Sometime back, a friend of mine and I liberated a bike from the horrors of decomposition on Atlantic Beach. Since then, she has lived a lovely life in the Urban Core, spending her days within the confines of our loft, or out schmoozing with rock stars….literally.
Last Sunday, my friend Carlos was volunteering to sell t-shirts at a rock show, known as The Big Ticket. It’s an all day festival of alternative rock bands, most of whom I have never heard of, to which most of the attendees were born after I graduated high school. (Jeeeeeezzzuuuhhhhhssss am I getting old or what?!) The promoters gave him two tickets to share with friends and he passed one of those along to me. I opted out of the all day affair and chose, instead, to meet him later in the evening to see 30 Seconds to Mars and the remake of Stone Temple Pilots (I say remake because, in case you have been living under a rock, like I have, Scott Weiland is no longer the lead singer, which is kind of dumb since it was his voice that pretty much established the band’s signature sound, but I’ll get back to that in a minute).
Carlos called me at about 1pm to ask if I had a couple of bikes he could borrow. Carlos is from Mexico City and has an amazing accent that I love listening to whenever we talk, but not on the phone. On the phone, I can’t make out a damn word that he is saying, so I thought he was asking if he could borrow the bikes to ride around downtown and go to the farmer’s market, while he was on a break, and before he had to be back at the concert later in the evening. “Easy enough, of course you can borrow the bikes.” A few minutes later he showed up at my door (the park where the festival was is right down the street from where I am living now).
He also had a dude with him, whom I had never met, but seemed nice enough, introduced to me as Jason…who I thought would be the other bike rider in the two-bike-borrowing-pair. S said hello to Carlos as well and asked him, “Oh you’re going to ride over to the farmer’s market huh?” Carlos replied, “No, I am not riding the bike.”
“Who is?” I asked, realizing that whatever Carlos told me on the phone was not actually what I thought I heard on the phone, and more than likely something completely different, but I just didn’t understand his romantic-accented ass. “Jarod Leto is, I told you that on the phone”, Carlos answered. (Great, now I am not only old, I am going deaf…awesome). S was dumbfounded, “Jarod Leto? No shit?” “Yes.” Carlos answered impatiently.
“Who is Jarod Leto?” I asked (yea, yea….I am out of the loop, we all know this). “He’s the lead singer of 30 Seconds to Mars,” Carlos replied. “That doesn’t help me, I don’t even know who 30 Seconds to Mars is,” I retorted. Carlos is shaking his head at this point, “Can we borrow the bikes? They want to ride around downtown since they don’t go on until 8pm. I will be responsible for them.” “Sure,” I said, knowing that Carlos is always good on his word (it’s just me who doesn’t understand the words coming out of his mouth on the phone! sigh….) “You can take my mountain bike, and my cruiser. Hope they don’t mind riding around on a baby blue cruiser all afternoon, ha!”
So, he and Jason scoop up the bikes into Jason’s truck and head back over to the festival. S and I went about the rest of our day, had dinner, and then I made my way over to the festival in the evening to listen to this 30 Seconds to Mars and Stone Temple Pilots (new cover band) business and pick up my bikes. I met up with Tiffany, another friend and recipient of Carlos’ free tickets. We hung out for a bit and while Carlos finished wolfing down his dinner backstage, then came out to join us.
Immediately, he tells me that the promoter informed him there had been some damage done to one of my bikes (f**king rock stars, really?)…the cruiser. Instantly, I am relieved that it isn’t my mountain bike, which is the bike that I actually paid good money for. The cruiser, I totally love, but that shit was free (stolen really), so it didn’t piss me off as much as damage to the mountain bike would have. But, Carlos did say that the promoter apologized and they were going to give me money for the damage done to the bike, which makes Jarod Leto and his crew pretty stand-up peeps in my book. (Admitting mistakes, offering a solution to rectify the issue, and apologizing are all signs of acting like a grown up…something that many people fail to realize or practice….especially those in government, but that’s an entirely different, and much longer rant, altogether).
Jarod’s band is up next – they sound good – not my style of music, but fun to watch and listen to, none the less. Turns out that Jacksonville is the first place that 30 Seconds to Mars played live when they first started, in 2005. “Ooooh, so that’s why they wanted to borrow the bikes and ride around downtown!” Carlos affirms. While we wait for STP to take the stage, Carlos says, “Hey, I wonder if there are pictures of them on your bikes,” so we take to Twitter to see if they tweeted a pic of Jarod Leto’s butt, sitting in the same spot I do when I ride my bike, which would make us butt buddies! (wheeeeee!)
Sure enough, we find a pic of Shannon Leto – Jarod’s older, but equally hot, brother and drummer in the band – cruisin’ down the East side on my bike! Holla!
About that time, Carlos got a text from the promoter that they had my bikes ready and cash waiting to be picked up, so he went to retrieve both. As he hauled the bikes out from back stage, he slapped $60 in my hand for the dinged up rim on the back wheel of the cruiser (probably because they bit it riding over one the GIANT potholes that are splattered all over this city and no one ever fixes) and Tiffany shouts, “Your bike is famous! Here, get a pic of me with it!”
From the beaches to the city, my bike is now more famous than I am….