(NEW YORK) — When a death-metal rocker in Oregon had his treasured biker vest stolen at a performance three years ago, not only did he think he would never wear it again, he certainly didn’t expect it might resurface on the other side of the country, in a Macy’s store-window display.
“The whole thing is just really bizarre and awesome,” Meshach Babcock, 23, said.
His good friend Nicholas Prom was on Instagram Saturday when he saw a photo of a vest in a New York City Macy’s, as part of a Ralph Lauren Polo display in Herald Square, Babcock said.
He said Prom knew it was Babcock’s from the patches and writing on the vest. So Prom immediately called his friend, who was at a bar that night and began jumping up and down and screaming, prompting a few stares, Babcock said.
Babcock rushed back to his home in Portland that night to “check out what was going on.” In the time it took Babcock to get back to his house, Prom had already created a Facebook page titled “Macy’s, Give Back Meshach’s Vest,” and it gained a few hundred “likes.”
“It just started booming from there,” Babcock said.
A death-metal musician in several bands, Babcock cherished the vest given to him by a friend whose grandfather had used the vest in the 1960s and ‘70s. Over the eight years he had the vest, he made it his “constant art project,” adding patches, writing on and dying the vest.
It is a “big thing in heavy metal to have a jacket,” Babcock said, and “it became really important to me,” he said.
In April 2013, Babcock was playing with his band Maniak at a battle-of-the-bands show at Oregon City High School. He put his vest down with the rest of his band’s stuff in the back and when he came back at the end of the show, his vest was gone.
“I stayed there for two hours looking for it,” Babcock said. “I went back to the school the next day to ask security if they saw it,” and he even searched through garbage cans hoping to find it somewhere.
Devastated, he gave up until last week when his hope was renewed. Babcock has been in contact with Macy’s and the company must verify that it is his, according to company spokeswoman Elina Kazan.
She said Macy’s has yet to confirm that the vest belongs to Babcock.
If it does, it’s unclear how Ralph Lauren Polo and Macy’s would have come into possession of the vest. Kazan said there is a supply shop where a visual team creates the displays for Macy’s and the jacket was in the supply shop.
The vest has been taken down from the display and is being stored in a secure place. Kazan said she is waiting for Babcock to call her to complete the verification.
But Babcock hopes to have the vest back soon. To celebrate, he plans to perform a big show and, he said, keep the vest on the entire time.
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