Bummernacht 2022

In one of my many hometowns, Kent, Ohio, there is a tall white set of twin siloes next to a smaller brown building that was a working flour mill from 1889 through 2016. This structure centered the Mill District, a mix of coffee shops, art galleries, homes and businesses. It was due to this, the first structures built in Kent, that Kent was originally called Franklin Mills.

I moved to Kent as an incipient teen. For those years until I graduated from high school, this complex centered one’s skyline. If you walked the trail by the Cuyahoga River, you passed directly by these buildings. They’re rather central to every Kent resident’s existence.

On Friday, the Mill caught fire.

That’s a real bummer if you grew up there. Kent is a wealth of historic buildings, premiere among them the Mill and its siloes, followed by the old train station, the Masonic Temple, the John Davey House. Losing any one of these great edifices is a real blow to this pretty little college town. And it brings to my mind on this, the first day of Zappadan, the Montreux Casino fire of 1971, just 51 years ago today.

This was a bad week for Frank Zappa. Six days later, a deranged audience member would bum rush the stage at the Rainbow Theatre in London and shove him into the orchestra pit, leading band and audience alike convinced he had been killed. As he recounted…

The band thought I was dead…My head was over on my shoulder, and my neck was bent like it was broken. I had a gash in my chin, a hole in the back of my head, a broken rib, and a fractured leg. One arm was paralyzed.

22 years following the Montreux fire, Zappa stopped refusing to die. That date marks the start of Zappadan, which gives us 17 days to take our clothes off when we dance. Here’s a clever demonic mnemonic learning device to help you remember about today: “On this day ’93, we all stopped jivin’ with that cosmic debris.”

But hey, enough of my yakkin’. Whaddaya say? Let’s boogie!

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