In this special BONUS episode of BackStory, Brooklyn’s Black Taxi tells us the story behind their song “Shoeshine.” Here’s a note from their team:
Black Taxi is one of the best new bands to come out of The Big Apple. Their music was recently featured on NBC’s The Chase and they finished their first national tour in fall 2010. They are an amazing live act – so be sure to check out their upcoming shows in Cambridge, MA at Tommy Doyles on January 22, 2011 and in NYC at the Bowery Ballroom on Jan. 29th. They have sold out Bowery the last two shows, so be sure to purchase your tickets early. For more information visit www.blacktaxi.com.
Shoeshine is a song written by lead guitarist Bill Mayo and sung by frontman Ezra Huleatt. Mayo wrote the song while on an Amtrak train home to New York City from Cape Cod, where he had been working at a golf tournament. Amused by the wealthy golfers and their mistresses partying around him, he created an account of a successful man leaving his wife and family for a tramp. The golf reference in the song is a direct result of his working the tournament, and far too fun and symbolic to leave out of the chorus.
When Adam Hootnick approached Black Taxi about doing a music video for “Shoeshine,” his interpretation was slightly different, but interesting—that this man who left his wife and family was actually just a lunatic, whose visions of a former life were just a delusion. It made for a really unique video.
Music: Mayo/Black Taxi
I left a fine, a fine, young woman back home
Life is a drag, yeah, she’s all alone
It’s gone, it’s gone, the life that I had
But don’t get me wrong, you know it’s not all bad
Because your eyes, your eyes, when I look in your eyes
I don’t think about her at all and that she’s crying
Your hair, your hair, I could swim in your hair
You asked me to leave, and you thought I wouldn’t dare
I used to pay to get my shoes shined
I think I used to have a car
Got a couple of children
I don’t care where they are
I played the CC on Saturday
I shot a 72
I left it all Sunday
It was the day I met you
How long, how long, how long can this last?
By the way you didn’t mention any of your past
I had a job, a job, a high-paying job
Now I’m a son of a b—
Who’s willing to rob.
And steal, and steal, just to survive
That’s how you like it, girl, living barely alive
You’re shady, you’re shady like the tint on the glass
But I couldn’t care less ‘cause this thing is a gas
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