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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Down On The Corner

I've been thinking a lot about corners since watching "The Wire". The cops describe their progress in combatting drug dealing in terms of corners cleared. The young dealers look forward to the day when they can have their own corner. There's a whole episode in series four called "Corner Boys". That's how the school refers to those who are destined to slip into a life of crime. The series that David Simon did before "The Wire" was called "The Corner".

Creedence Clearwater Revival had a song called "Down On The Corner". The opening line of Tom Waits's "Jersey Girl" goes "got no time for the corner boys, down on the street making all that noise". Miles Davis made a whole album called "On The Corner". I've got a wonderful old record by the Isley Brothers called "Love Put Me On The Corner". (Matter of fact, it's here.)

The Corner is obviously the embassy of the sovereign state of Uptonogood. We have venues over here that perform a similar function but they're not usually corners, possibly because the high rises that were knocked down in Baltimore years ago still cling on here. So our corner boys have to make do with the pavement outside off-licences, near bus stops or in the immediate environs of fried chicken outlets. Which is nothing like as musical.