This is an image of the bill my old friend Brett Lars Underwood paid for a new set of wheels for his bicycle. The old wheels were stolen. Replacing them set Brett back $281.45.
Petty theft in the Murder City is no big news. Everybody is hurting for money, and at least Brett has a job where he can make that money back. Every doctor's office has somebody sitting in it who is going down the tubes over medical bills that make this receipt look like total chump change. But still, this bothered me.
It bothered me, in part, because Brett is a bartender with a two-week vacation to Madrid on the books (he leaves Thursday). Every vacation is an unpaid vacation for a bartender - not a great time to cough up $281.45 for something he already had. And Brett is one of the more honest and generous guys you'll ever meet in your life.
So I threw together a humble little benefit for the guy - an impromptu hootenanny at CBGB, 3163 South Grand, this next Monday, April 6 (9 p.m. until we run out of steam, or barman Eric Hall wants to plays some CDs).
I got yesses from Fred Friction, Christopher Y. Voelker, Frank Heyer, Tim McAvin, Colin Michael Shaw and myself. Also invited: Sunyatta Marshall, Mark Stephens, Tim Rakel, Marc Chechick, K. Curtis Lyle. Maybe more. Come play.
Since the tires already have been replaced and Brett will be in Spain on the night of the event, we can think of this as a Brett Underwood Stimulus Package. We are in effect raising money for him to put back into the local economy when he gets back home, spent at places he frequents by riding his rehabilitated bike.
We'll pass the hat for Brett's tires. I don't expect to raise $281.45 on a Monday night on South Grand, but if we come up with $50, that's $50 Brett will have in hand to spend when he gets back home. And I speak from experience: if you run into him at the bar, he'll be spending in on you.