Hand-annotated typed working draft of the lyrics for 'Taxi,' one page, 7.5 x 9.25, with Chapin's changes written in ballpoint and pencil throughout the manuscript, which begins: "It was raining hard in Frisco." Chapin strikes through the typed second line ("I needed one more fare to make my night," as sung on the record), writing a new line that ultimately went unused: "Sort of a nasty night." However, many of the changes he makes throughout—adding "It took a while" before "but she glanced at the mirror," changing "back in highschool" to "somewhere back in a fairytale," and several other minor revisions—that do appear in the final song. Most significantly, he hand writes the final line—"I go flying so high when I'm stoned"—which appears to have been an initial afterthought, but is an impactful closer in the recording. In fine condition, with intersecting folds, and binder holes along the left edge. Accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from Sandy Chapin, the widow of Harry Chapin.
Known as Chapin's early 'signature' song, 'Taxi' was the lead single from his 1972 debut album Heads & Tales. He debuted the tune on NBC's The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, which prompted so many phone calls and telegrams that he returned for an encore performance the very next night—the first time in the show's history that Carson brought back a musician on consecutive nights. As 'Taxi' helped to propel Chapin to fame, many materials from his career evoke the symbolism of a checkered cab, including the album covers for Heads & Tales and Sequel, his first and last records.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.