A warning to aspiring amateur photographers: If you're inspired to take creative but harmless photos of a 9-year-old girl, make sure to get her parents' permission before whisking her away for a shoot.
Phish bassist Mike Gordon learned that lesson the hard way.
Last week at the Jones Beach Theatre in Wantagh, New York, Gordon was backstage taking pictures at a concert when he spotted a 9-year-old girl he wanted to photograph. So, he invited her to an enclosed boathouse behind the theater, an area only for use by state employees, state police said.
When the girl's parents realized she was missing, they alerted the authorities. Not long after, security officers found Gordon with the girl on a dock. The situation became even stranger when it was discovered that the girl's dad was a member of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang. Displeased that his daughter had been led away without his consent, the father became irate and an altercation ensued between some of his biker cronies and Gordon. The bassist was intimidated and hit, but not seriously injured, said a source close to the band.
Gordon was arrested for child endangerment and trespassing into a closed area. The misdemeanor charge is punishable with up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Police said the girl was fully clothed when she was found, and a source close to the band insisted there was nothing inappropriate about the pictures taken by Gordon. Police have issued Gordon a court date, but the band source said the family has decided not to file charges.
"We have had several discussions regarding the situation," said Gordon and the girl's parents in a joint statement. "It is now clear to all involved that this was an unfortunate misunderstanding, and we look forward to putting this matter behind us."