The Home Page Of Jon Barnes And The World Famous Ultimate Taxi From Aspen Colorado
Taxi Featured In Show Technology Magazine Fall 1993

   Taxi Featured In Show Technology Magazine Fall 1993 - The Ultimate Ride
Aspen, Colorado has long boasted of beautiful slopes, clean streets, a celebrity community, and of course the Ultimate Taxi. Former New Yorker Jon Barnes operates one of the resort town’s favorite tourist attractions, but only seeing is believing. Barnes describes his taxi as the only “recording studio, theatre, nightclub, planetarium, toy store, taxicab in the world.” One has to think of Barnes as a musician, sound engineer, lighting designer, taxi driver as well. For only twenty-five bucks a pop, pick-ups have come from as far away as Japan, Australia, and England to take a ride. 
	Barnes began driving a taxi nine years ago, equipped with a police scanner, a mobile phone, and various other gadgets obscure to the average drive. While on a shopping spree Barnes bought a Casio keyboard; he discovered that the keyboard could be mixed with his car cassette player. At first Barnes only played the Casio when fares where sparse. Eventually he added bits and pieces for the cab, including a tiny mirror ball for the taxi’s ceiling. According to Barnes, “I got a microphone and gooseneck, and later reverb and echo. I didn’t know I could sing and play the piano, but in this car, with the acoustics and surround sound, it really sounded great. Everybody that needed a cab always asked for me; it was a fun ride because I always had something new in the car.”
	In 1989 Bob Zook, a friend and mobile communication specialist, helped Barnes upgrade his lighting and effects. Ironically, Barnes and Zook’s design creation rivaled many nightclubs. Barnes’ current cab inventory includes rope lights, neon, 12 volt MR 16s, a SFX Haze Machine, fiber optics, an improved mirror ball, and assorted small PAR cans. Barnes also has a helium neon laser gelled with diffraction film, creating a multiple criss-crossing laser beam effect in the taxi’s three foot wide space.
	Barnes provides a total entertainment package to his passengers. Part DJ, part karaoke, part lighting jock, part variety host, Barnes is self-employed, and a good portion of his income is supplied by revenue from the gift shop in his taxi’s trunk. Aside from the killer light show, a typical ride finds Barnes accompanying the stereo system with keyboards, drum machines, and MIDI wind instruments.
	When Barnes is not on the job he is looking for new lighting equipment or going to shows to observe the lighting effects. He is also venturing into the miniature home lighting market and is planning to design and market his own portable automated lighting package to parties and special events.
  

    Aspen, Colorado has long boasted of beautiful slopes, clean streets, a celebrity community, and of course the Ultimate Taxi. Former New Yorker Jon Barnes operates one of the resort town’s favorite tourist attractions, but only seeing is believing. Barnes describes his taxi as the only “recording studio, theatre, nightclub, planetarium, toy store, taxicab in the world.” One has to think of Barnes as a musician, sound engineer, lighting designer, taxi driver as well. For only twenty-five bucks a pop, pick-ups have come from as far away as Japan, Australia, and England to take a ride.

  Barnes began driving a taxi nine years ago, equipped with a police scanner, a mobile phone, and various other gadgets obscure to the average drive. While on a shopping spree Barnes bought a Casio keyboard; he discovered that the keyboard could be mixed with his car cassette player. At first Barnes only played the Casio when fares where sparse. Eventually he added bits and pieces for the cab, including a tiny mirror ball for the taxi’s ceiling. According to Barnes, “I got a microphone and gooseneck, and later reverb and echo. I didn’t know I could sing and play the piano, but in this car, with the acoustics and surround sound, it really sounded great. Everybody that needed a cab always asked for me; it was a fun ride because I always had something new in the car.”

  In 1989 Bob Zook, a friend and mobile communication specialist, helped Barnes upgrade his lighting and effects. Ironically, Barnes and Zook’s design creation rivaled many nightclubs. Barnes’ current cab inventory includes rope lights, neon, 12 volt MR 16s, a SFX Haze Machine, fiber optics, an improved mirror ball, and assorted small PAR cans. Barnes also has a helium neon laser gelled with diffraction film, creating a multiple criss-crossing laser beam effect in the taxi’s three foot wide space.

  Barnes provides a total entertainment package to his passengers. Part DJ, part karaoke, part lighting jock, part variety host, Barnes is self-employed, and a good portion of his income is supplied by revenue from the gift shop in his taxi’s trunk. Aside from the killer light show, a typical ride finds Barnes accompanying the stereo system with keyboards, drum machines, and MIDI wind instruments.

  When Barnes is not on the job he is looking for new lighting equipment or going to shows to observe the lighting effects. He is also venturing into the miniature home lighting market and is planning to design and market his own portable automated lighting package to parties and special events.

Show Technology Magazine Fall 1993 Cover


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