NYC Tourist Has a Friend in James Taylor

By Jennifer Millman
|  Friday, Jan 23, 2009  |  Updated 11:59 AM CDT
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NYC Tourist Has a Friend in James Taylor

A friend in need is a friend indeed.

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Natalie Lenhart, you’ve got a friend.

A tourist who had to fork over her iPod to a taxi driver in lieu of payment is getting a brand new one courtesy of singer James Taylor.

Lenhart, a 20-year-old college student from California, had been visiting New York in December. She took a cab to JFK Airport, but when it came time to pay her $49 fare, the credit-card reader in the cab declined her card. Lenhart said officers at the airport made her give her $140 music player to the taxi driver as payment for the ride from Manhattan.

The red iPod nano was loaded with oldies including songs by Taylor. He's penned classics such as “You've Got a Friend'' and “Fire and Rain.”

Taylor read about Lenhart’s loss in the New York Post and was furious, saying only a tourist would have actually complied with such a demand.

A New Yorker “would never have put up with it,” he told the Post.

Taylor decided he would fix what he believed was wrong. He promised to send Lenhart a brand new iPod filled with his songs and a personal letter, according to the New York Post. 

The driver has said he'll return her original iPod in exchange for the fare.

The agency responsible for police at the airport said it is investigating.

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