One thing that took us by surprise in Vegas was how talkative and friendly the cabbies were. Not to say the NY cab driver is not a cordial breed. But honestly, I sometimes worry I will lose a shoe when getting out one because they are driving away before I fully get out.
Our last night in the City of Sin brought us to a wonderful restaurant about 20 minutes off the strip called Rosemary’s. (Thanks for the suggestion Jeff, it was amazing).
Every Vegas cabbie has a story. This particular one started to chat about the Northeast and why he left. He talked about having been very fortunate early in his career and raising 4 daughters in Westport, CT. Now this guy, he had a long gray ponytail and the look of many years of partying hearty. Not exactly your typical Westport resident.
Of course Gary had to ask him what he did. He told us he was a musician and had great success (um, then why are we driving a cab in Vegas, again?).
Gary: what band?
Cabbie: oh, a little band called ‘the iron butterfly”
Gary: Get the hell out of here. In-a-gada-da-vita?!!
Me: That was our wedding song (I was kidding, it was actually James Brown “I Feel Good”)
So, he and Gary go on to chat up music for the rest of the ride and I am squinting in the dark trying to get this guy’s name off the dashboard. He tells us that he played keyboard and sang. Being the blackberry detective, I look up Iron Butterfly and the names don’t match.
As we got out of the cab Gary asked his name. The name he gave was correct but certainly did not match his taxi license. Was this like his pen name for driving so people did not know it was him. Was he ghost driving?
Of course I had to go upstairs and do more Googling. What is wrong with me, don’t most people just gamble in Vegas.
He talked about playing Woodstock. The Iron Butterfly did not, they got stuck at the airport. He talked about growing up in Sty-town. Doug Ingle was born in Omaha and grew up in the Rocky Mountains, then moved to San Diego. (uh, last I looked Sty-town was on the east side in NY).
My net of this experience?
Sometimes it is better not to have all that information at your fingertips. Wouldn’t it have just been cool to think that a past rock icon was our driver and he drove a cab so he could chat about the old days with people who cared? Here’s a great vintage vid for those of you who have been humming the song since I mentioned it.