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- Posted on Oct 20th 2009 2:40PM by Charley Rogulewski
In a bizarre coincidence, burrito chain Freebirds World Burrito is offering up free tacos at all their locations on the same day that claimed the lives of some of the original Freebirds. The chain has been using Twitter, Facebook and radio spots to promote the giveaway, which offers one beef or chicken taco per customer until the close of business tonight. And while all the excitement over free tacos buzzed in the coming days, no one at the chain or part of the chain's loyal fanbase (a message on Freebirds World Burrito Facebook page will receive 75 likes and average 30 comments per thread) put two and two together.
When informed of the coincidence, a Freebirds employee from Austin, Texas told Spinner, "Oh wow! I didn't even realize it happened today," while another said, "I had no idea. That's really interesting."
"This was purely coincidental," Jeff Carl head of marketing for the Freebirds chain, which sports 25 locations between Texas and Oklahoma, told Spinner over the phone today. "No one wants to think about something so tragic, you want to focus on their great work. We had no idea till you called and we read the story," he said of the uncanny coincidence. The free giveaway was to promote the relaunch of Freebird's $1.59 taco menu. "We thought we'd give away a free taco so everyone can try one," Carl put it simply.
When the original Freebird's opened near the U.C.- Santa Barbara campus in 1987, the Lynyrd Skynyrd song was the inspiration for new age burrito joint, which hoped to cater to the free-spirited customer. "It's about feeding the belly and the soul." Carl notes. "The genesis of the restaurant is to celebrate music -- not just Lynyrd Skynyrd, but rock from the ages."
While Carl says the uncanny coincidence "doesn't feel right" he hopes the restaurant chain and the band can work together in the future. "It should be more about Lynyrd Skynyrds extraodinary contribution to rock music. I'd love to find a better way to celebrate and work, if we can, with Lynyrd Skynyrd," Carl says remaining optomistic. "I don't think we'd want to ever memorialize such a tragic event. We'd want to celebrate their great work and what they've done."
Freebirds might even give a little nudge of cross-promotion for the band, which hasn't had a chart hit since reforming in 1987. While raising a cup of whiskey or beer might be the custom way to salute the fallen rockers on this day, here's to downing a taco!