A while back, I started an occasional weekend feature called "Random Ridiculous Songs That Have No Business Being Played In Public Again But I Heard In The Grocery Store Today."
This week I considered starting a new one called "Random Ridiculous Songs That I Heard In a Martha's Vineyard Cab."
Those who come and go from the Island know---especially the people who live here year-round---that you live and die by the ferry boats. Everyone's got a story about rushing to make that boat, the last one off the Island.
Less talked about, is that trip to the ferry boat. Unless you are taking your car on the ferry, you've got to get a ride down to the Steamship Authority. There is no place to leave your car near the boat.
Because many folks on the mvy staff conduct business on the mainland (really, we do! Some people are so surprised that the mvyradio signal goes all the way across the water to the Cape!), many of us know that trip well.
Fortunately, the station has forged a nice relationship with "the best cab company on Martha's Vineyard," Adam Cab.
They give us rides from the station to the ferry and back. We air commercials for them.
So next time you hear one of these hilarious commercials you'll know that one of the mvyradio staff members is getting a ride to the boat.
We get to know the drivers pretty well. Most are guys who are here on a work Visa. And the majority of the driver are either from Jamaica or Bulgaria.
Now, I've always imagined that being a cab driver lets you play DJ in one of two ways. Either, you put on music to make an interesting/pleasant experience for your passengers. Or, you treat the cab like your office, and you listen to whatever music gets you through the day.
Honestly, most drivers do the latter.
But funny enough, they don't always pick the music you'd expect.
When I get in the cab with one of the Bulgarians, its not uncommon to hear some kind of European dance music. They've plugged in an iPod and are jamming to the kind of tunes they hope to be hearing when they take all the money they made in the summer, and enjoy it in the Sofia nightclubs. Or they may be listening to one of the local Pop stations, that play the latest American dance music.
The Jamaicans are pretty likely to be listening to Pop music too. Or, perhaps not surprisingly, they'll be listening to some reggae. On a lucky day, one of the drivers, who is also a performer, will play some of his own gritty, authentic, modern reggae music.
And these are the kind of things that you'd expect.
But every once and a while, a driver will be listening to something that defies expectation.
Like the Turkish kid who drove last summer, and seemed to prefer to listen to mainstream Country radio.
Or the crusty old Islander driver, who knew every 80s Pop song that came on the radio.
But the one that really blew my mind, was a ride I took this week.
I just would never expect the 20-something Jamaican kid, with dreads and everything, to be cranking Air Supply on his iPod.
But there we were, barreling down the Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road, "rocking out" to the most vanilla, smoothed out AC power ballads you'd never expect to be hearing, had you looked in the windows of our Adam Cab.
But as the jingle says, "Adam Cab keeps your secrets . . . "
Hear the song on Youtube.