Flashback To The Golden Era of Binghamton Concerts
Over the past few days as fill host for WNBF’s Binghamton Now, the topic had turned from the issues of today to some of the great musical acts that have come through our community over the years.
I spoke with listeners about their experiences with concerts that date back to the mid-1960’s with Bob Dylan and some of the rising stars of that era.
Binghamton University, then knowns as Harpur College, was the place for some historical performances, which included the Grateful Dead on May 2, 1970.
The Broome County Arena opened its doors to the very first rock concert featuring the legendary Chicago in 1973.
The show featured a new artist and his acoustic guitar. His name was Bruce Springsteen.
Later that year I attended my first concert at the new arena venue: the opening act “T Rex” who will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this November.
The headliners of that show were a band getting lots of radio airplay: Three Dog Night.
Later that year, Uriah Heep would headline, with specials guests ZZ Top and Earth, Wind & Fire.
Grand Funk Railroad played their first performance in our area in 1974 with Wet Willie as the openers.
In 1975, Alice Cooper was banned from playing in Binghamton based on the reputation of his unconventional stage antics, but the court of public opinion won out and July 15, 1975, Alice Cooper performed his “Welcome To My Nightmare” concert at the Broome County arena.
I was there, and it was one of the best theatrical performances, complete with giant black widow spiders and a one-eyed monster. When the show was over and the lights went out Alice’s lasts word spoken were “I didn’t do anything naughty did I?"
The 1970’s were the best years for concerts in Binghamton, we saw legendary groups in the infancy like, Bob Seger, Styx, Blue Oyster Cult, REO Speedwagon and an unknown group from Canada called “Rush”.
Thank You to all the WNBF listeners for sharing your musical memories of Binghamton’s past with us.