Motorist Was Practicing Unsafe Sax on Side of Freeway, ADOT Says

Mystery man whips out a saxophone on the Loop 101 freeway
Mystery man whips out a saxophone on the Loop 101 freeway Arizona Department of Transportation
The Arizona Department of Transportation posted a series of photos of a mystery man playing the saxophone on the side of a freeway on Wednesday afternoon.

The man, later identified as Antonio Nango, 18, pulled his Honda onto the shoulder of the Loop 101 freeway heading north, near the Indian School Road exit. He got out of his car and whipped out his sax to practice for about 30 minutes while waiting for roadside assistance to show up and bring him gasoline.

ADOT assumed he was playing the hit Gerry Rafferty song, "Baker Street," which was a solid guess. That opening sax riff is very recognizable, even for those driving 60-plus miles per hour.

However, he was not and told Phoenix New Times he doesn't know how to play that song, but may learn it since it's so popular.

"I do know how to play 'Careless Whisper,' so maybe I'll play that for people," Nango said.

Nango, who was born and raised in Mesa, now attends Scottsdale Community College as a music major. He said his brief stint with local stardom is surreal. His friends and family have been contacting him online when they found out about his saxophone playing on the freeway.

"I had no clue there were cameras on the 101," Nango said. He just assumed people driving by would take videos of him on Snapchat.

He even did that himself.

Though this mini-gig didn't attract much attention from those who witnessed it in person, Nango does perform every Sunday at Lost Dutchman Coffee Roasters in Mesa 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and you can see him and his entire music class perform at The Nash in downtown Phoenix at 7:30 p.m., October 30.

Here is the tweet seen 'round Arizona from ADOT, reminding everyone to practice safe sax.

"While everyone at ADOT loves an impromptu 'Baker Street' performance," ADOT posted on Twitter, "we remind our fellow art lovers that freeway shoulders are not the safest place to shred on the sax."

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Dillon Rosenblatt was the social media editor at Phoenix New Times from 2016 to 2018. Originally from New Jersey, he is a graduate of Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.