Street hymns

29 Nov

Enough about Peachtree Street!
“Badstreet U.S.A.”  by Michael Hayes and The Fabulous Freebirds (from the 1987 album Off the Streets)

Shortly after this song debuted, Bad Street was renamed “Atlanta’s Historic Livingston Mims Motorway” to shed itself of negative connotations with the notorious and sloppy wrestler vs. punk blood feud that plagued the thoroughfare for the majority of the ’80s.

If I had to pick a real-life Bad Street Atlanta G-A, maybe I would go with the very south end of Moreland Avenue, past Coco Loco de la Noche. There are just a lot of beige nearly-windowless “sports” bars that seem like weathered men go in there every night and come out with nosebleeds, either from brawls over whether to play trashy honky-tonk or thrash metal in the jukebox, or because of snorting too much hillbilly heroin.

Now a real road – Auburn Avenue.
“Auburn Avenue” by The Spirit of Atlanta (produced by the legendary Tommy Stewart, from the 1973 soundtrack to the never-made film The Burning of Atlanta)

This whoooooole album is sooooooooooo goooooooooooooood. I can only imagine what the movie for which it was recorded would be like. What was the plan for “Buttermilk Bottom“? I am dying to see the heavy nightlife scene for which that was likely intended. There’s also “Hunter Street” (now MLK Drive – thanks jolomo) which is clearly scored for a police chase scene. And if you like funk woodwind and brass riffs, you’ll love the instrumental “Down Underground“!

Here’s one last song with street undertones, while we’re on the subject of Tommy Stewart.
“Atlanta Get Down” by Tommy Stewart (from the 1976? self-titled album)

Do any of those streets or radio stations that get shout outs exist anymore? Simpson Road, no. WQXI was Dr. Don Rose’s station. Someone find out out about the rest.

Now do what the ladies say! GET DOWN!

Previously: Atlanta’s music scene

One Response to “Street hymns”

  1. Edwina Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 9:57 pm #

    My wife is an investigator and had to meet a witness once in one of those nearly-windowless sports bars. I think what she saw there is best described in the words of Victor Hugo:

    “vagabonds who are more than a match for justice; rovers after adventures; chemists of the swindling order, who are always dropping their lives into the melting-pot; people in rags of every shape, and in every style of wearing them; withered fruits of roguery; bankrupt existences; consciences that have filed their schedule; men who have failed in the house-breaking trade (for the great masters of burglary move in a higher sphere); workmen and workwomen in the trade of wickedness; oddities, male and female; men in coats out at elbows; scoundrels reduced to indigence; rogues who have missed the wages of roguery; men who have been hit in the social duel; harpies who have no longer any prey; petty larceners;” etc.

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