Sunday, 13 May 2012

Binghampton Vice

I made this a few weeks back, just a bit of fun on a quiet weekend. I'm not quite sure how I ended up with the title, apart from the fact that the piece sounded like yet another theme to a non-existent detective series from the past. Then Binghampton popped into my head, as it does at some point most days. Binghampton was where I had some amazing experiences at a ghetto school in the black side of the area, but across the railroad tracks along Scott Street, the white Binghampton was where I later spent a lot of time involved in music.

The white Binghampton always struck me as some sort of ghetto for white immigrants from the country, at least that was the impression I got from the locals who drank at Fred's Hideout, the legendary hotbed of musical ferment in 1987. They all seemed to have come up from Mississippi, presumably during more promising times in the job market. The white Binghampton was also home to a number of fixtures on the music scene: Linda Heck lived there on a couple of occasions, as did The Brewers, Monsieur Jeffrey Evans, the late and much lamented John Eatman (a.k.a. Johnny Singer), and a number of others at various times. I also lived there for a few months in 1991, during which time I discovered in a local thrift store a treasure trove of Style Wooten-produced records, including the immortal "I Found My Love in Memphis." And when it came time to play my first gig in 16 years, on New Years' Day, 2010, I once again found myself in Binghampton, albeit in an almost unrecognizable remodelled Fred's Hideout (now The Cove) on a much-gentrified Broad Street.

Checking the Wikipedia entry for the neighborhood just now, it seems appropriate that I imagined this as a cop show theme, given that section 3.1 is entitled "Random shootings at cars."

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