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Musician, artist, bike lover David Byrne in Portland tonight

Posted by on June 23rd, 2009 at 5:54 pm

David Byrne (R) chats with NYC
bike activist Noah Budnick.
(Image: Streetfilms)

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, artist, and musical legend David Byrne plays a show in Portland tonight.

Besides his musical and artistic endeavors, he’s also becoming something of a bike activist. Byrne has pedaled as a matter of everyday transportation for over 30 years and he’s starting to make some noise about it in his current home town of New York City.

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Byrne hosted a bike-themed event hosted by the New Yorker back in 2007 (check out the helmet-cam footage he took on the way to the event), he he is set to release a book about bicycling later this year, and he designed a series of bike racks for the New York City Department of Transportation last year.

Most recently, Byrne reviewed Jeff Mapes’ Pedaling Revolution in the New York Times Sunday Book Review.

A few of the artitstic bike racks
David Byrne designed for New York City.

Thankfully, I’ve had the good fortune to be able to attend the show tonight. And, if things work out, I should get the chance to meet Mr. Byrne afterwards.

Some bike advocates see David Byrne as a rare opportunity. He’s a person whose broad popularity and general coolness could work wonders for the bike movement in this country just when it’s needed most.

Whether or not he’ll become the face of the bike advocacy in the U.S. remains to be seen, but I know a lot of Portlanders would just be happy if he made an appearance at the Pie Champ Ride tonight.

Even if it takes cream pies, we’ll make a bike evangelist out of him somehow.

(Stay tuned for details on a David Byrne bike event in Portland this fall.)

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  • Dave June 23, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    Saw him at the (then) Paramount Theater in 1978, my first summer in Portland, for $0.92–KGON’s “Rising Star” series included Talking Heads. Hope he gets a ride in while he’s here.

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  • LoneHeckler June 23, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    He also reviewed Jeff Mapes’ book, Pedaling Revolution, for the New York Times Sunday Book Review:


    Leaving now to ride downtown for a bite and then the show. One of our all time faves, my wife and I will see him tonight and tomorrow in Seattle – our third and fourth shows on this tour.

    Pretty jealous about Jonathan meeting him, but what better ambassador could we ask for to talk about Portland and bicycles. Have fun!

    LoneHeckler, thanks for reminding me about the Mapes book review. I’ve added it to the story.– Jonathan

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  • Dave June 23, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    Good review–it is interesting to see the book as viewed by an intelligent, long-time-cycling NON Portlander. Think I’ll buy it.

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  • Coyote June 23, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    Same as it ever was.
    Same as it ever was.
    Look where my bike was.

    Welcome Mr. Byrne

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  • Pete June 24, 2009 at 1:06 am

    This is not my beautiful house.
    This is not my beautiful bike!!

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  • jeff June 24, 2009 at 6:57 am

    What a show!!!

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  • K'Tesh June 24, 2009 at 7:09 am

    Several people went to the Pie Champ Ride in the hopes that David would make an appearance… Well, he didn’t…

    However, we had a lot of fun, and here’s the pictures:

    The Pie Eating Contests were a lot of fun, and the forum’s own Thorlak (Keith) competed, and ate six pies. Mark managed to scoff down six-and-a-half.

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  • aljee June 24, 2009 at 9:06 am

    that was a great show.

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  • Jessy June 24, 2009 at 9:08 am

    I was at the show last night. It was so amazing and I am so thankful I was able to attend.

    That’s all.

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  • peejay June 24, 2009 at 9:56 am

    How one person be so cool? What a show! I loved every part of it, including the ice thrown at my back when I got up to dance. Ha ha.

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  • brettoo June 24, 2009 at 10:41 am

    amazing concert — even BEFORE the marching band with the half naked cheerleaders from san francisco marched down the aisle for the encores! And did you see all those bikes locked to the handrails outside the Schnitz? Maybe this will convince the city to install more bike racks around the PCPA — seems like there should be a lot more considering how much traffic those venues draw.
    BTW Byrne will be back in September to promote his book.

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  • Carl June 24, 2009 at 11:21 am

    I couldn’t believe how many familiar bikey faces were there (Alison and Jay Graves, Ken Southerland, JR, Roopal, Tony Pereira…).

    With any luck, it’d be great to get Byrne on a group ride for the event in September. If he’s coming out here to promote his book, there’s precious little he could do that’d be more effective.

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