Release Date: 9/97





All the people in my home town

Are trying to grab their piece of ground

Feet get buried and taking root

I'm so glad my feet got the boot


And at the bottom of the boot

My city is gum that's stuck to the bottom

Stuck to the bottom

A tacky mound that roots my feet to the ground

That's out of sight but not forgotten


And if you ask me where I'm from

I've learned the value of keeping mum

'Cause the whole's a fraction of the sum

No one's ever heard of Binghamton


All the people in Bingo-town

Kinda like that classic sound

Ages of rock handed down

Remind 'em of their graduation gown


Clap those hands and wave those lighters

Sing "yeah yeah" (yeah yeah)

'Cause your sons of merchants, sons of fighters

Sons of football stars and manual writers


So if you ask me where I'm from

You're rolling your eyes and playing dumb

17 meet 81

No one's ever heard of Binghamton


Lots of time to watch your options shrinking

You're too old to cry and you're too young for drinking


So you steal the keys to your grandma's car

Head down to the teenage bar

Where it was all Talk Talk and Duran Duran

We all turned 20 and I turned and ran

All's well in Endwell

Say goodbye to those streets and buildings

And as I pulled away

I heard a young couple say

"This would be a nice place to raise our children."


And if you ask them where they're from

They found an ice place in the sun

They're raising daughters and they're raising sons

They found a heaven in Binghamton


And you ask them where they're from

Beautiful daughters and handsome sons

They're reading the Press and the Bulletin-Sun

They're all living in Binghamton


Adam - vocals, guitars
Rob Cassell - vocals, bass
James Hazley - drums

Adam sez:

A snarky-cute diatribe aimed at my upstate New York hometown (actually I grew up in a small country hamlet called Greene; Binghamton was "the city" 20 miles away), I was motivated to write this when I was booking the first Cockeyed Ghost tour in 1996. It's always difficult booking a tour, especially the first time, but the club bookers I contacted generally were really helpful and receptive with one exception, which was when I tried to book a show back home, one of the few places we could actually draw. The guy that ran the one rock club there gave us more attitude than anybody in New York City or Chicago, and finally offered us a Thursday night slot. "We couldn't pay you, but you could come in and we can see what you got." We were at the time one of the top drawing new bands in L.A., and the guy was acting like playing in Binghamton was such an honor that we should be privileged to beg for his approval for free. As revenge, I sat down to write this little tune.

Be that as it may, when I finished writing the song, I thought it was funny as hell, but I was worried that the locals might not be so amused...after all, I still had friends there, and at some point (when I found a club owner that wasn't a jerk) I was going to have to go back there and play. So I played it for my mom and dad when they came out to California that summer and asked for their reaction. Dad said, "well, there's nothing there that isn't true. How could anyone object to it?" Alrighty then.

When NEVEREST came out, this song went to #1 at the SUNY-Binghamton college radio station, although I didn't find that out for years later, when I did actually get back to town to play, on one of the early solo tours. I had no intention of risking the wrath of the audience by pulling this song out, but -- dammit -- someone in the crowd had the album and yelled for it. Everyone else took up the chant and I was forced to play it. I apologized in advance, played the song and at the end: polite clapping. The song got no greater or lesser reaction than the performances before or after.

I thought this was a fluke, but this same pattern repeated itself the next three visits to Binghamton; request from the audience, played the song, no real reaction one way or the other. Finally, after this had happened for the fourth time, I asked from the stage, "what gives? I just bashed your town for four minutes, and when I'm done, there's no booing, and there's no cheers, there's no real reaction at all. Why?" There was silence for a second and then someone at the back of the room piped up: "It wasn't mean enough."

That's Binghamton in a nutshell.

There's so many inside jokes in this song that it's hard to appreciate them if you're not a local: "17 meet 81" refers not just to the predominant age gap but the two main highways through the area; "All's well in Endwell" refers to one of the suburbs; "manual writers" refers to Singer-Link, the predominant factory in town. The local newspaper was "The Press and Sun-Bulletin." And on and on.

Sonically, this was one of the best sounding tracks on NEVEREST. For once, we all stayed out of each other's way with well-articulated parts (Rob's climbing bass line on the pre-chorus is particularly neat) and the recording rocks with clarity. I did my best Paul Stanley (not hard at this point in my singing career) on the choruses, and the cascading intro is multiple tracks of guitar feedback, which after we recorded it made me very pleased with myself. There was no single or emphasis track on NEVEREST but I think this should have been it, if for no other reason than it sounded the best and had a good chorus.

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