David Byrne blogs: Asheville’s all good until someone pulls out a gun

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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David_Byrne_St_Vincent_2013David Byrne, the former Talking Heads front man, played a show in Asheville last weekend with St. Vincent, all in support of their new collaborative album, Love This Giant. As he has done before, Byrne spent some time checking out the Asheville community. He rode a bike down by the river, ate at The Admiral, bought a 12-string guitar from Sherwood’s music and more.

Bryne also reported what he described as a scary confrontation between a bicyclist and a motorist:

Carter (Trumpet and Flugelhorn) was at the same music store, and after leaving he witnessed a local cyclist get into an altercation with a driver. One of them (the driver or the cyclist) had cut off the other. The angry cyclist pulled around to the driver’s window to exchange words, only to throw his hands up and quickly back away when confronted by a gun.

It sounded like this cyclist has a little bit of a short fuse, which might need to be addressed, but it also shows the ease with which a gun comes into play in many parts of this country. Easy to see how a random stupid confrontation or bit of road rage could quickly escalate into someone’s death. Scary.

Byrne writes about it all on his blog. Check it.

Thanks to loyal reader White Lightnin‘ for the heads-up.

Image link for David Byrne and St. Vincent.

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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  1. raoul vega June 25, 2013

    I am currently evolved in local biking events, but in another city I had to resolve conflicts between transit operators and bikers. In one of many similar incidents a “2 wheeled savior of the planet” actually thought it was OK to board a public transit bus and threaten a diminutive, female driver. The militant attitude and flagrant disregard of traffic laws by some bikers creates an image that my bikers friends do not deserve and creates hostility with motorists.

  2. Clyde Smith June 24, 2013

    There’s not enough information to evaluate the cyclist/driver situation.

    But after 2 1/2 years in Asheville, the only guns I’ve seen are on cops.

    However some cyclists are getting out of hand. In Raleigh not that long ago I was at an intersection facing an ongoing car that didn’t take off right away when the light changed and didn’t have a turn signal on. Since I was turning I did the safe thing and didn’t immediately slam on the gas.

    A cyclist passed me illegally in the ongoing traffic lane while giving me the finger and yelling something. I was going in the same direction, pulled into the center turn lane and passed him rather speedily, not a legal move but not endangering the cyclist unless he pulled something very unexpected and erratic without signaling.

    He came up on my left side at the next light, partly in the oncoming lane, and started yelling at me through the window.

    I was prepared to defend myself, didn’t have a gun, but next time I’d open the door on him if that happened and knock him over since there was no ongoing traffic and I felt threatened.

    Hate to say that but he was bigger than me and he was totally going ballistic like a meth fiend.

    Between that and group bike events for cyclist rights that are going so slow and blocking multiple lanes I don’t see how they can be legal, I’ve kind of lost my sympathy for cyclists.

    I’m still very careful around them. I was hit twice back in the day when I biked everywhere by people who weren’t being careful, one of whom may have hit me intentionally, but I have no further interest in supporting cyclist causes.

    Hate to be that way but having people act superior all the damn time cause they can ride a bike and then dealing with such behavior just kind of kills any sympathy.

  3. Big Al June 20, 2013

    By “…this part of the country”, Byrne implies that if this incident had happened anywhere except the South, that bicycler would have been free to verbally (and maybe physically) harass the driver.

    Since his being on a bike implies that he is in better physical shape, I suspect the driver may have needed an equalizer.

    Ergo, anywhere but in the South, a bicycling bully is free to prey on the weak, but down here we rednecks have the gall to defend ourselves.

    Go back where you came from, Byrne. And don’t come back. Your music sucks.

    1. lexingtonian June 20, 2013

      Big Al,

      David Byrne is so cool they had to turn off the AC at Thomas Wolfe.

      I dare to say you don’t have a clue as to what you are talking about.

      The show was amazing.

      1. Smytty June 20, 2013

        You clearly haven’t been following “BigAl” for very long. He’s a troll of the lowest nature.

    2. luther blissett June 23, 2013

      “Big” “Al” drives an SUV made out of jello, which has no chance in a collision with a cyclist.

  4. Curious June 20, 2013

    You’re right Sean – the biker was probably wrong to confront the driver, and we don’t know enough to judge.

  5. Carlos June 20, 2013

    Hell, that aint nothing in Asheville check out this story:

    Police say firefighter Charles Diez was upset that a man was riding a bike with his 3-year-old son on a busy street so shot the cyclist in the head. The bullet embedded itself in the rider’s helmet.

    Diez was arrested on attempted first degree murder charges, but lucky for him the fire department in Asheville, NC is keeping him on paid investigative leave, so he will continue to draw a salary.

    1. D. Sahm June 20, 2013

      Looks like the scumbag judge in that case is retiring instead of facing a re-election:


      F*#K Diez and Downs.

  6. Chris June 20, 2013

    It’s funny – all these people buying guns for protection, when what they really need is some good data encryption software for all their communications. They waste their 300 bucks on a nice gun that they will never kill a person with, but won’t spend 150 bucks on a piece of software that protects them from the government they claim to distrust. I guess that’s the unquestionable “magic” of the free market at work. Americans wasting their money.

  7. Nate June 19, 2013

    Their faces have been ‘shopped in that picture, right? Or at least I seriously hope so . . .

  8. Sean June 19, 2013

    Let’s see….a cyclist that has a “short fuse that needs to be addressed” is seen by the author angrily confronting a driver. The cyclist is then backed down with a weapon. Sounds to me as if the gun owner behaved responsibly. What do we know about the driver/gun owner? Nothing. Could it be an elderly man? Or perhaps a woman with a child in the car? Sorry if I view this differently and not as “embarrassing”, Curious.

    1. luther blissett June 23, 2013

      “Sounds to me as if the gun owner behaved responsibly.”

      Sounds like you’re part of the problem. How embarrassing.

      1. Sean June 25, 2013

        Prove me wrong, pal. You can’t. Let’s not let facts cloud our bias, right?

  9. Doug Cegelis June 19, 2013

    The obvious solution? More guns!

    1. Phillip June 19, 2013

      That is most likely how the NRA would respond.

  10. Curious June 19, 2013

    Well that’s embarrassing! It was a great show with high energy from the audience. I hope this gun episode doesn’t impact DB’s impressions of Asheville or his desire to return.


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