(I told you I’d have some new content ideas for 2013! This is the first in what will be a fairly sporadic series of tales from behind the decks.)
Last Monday, aside from being New Year’s Eve, marks the last time I will ever tell a cab driver that I’m a DJ. Usually when asked if I’m heading out for the night I just say that I’m going to work. When you tell people you’re a DJ it starts a conversation I’ve had so many times that I don’t want to have it ever again. However on Monday being filled with seasonal good cheer I responded honestly to his questions and told him I was a DJ going to play at a New Year’s party in Dundrum. On hearing this he decided to give me a test. I’m not even remotely joking.
He had a stack of CDs in the car and decided to put them on and give me five points if I knew what the song was from the intro, three points if it took me until the vocal to guess the track and one point if I didn’t guess it until the chorus. My usual trick for dissuading cab drivers from conversation is monosyllabic answers while staring resolutely out the window. It’s not that I’m a thundering bitch, it’s just that my ideal cab journey takes place in silence; no radio, no mindless chit chat. However this guy was delighted with himself and his ingenuity, and so I had no choice except to take part in his version of Name That Tune.
The drive from my house to Dundrum takes about 25 minutes and it was more work than the actual gig that followed. I successfully guessed Huey Lewis and The News, Rod Stuart, Stevie Winwood and Deep Purple, but fell down on the Four Tops (so to speak) and hadn’t a clue about Garth Brooks (of which I’m rather proud). As we pulled up outside the venue in Dundrum, he looked at me ruefully in the rear view and said “well, you really seem to know your stuff.” I passed his test but it had somehow taken the wind out of his sails and he seemed defeated.
I’m not sure why. Perhaps he had envisaged some kind of smackdown where he proved that not only did he know his way around the mean streets of the Dublin suburbs but he also possessed an encyclopedic knowledge of all music ever recorded. Anyway, not wanting to end the journey on a bad note I said “ah but you really had me there with Garth Brooks!” He cheered up, smiled and said “yeah, I did, didn’t I?” Yes you did Mr Taxi Driver, yes you did.