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January 09, 2010



Just heard about this this morning from a friend. There's next to no information on the internet. Very sad. Bingo was a true original. RIP

Debbie D

He was struck by a cab on his way to perform his weekly
show at the Bowery Poetry Club. Very sad indeed.

Ray Brazen

Sad. Especially the way it happened. Mr. Gazingo deserved a much more dignified ending than that.

Dale Hazelton

Oh no! Saw him at the BPC years ago - fantastic!

Vic Thrill

Long live the "songs" of Bingo Gazingo aka Murray Wachs! I'll never forget the first time he got on stage with my band at the Lion's Den on Sullivan Street in '92 or '93, he did so uninvited and performed his classic "Psycho" followed by "I Love You So Much I Can't Shit", possibly even "Oh Madonna" though I'm not sure that one was written yet, he was an authentic freak from the Bronx! I did some recordings with him in '98 or '99 at my place The Vic Thrill Salon, I will surely finish those mixes now. I'm sorry I didn't do it while you were alive Bingo, I owe you this! I'm so happy to see he collaborated and recorded with so many artists before he died. You're going places after you die my friend! I'd like to know where to pay my respects.
love and miss you,
-Billy Campion of The Bogmen aka Vic Thrill

Jim Teacher

Wow. Horrid way to go. I remember seeing him at a WFMU event years ago and finding him amazing and hilarious. RIP.

Jeffrey Lewis

This is sad news, Bingo was an irreplaceable NYC treasure. I saw him perform in Tompkins Square Park in 1994 and never forgot it, have listened to his recordings many times and turned people on to him many times. One more lesson in not taking for granted any of the remaining wild, wonderful, amazing artists and characters that really make our city what it is(or was).

Mark Wike (the Bogmen)

I pray that he died instantly so that his next step was into a club in Heaven where he would dazzle generations of patrons that haven't gotten to experience his genius. As Vic said above, he "opened" for us at the Lion's Den in '93 and "Psycho" became a hit so we took him with is to all the theaters of the city.

A one of a kind who will always be remembered.

RIP Bingo, we love you!


Krys O.

Sure gonna miss him. He was always singing at me when I ran into him.

Krys O.

Keith Nelson

Bingo was a true jewel on the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus stage. We bumped into Bingo while crossing the street nearly fifteen years ago. I had a sousaphone wrapped around me and Bingo had 5-7 minutes of solid material, that night I experienced "Psycho" for the first time.

Theo Stieve

Poetry Killed The Man

He was born Murray Wachs
In Queens in 1924.

He claims that he wrote music
But he showed up at every open mike
Every poetry reading
On the Lower East Side
And East Village...

Downtown Manhattan
For that matter.

Christ’s sake.

He was there and toothless
Ranting and raving.

A lunatic extraordinaire.

He was a postal worker by trade.

Ring a bell anyone?

What is it about the postal industry
That makes people go ballistic
Or write poetry?

Bukowski was genious for sure
But Bingo Gazingo flew under the radar
He was on the fringe.

He wrote and performed tirades like:

‘I’m A Wabbit’
‘Oh Madonna You Stole My Pants’
‘Think With Your Dipstick, Jimmy’
‘I Love You So Fucking Much I Can’t Shit’.

He sang/read his poetry
In parks and subway stations.

He read at the Bowery Poetry Club
Every Monday night.

He was dressed in a cheap, wrinkled suit
A la Marx Brothers
Carrying his tattered pages of lyrics or poems.
Pages upon pages
Of hand scrawled

He would scream, shout and moan
Like Yoko Ono
As he was taken...

By his art.

Bingo Gazingo is dead!

Dead I tell you.
Like you even give a shit
Or know who the hell I’m talking about.

He was an outsider.

He was brilliant.

He was insane.

He was hit by a cab
On his way
To his weekly pilgramage
To the Monday Night reading
At the Bowery Poetry Club.

Bingo Gazingo died
On his way to read poetry.


God Bless
Your spirit.

You were a codgey old talented fuck.

Krys O.

Theo, that is beautiful.

Pete Dolack

My understanding is that Bingo was hit by the cab on New Year's Day. If that is true, it is doubly sad for me because he was not going to his weekly Monday performance, but rather on his way to the annual Alternative New Year's Day Spoken Word and Performance Extravaganza, which has been at the Bowery Poetry Club for several years now. I am one of the MCs of the event, and Bingo usually performed during the first hour, when I MC. We missed him, and wondered where he was -- Bingo performed in it every year. He always tried to challenge the time limit -- first, a red flag waves when your time is up, then loud sound effects go off that drown you out. Bingo was the one performer who would always keep going even when you couldn't hear him any more; eventually he would give up and come off the stage. (With 150 performers scheduled over 10 hours, we don't have a choice other than to have time limits for everybody.) I secretly always got a kick out of Bingo doing this -- he had such a powerful voice and he always kept going whenever he read because he was so into his art. His work exploded out of him. Once everybody else saw that not even Bingo could beat the sound effects, nobody would try for hours afterward -- who could compete with his voice? I heard and saw Bingo perform many, many times over the past 14 years. The last time I saw him was in the Fall at the Yippie Cafe. He seemed more frail than usual and didn't look good, but his voice was as powerful as ever. Bingo Gazingo was truly a memorable character. The poetry world misses him. Psycho!


he was hit at the end of November, and spent approximately a month in hospital before succumbing to his injuries on New Year's Day.


Sunday, January 24th at Bowery Poetry Club at 6:00pm there will be a celebration of Bingo Gazingo's life.

I will miss Bingo Gazingo, I had the privilege of having him as a "customer" (mostly dropping off his CDs on consignment) at a certain East Village bookstore where I worked. He was an amazing fellow, an unforgettable character, a fearless, fuck-all original. He's come into the store and read me his latest poem, loudly. He'd ask about his CD sales and I'd have to repeat the answer a few times because he was really hard of hearing.

Debbie D

City Of Memory:

Tom Murphy, London

That's terrible news. I came across Bingo via 'You're Out of the Computer' on Songs in the Key of Z and tracked down all I could by him.

Then, when we were in NYC to celebrate my 40th birthday in May 2008, we were staying at the Bowery Hotel and nipped across to see what was coming up at the Bowery Poetry Club. I almost cartwheeled for joy when I found that Bingo was performing. Needless to say, a lot of the material he performed was new to us and I was in a state of rapture afterwards.

After the gig I got 'chatting' to him, and he told me about meeting Brian Eno the last time he was in London. I bought his CD - complete with handwritten phone number - and realised that I'd had the best birthday present I could have hoped for.

Thank the great spirit for fearless geniuses like Mr Bingo Gazingo!

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