The actor Jackson Rathbone stars in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn-Part 1, in theaters now, and the web series, Aim High, which he co-produced with McG. Next year, he will head back out on tour with his band, 100 Monkeys. Here, her writes about how her got that black eye as part of our Winter Issue's Travel Tales feature
It was the spring of 2010 and I was in love. The girl who had stolen my heart was a black 2006 custom Gibson Les Paul. We had met in the City of Angels on my 25th birthday. She wanted to come home with me, and I could tell this would be more than a one-night stand. This was love -- not my first -- but the last in a long line of broken strings and humbuckers. Our love was electric. She sang to me, and I knew her name was Betty.
I had been on the road with my band, 100 Monkeys, playing shows across North America. On this leg of the tour, we were playing dive bars and juke joints, caravanning with a small trailer lugged by an old Ford van, followed by a small white Scion xB. It wasn't luxurious by any means, but we were able to connect with our fans on a personal level.
The end of the tour brought 100 Monkeys back to our home state of California, to San Francisco specifically. We had one day off to explore the city, but we spent it in a dingy rehearsal space near the main piers on the industrial side of town. We were writing new songs for our return to Los Angeles in preparation for our future album, Liquid Zoo. After all, music was why we were there, and we had already driven by the famous Haight-Ashbury, now home to a Gap. We preferred to keep playing as opposed to sightseeing.
After rehearsal, we began unloading in a rather disorderly fashion -- joking, sipping beers and passing back instruments and gear, which we lined up along a dimly-lit, one-way alley. I was humming the still half-written lyrics for our future song "Prayer," while directing our tour manager as he backed the van-trailer through the narrow street. Though I was on "night watch" duty, I (admittedly) lost focus of our precious instruments and gear. I would soon learn to never ever make that mistake again. My beloved Betty was gone.
I was in a panic, my senses fully alert. I could taste the salty San Franciscan air, polluted with sticky-sweet carbon dioxide, and my own fear. I could smell the bay, miles away, lapping against the shoreline like an excited Jack Russell terrier. Then, from the corner of my eye, I saw a shadow. I turned: "Hey!" A singular exclamation that meant: "You son of a b****! That's my guitar! Get your ass back here before I cut off your sticky fingers and shove them so deeply into every known orifice that your parents will reel back and choose to never consummate that moment of lust years ago when you were merely a swimming little spunk in your father's left testicle!"
The shadowy figure started running, and so did I.
There are moments you will always remember, and then there are moments when you awaken flying through the air in a fury of righteous anger and indignation, where physical bodies impact much like comets in the cosmos, exploding upon impact, each chipping away at the other and wrestling over a freshly painted guitar case containing a sleeping object of ebony, mahogany and my bleeding, beating heart. I tackled the shadow and it swung back, wild with elbows and fists. My hands bit into concrete to cushion my fall. I held onto the guitar case amidst the writhing and the swinging limbs, as blood began to flow from my temple. Suddenly, the shadow was gone. I began to breathe again. I was alone with my love in my arms.