And Finally Artist News Beef Of The Week Gigs & Festivals

CMU Beef Of The Week #285: Taxi Driver v Public Enemy

By | Published on Friday 4 December 2015

Public Enemy

Much was written this week about the story of Kevin Wells, who through a mixture of luck and quick thinking found himself giving Public Enemy a lift to their show supporting The Prodigy at Sheffield Arena this week. In a Ford Focus. As everyone seemed very keen to point out.

Chuck D and Flavor Flav had been doing a signing at the Record Collector record shop in the city, and with 45 minutes to go before they were due on stage realised that their taxi had already gone without them.

“They asked, ‘anyone got a car to take us to the gig?'” Wells told BBC News. “I replied, ‘I will take you, I’ve got a Ford Focus down the road'”.

That doesn’t sound like a sentence anyone would actually say, but at least it illustrates my point about the Ford Focus.

Rushing to the arena, scooting down all the back streets, the journey was not uneventful. “We were chatting away, but the phone was constantly going as their management were clearly worried”, Wells told the Sheffield Star. “Then as we were coming through Attercliffe, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ by Queen came on the radio. Everyone was singing the words and rocking out in the back of my car, it was like a ‘Wayne’s World’ moment. I was looking in the rear view mirror thinking, ‘Is this actually happening?'”

Just to make sure, Wells snapped a selfie with his passengers before they got out of his Ford Focus. The final hurdle just being security at the venue.

“They looked at me a bit funny, as if to say: ‘Yeah right we’ve heard that before'”, he told to The Guardian of the moment he told the guard that he had Public Enemy in the back of his Ford Focus. “But then Chuck D flashed his pass and the attendant looked flustered and said: ‘Yes, I’m sorry, come through’ and he directed us to the backstage area”.

So, all’s well that ends well. Chuck and Flav were through the door fifteen minutes before their stage time, and no one watching knew how close they came to missing their slot. But there’s one person everyone’s forgotten in this story: Public Enemy’s taxi driver.

What’s the deal there? Why did they flee the scene? Sure, the signing overran a little. That’s the problem with signings – too many fans and too little time. Well, you’d hope, anyway. Public Enemy are accommodating chaps, they want to try and meet and greet as many people as possible, so they hang on a bit longer.

Surely if you’re booking a taxi for Public Enemy, you might mention that they’re a bunch of famous rappers who are playing a show at a nearby arena. Maybe even say to start the meter running from the time the taxi is booked for, rather than when they actually sit down in the back, to compensate for any rock n roll style delays.

Perhaps they did all that. Which leaves one question: What is the taxi drivers of Sheffield’s beef with Public Enemy? Did something happen when they headlined the Tramlines festival two years ago? Did someone from Sheffield once eat a bad piece of chicken cooked by Flavor Flav? Maybe they’re angry that the group’s latest album, ‘Man Plans, God Laughs’, is only 28 minutes long.

Whatever the answer, someone from the Sheffield taxi community must now come forward and do whatever is necessary to bring an end to this dispute before it gets out of hand.

Also, has anyone confirmed that the taxi driver was not driving a Ford Focus?