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Taxi! The cabbie who was serenaded by Bette and Enrico

Where's the weekend? Deaf School fly in for the big 4-0. Pix: Wes Storey and Bill Leece

Written by . Published on October 21st 2013.

Taxi! The cabbie who was serenaded by Bette and Enrico

"YOU'LL never guess who I had in the back the other day."

When Liverpool cabbie John McKay decided to knock off work early last Saturday afternoon to watch the match, the last thing he expected was a personal serenade from two pop heroes from his teenage years.

Nor did he expect the VIP treatment and a song dedicated just to him that very evening in front of hundreds of ecstatic fans.

55-Deafschool 029 Copy
The crowds had turned out at East Village Arts Club to celebrate Deaf School's 40th anniversary, rounding off a triumphant weekend of non-stop partying, an exhibition and the launch of a book which like the band is unputdownable.

John, 51, was just 15 when he hitched a lift down to Wolverhampton to see the band Paul Du Noyer describes as a "delicious secret".

“I've never forgotten them,” he said. “I always followed them. I even made sure I saw them at the Hardman House Hotel 10 years later. Deaf School were always magic for me.”

Taxi! John Mckay Says Nights Like These Always End The SameTaxi driver John Mckay:  
Nights like these don't
always end the same
John told how he was dropping a fare off on Hope Street on Saturday afternoon when he saw Deaf School's Enrico Cadillac and Bette Bright signing autographs outside the Hope Street Hotel.

“I thought, bloody hell, that's them. I shouted across to Enrico, 'have you got one for me?' and he laughed and said something back.. I drove off. I was going to catch Everton.”

But instead of singing the Blues there was one Final Act for cabbie John.

“At the traffic lights, Enrcio and Bette flagged me down. They got in and I told them how I'd seen them back in 1978. Immediately, they both started singing Taxi! I couldn't believe it.

“I was driving around the one-way system and I had Bette Bright serenading me. Bette Bright! They did the whole song: 'Stop now, it's a red light'!”

John let them off with the fare for their rendition - and ended up with an access-all-areas pass for the sold-out performance.

"The band sound fresher than ever,” he told Liverpool Confidential in the VIP bar. “Bette dedicated Taxi! To me just now. She said 'This one's for John McKay.' I feel a bit like I'm dreaming.”

Deaf School Liverpool %286%29Deaf School await Enrico at Bryan Biggs' exhibition. Picture: Wes Storey

Friday saw the big weekend get off to a flying start with the opening of Bryan Biggs' painstakingly curated exhibition of everything Deaf School at the new John Lennon Building in the LJMU School of Art and Design in Duckenfield Street. It's on until November 15 and a must for anyone interested in Liverpool's musical heritage.

It was attended by a host of familiar faces from Liverpool's rich cultural past and present, including the band with the exception of Steve Allen (Enrico) who was unavoidably absent owing to family circumstances, in France.

It was left to Rev Max Ripple to cut the ribbon on the “village fete.” As an unexplained security alarm sounded, he wondered aloud: “Has the War started again?”

Deaf School Liverpool Exhibition. Pic By Wes Storey %282%29Pic By Wes Storey

Then it was on to the canteen of Liverpool Institute of Performing Art (the next best thing to Liverpool Art College) for the launch of Paul du Noyer's new biography: Deaf School – The Non Stop Pop Art Punk Rock Party. Hosted by Liverpool Confidential, Norman Killon DJ'd, Doreen Allen sold books and Paul du Noyer performed a reading. There had been a whisper that one or two of the band might get up and do a turn, but who knew?

What nobody did expect was the sweeping in of Enrico, just before 9pm, straight off a flight from Paris Charles de Gaulle.

And what nobody expected either was an impromptu set from the whole line-up in the college canteen.

As the 200 beaming people who witnessed it will have agreed, it was a night to remember - and also very Casablanca.

A warm and fuzzy video showing the moment everyone was 'taken by surprise' at Friday's book launch at LIPA (thanks Ruth Clare)  


Must see: Exhibition: The Art School Dance Goes on Forever, John Lennon Art and Design Building, Duckinfield Street, Liverpool L2 5GU, Oct 19-Nov 15, Open Monday – Friday, 10am-5pm. More info at www.deafschoolmusic.com

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AnonymousOctober 22nd 2013.

Amazing book launch fun

AnonymousOctober 25th 2013.

Gary Dwyer!

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