacks.
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And as a former psychiatric social worker, he turned to his friends for help. “It makes you realise how things can change in your life so quickly with a bit of bad luck,” he said. “I was struggling a bit. I’m self-employed so when the work stopped for about seven weeks my cheques started bouncing. People have been so kind. They’ve been bringing me food and I’ve woken up to find some nice beers stuffed through the cat flap.”
Geoff is back working on the machines, but not yet able to play drums around his beloved Stoke Newington, where he has lived for 25 years, through thick and thin.
“When I moved here it was a very Afro-Caribbean place,” he continued. “I remember incredibly loud dominoes being played. There was some gang crime but if you stayed out of it you were alright.
“I remember my first journey here, I asked the bus conductor how far it was and he said ‘not long now... before they arrive’. He went on to tell me how he’d been abducted by aliens who had implanted a chip in his head.
“I miss some of that edginess. It’s still lovely but now you’re swimming in coffee and frappaccinos. I was surprised I got attacked at 5pm on a Saturday.”
Donate to Pinball Geoff here.