It might take a nation of millions to hold Public Enemy back, but one missed cab can do the trick as well.
However, the pioneering political rap group, known for hits like “Fight the Power” and “911 Is a Joke,” ended up making do Saturday night when one unassuming Englishman (and his Ford Focus) stepped up.
Kevin Wells, a professional photographer, was at a CD signing when the group revealed that their taxi had left without them, and they needed a lift to get to their show, which was in about 45 minutes at the Sheffield Arena. Wells, 50, was last in line and volunteered his Ford Focus.
“It was very, very surreal,” Wells told the Guardian. “We all walked to the car – Flavor Flav, Chuck D and two of their entourage – and they all just piled in. I’m local to Sheffield so I know all the back streets to get there pretty sharpish so I didn’t feel too tense. I knew I could get them there in time.”
The group was amicable, polite and restrained throughout the journey, with one exception. “I had a compilation CD I’d made in the car,” Wells explained. “It was on low but suddenly when [Queen’s] ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ came on, one of the entourage at the front shouted Bo Rap! Wayne’s World!’ and they all started headbanging in the back of the car.”
“I kept looking in the rear view mirror and I could see Flava Flav with his sunglasses on and his big clock and I couldn’t believe it.”
Wells got his charges to the arena on time, but had to decline their invite to the gig – he had to head off to two other gigs for his job as a concert photographer. He said that though he’s made his living photographing bands, this is as close as he’s gotten to famous musicians.
He still has that magnificent picture, though, and has a story for the ages. “They are my first famous passengers in my Ford Focus, but it’s a good one to dine out on for a few years,” he said.