|Brenden Harkin, Bruce Anderson, Caroline Peyton, Dale Sophiea, Mark Bingham, John Clayton, Jim Rapport, Bill Myers, Mark Dresser, Willy Schwarz, Larry Williams, Eric Hochberg, Lloyd T. Jones Jr., Mark Gray, Bill Noll, Steve Eisen, Terry Cook, Jim Polivka, Michael Bourne, Mike Berkowitz, Rick Lazar, Jack Gilfoy, Regina Mushabac, Christine Kennery, David Edge, Gail Middleton, Jim Van Valkenburg
The Screaming Gypsy Bandits were a popular Bloomington band during the early to mid 1970’s, playing live frequently with a revolving lineup; a core of Mark Bingham, Caroline Peyton, and Bruce Anderson remained relatively constant. Their sound was an intriguing stew of roots rock, psychedelia, and jazz infused rock with gospel overtones, rendering their LP almost uncategorizable; further confusing the issue was that the studio album bore scant resemblance to their live performances.
Mark Bingham’s 1969 return to Bloomington after being under contract to Elektra Records got things rolling, and he led the band throughout its duration. The album, In The Eye, was recorded at Jack Gilfoy Sound Studios and released on BRBQ Records in 1973, selling well enough to have multiple pressings. Most have the cover pictured above; a few have a hand made collage cover. The album was reissued on vinyl by Indianapolis label OR Records in 1996, in a limited edition of 375 copies. More recordings were made, but not released, including an album provisionally entitled Kryptonite.
After the band broke up, Bingham and Bourne started the Brain Sisters, which were short lived. Bingham moved to New Orleans and began a long career as studio owner and producer, while continuing to record and release solo albums. Back To Doghead, a compilation of unreleased Bandits recordings, was released on CD by his Piety Street label in 2009, including tracks from Kryptonite.
The band featured Caroline Peyton on vocals, who released two albums on BRBQ Records and then became a successful singer for Disney animation and on Broadway. Dale Sopheia and Bruce Anderson launched an early new wave band, MX-80 Sound after the Bandits broke up, which became quite influential for many subsequent bands. Lloyd T. Jones, Jr., aka TJ, released an album in the late 1970’s. Mark Dresser became a successful bass player in the NYC jazz scene. Willy Schwarz was a founding member of Eclectricity, a Bloomington folk trio.
|Related Artists: MX-80 Sound, Social Climbers, Eclectricity
|Years Active: 1970-1975