If you know about this album, you really know.
My earliest memory of this record was getting into the passenger seat of my best friend’s Nissan Altima in 2006. I was about 18 years old, a care-free musician who also happened to be a Red Hot Chili Peppers fanatic.
My buddy handed me the CD tray to this mystery record as he popped the CD into his car stereo and said, “Check out this record. It’s a band called The Bicycle Thief. It’s got that guy Bob Forrest who’s friends with Anthony. John is on this record too.”
To be honest, that’s really all I needed to hear at that age to be sold, and I totally was. The “Cereal Song” quickly became our anthem, “Stoned” became our big rock track, “Tennis Shoes” was our art track. That record was a gem - and back then we kept gems to ourselves.
It’s bittersweet for me, reflecting on my teenage years - there always seems to be this rosy retrospection happening.
Everything back then was “great”. The music I listened to, the music I made, the movies I loved, it was all perfect. Today, when I revisit the great loves of my past, I tend to see blemishes that I never noticed as a kid. I can see behind the curtain - I can see how the trick works. For some people that may be a downer, but for me it shows progress. How much I’ve learned, how much I’ve grown. That can also mean parting ways with the things you loved.
So naturally, the years moved on. I never “made it” in a band, but I was able to make music my life. Holding jobs in the various sectors of the music business: touring, management, PR, blogging. I learned how to carve my own niche and for me, that was just as good as performing. That meant it was okay to constantly go to concerts, digest articles, albums, documentaries, etc.
Which leads to a summer night 14 years later. A Saturday night with Chinese take-out and a scroll through the TV for something to watch. I see a documentary recommendation called, “Bob And The Monster”.
I think to myself, Bob? Bob…? Bob and The Monster? Who was that guy again? So I hit play and every minute that passes in the documentary refreshes my memory.
Thelonious Monster, the Chili Peppers, Josh Klinghoffer, THE BICYCLE THIEF! Of course! “Stoned”, “Cereal Song”, “Tennis Shoes”, all the GREAT songs and players sprinkled throughout this spectacular movie reminded me of the beautifully underrated and understated songwriting genius that Bob possessed.
I had never known or understood how special of a person Bob Forrest really was until I watched that film.
If I was 18 again and knew about Bob’s accolades - I wouldn’t have been old enough to understand how meaningful his transformation was. I wouldn’t have lived enough to understand how hard it is to flip addiction and start over. I wouldn’t have been wise enough to understand that Bob Forrest didn’t ignore the cycles of systemic addiction that he overcame - he decided to fight it head-on publicly so others could see that it’s possible to defeat. I wouldn’t have been hip enough to understand that he took a local teenage kid and helped mold him into a globally praised rock superstar.
Sometimes that’s the beauty of revisiting your past. You see behind the curtain, but sometimes it’s not only about how the trick is done, it’s about how it makes the audience FEEL.
I was hooked, again. That was it. I watched that documentary and NEEDED to listen to that Bicycle Thief album. I fired up the streaming service, got my headphones ready, typed “B-I-C-Y-C-L-E, T-H-I-E-F” and to my astonishment, found nothing. Zip. Zero. There was no bicycle thief. I figured maybe I spelled something wrong, turns out I didn’t. Looked in a few more places, nothing. I eventually found pieces of the album on YouTube.
This is when I decided that a gem shouldn’t be kept to oneself anymore. I decided I’d take a shot. “I’m going to hit up Bob” I told my wife. She knew I was the king of the cold-call, but I don’t think she thought this would get anywhere. I found Bob on Instagram, and sent him a DM. Figured, why not? I’ve worked on a ton of records, let me ask Bob Forrest if I can help him put this record out. Give it the attention it deserves. So I did, and to both our astonishment he wrote back.
(My first text exchange with Bob on IG)
And that brings us to today. Just about a year from that DM to Bob Forrest on Instagram.
I am proud to announce that this record, a meaningful record that nearly got away from me, will resurface again. In a super small run of 500 vinyl LPs, The Bicycle Thief’s You Come And Go Like A Pop Song will be reissued on the 21st anniversary (to the day) of its original release.
This special record is going to get the treatment it always deserved. A beautiful gatefold vinyl package, a two-sided color insert poster with never before seen images, a color-in-color 140gram vinyl that was REMASTERED by the legendary Greg Calbi (look him up!). This reissue also includes a bonus 7” color vinyl with the 2001 Artemis reissue songs “Song From A Kevin Spacey Movie” and “Trust Fund Girl”. As if that weren’t enough, the record comes with a download card with 24 tracks of goodies. Never-before-released studio songs, demos, live performances, rarities. It’s an amazing package and I’m proud to have had a small part in it.
It’d be too selfish to have watched that documentary and done nothing. To guard something that heals you. Because maybe that gem will heal others. I mean - imagine if Bob took what he learned about recovery and never shared it with anyone? If Bob took his love for songwriting and never shared it with Josh? Then what would we be celebrating? What would we be reissuing after 21 years?