I have discovered that there is another Steve Bingham. Who’d have thought there would be two people with such a name? Then again I went to school with a kid called Clifford Gribble, a unique name if ever there was one you would think, and it turns out that there is another one lecturing on jazz in America. I’m pretty sure they’re not the same person. If they are the same then my Clifford Gribble kept his jazz leanings pretty quiet. Perhaps he’s taken a crash course since the latest news on his website – an unsuccessful appearance on Fifteen To One in October 2003. Come on Clifford, surely something must have happened since then? It’s either been a very quiet spell or it’s taking him a hell of a long time to get over it. It’s only a quiz show Clifford! Move on in life! Why not try and get on The Weakest Link as an interim return to normality? Apart from the psychological benefits, the lower calibre of contestant on The Weakest Link (my favourite being the woman who thought ‘The Cat In The Hat’ was written by Tennessee Williams) combined with the educational superiority afforded to us by the socially crippling* years at an all-boys grammar school should give you every chance of victory. (* I speak for myself, obviously. I’m sure everybody else came out of that repressed, suffocating environment as a well-rounded, gregarious man-about-town.)
The internet is a wonderful and pointless resource for finding such coincidences, is it not? Sadly my own name is common enough that it throws up 1230 matches in the UK alone. The one who has appropriated the domain name for our shared appellation appears to be a trainspotting IT type. There are loads of us though. There’s one in the Department of Earth Sciences at Cambridge University. One who’s written books on popular culture. There’s a director of a fireworks company. Not bad, but none of them is a lecturer on jazz. Oh to be Clifford Gribble.
Anyway, the other Steve Bingham is a violinist (www.stevebingham.co.uk). On visiting his website you are struck immediately that his name is given simply as Steve Bingham – not an ellipsis in sight. Given that he operates in the field of (taking a liberal interpretation of the term) showbusiness, you can’t help thinking that he could have used some of Steve …. Bingham’s razzmatazz, while the football-sponsoring, limited-transporting Steve could probably have got by without it. Perhaps they switched places in the queue when such attributes were being given out. Steve …. Bingham got all the flamboyance intended for Steve Bingham, while plain old Steve Bingham got the logistics and planning skills required by a heavy goods operative. I’m going to contact them both and suggest that they join forces to create one magnificent whole. They could specialise in the field of violin transportation. There’s got to be a market for it. What do you mean, a violin is small enough to carry under your arm? Stop being so negative. I’ll propose that they call the new company “Steve …. Binghams!” The pluralisation of the surname giving a shot in the arm to those of us by now complacent at the familiar buzz of the original Steve …. Bingham lorry side panel. Quite where I’ll go when I tire of that fix I don’t know though. I’ll have to search out more Steve Binghams to keep me going. If you are a Steve Bingham, or if you know one, drop me a line. Don’t be afraid.
I bet neither Steve …. Bingham nor Steve Bingham have ever typed their name as frequently as I now have.