“Frank Zappa is my Elvis.” (Matt Groening)
“Frank Zappa is my Elvis.” (Matt Groening)
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!
Kitteh also likes to sleep on my turntable cover. I could buy him all the fluffy cat beds in the world. He has to sleep on the device I use to try to keep dust OFF of the turntable.
I know now that the Sam Phillips music from a little television show I like to call The Mighty Gilmoreans has at least two key doppelgängers. I know this because my brain keeps mashing them all together and playing them.
For starters, if you’ve watched the show, these tunes are rather familiar:
My inner jukebox has matched this stuff with a little Beatles…
…and a bit of Traveling Wilburys…
This was in response to a typically moronic tweet from this ridiculous assassin on the Twitter. Ahem.
You would be better off to remove yourself from the public eye rather than broadcasting every brain fart you have to social media. I beg you, delete your Twitter. Head off and read some books. I recommend starting with Alex Haley. Get to know yourself. Grow older. Grow smarter.
Learn an instrument. Write a novel. Take solace in simple things. Travel. You were acquitted. You no longer need to take on this monster by the shoulders. Callarse la boca and have a terrific life. And, please: Try not to kill anyone else in the meantime.
I hope he reads it.
2 Live Crew, 2Pac, 3rd Bass, Alliance, Apache, Audio Two, Milk Dee, what up? Awesome Dre, the Beastie Boys, Big Daddy Kane, Big Pun, Big L, Biz Markie, The Notorious B.I.G, of course, Black Moon, The Boogiemonsters, Brand Nubian, Brother J from X Clan, Buckshot, Casual from Hieroglyphics, Chill Rob G, Chubb Rock, Chuck D, and Public Enemy. Cypress Hill, D-Nice, Dana Dane, De La Soul. Nah, I’m only playing with you. De La Soul. Did I say De La Soul? Def Jeff, Del the Funky Homosapien, DJ Quik, Dr. Dre, Dres from Black Sheep, LG, EPMD, The Fat Boys, Fat Joe, Fu-Schnickens, Gang Starr, Geto Boys, Heavy D, House of Pain, Ice Cube, Ice-T, The Intelligent Hoodlum, J.J. Fad, Jaz-O, Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, Justus, K-Solo, Kid ‘n Play. What’s happening right now? King Sun, King Tee, Kool G. Rap, Kool Moe Dee, KRS-One, Kwame, Lakim Shabazz, Large Professor, Leaders of the New School.
Man, where’d I just seen him? The one and only LL Cool J. Lord Finesse, Lords of the Underground, Mantronix, Masta Ace, MC Creed, MC Lyte, MC Shan, Melle Mel, Merciless Ameer, Mobb Deep, Monie Love, Nas, Newcleus, Onyx, Organized Confusion, OutKast, Andre 3000, Paris, [inaudible 00:05:46], Queen Latifah, Rakim, Redhead Kingpin, Pete Rock & CL Smooth.
I’m almost done. Redman. Redman, Roxanne Shante, Run DMC, [inaudible 00:06:00], Slick Rick and Doug E Fresh, Snoop Dogg, Souls of Mischief, Special Ed, Stetsasonic. Now I’m down to the S’s.
Super Legacy and Casanova One, The DOC, the Roots, Black Thought, The Skinny Boys, Tony D, Too Short, Treach and Naughty by Nature, Tribe Called Quest, UTFO, Udini, Wise Intelligent and the Poor Righteous Teachers, Wu-Tang Clan and Wiki.
HBO always seems to give me a reason to keep subscribing to my Spectrum Silver package. This month more than anything, I have been looking forward to season three of We’re Here, drag’s answer to Queer Eye. Season Two was unceremoniously halted by Covid. The season 3 premiere (which I missed! drat!) feels might topical in the wake of the Colorado Springs shootings.
Another good reason is that on a lazy Saturday afternoon, you can tune in for a broadcast of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
~ I am weirdly sentimental for Duran Duran. Weirdly because they were really not my thing at the time. I mean, when you were 15 in the ’80s, sure, “Hungry Like The Wolf” struck a chord. But, generally, there was another subset in our class who followed them more avidly. But to hear Robert Downey Jr. gush about them was really something.
~ Same apparently goes for Eurythmics.
~ Janet Jackson coming out looking like a Control album cover bookend.
~ This was quite a statement considering Control was the breakthrough for those she inducted, producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Lewis did the one thing I thought vital in his speech: He thanked Prince. “There’s no Time without the Purple One,” he said. And that’s the friggin’ truth.
~ Unpopular opinion time: There are far better rappers in the universe than Eminem. In my world, Chubb Rock would have been inducted. De La Soul. Maybe even Sage Francis. But I bet it’s a tough line for the Rock Hall to toe. Ten inductees out of more than 300 come out of hip-hop. Then again, we don’t see a boatload of doo-wop acts inducted regularly, either. Where do you draw the line on cross genres? I mean, Dolly Parton isn’t rock and roll either, and initially she demurred due to this, but her influence is unavoidable just due to her sheer greatness as an artist and as a public figure alone.
~ Update: I wrote the above point before I heard Em’s acceptance speech, in which he names about 100 of his influences in hip-hop, including Chubb Rock, including 3rd Bass, including De La Soul, including KRS-One, including Queen Latifa, including LL Cool J, including, including, including. It may have been the most gracious acceptance speech I have ever witnessed. It turns out that Eminem is a mensch.
~ Worth the watch alone for frontman Rob Halford’s declaration: “I’m the gay guy in the band!”
“You see, that there is what heavy metal is all about,” he continued. “We call ourselves the heavy metal community, which is all-inclusive. So no matter what your sexual identity is, what you look like, the color of your skin, the faith that you believe in or don’t believe in, everybody’s welcome.”
~ Carly Simon’s induction was long overdue, and it’s a shame she could not appear. But grief is a heck of a drug (Simon lost both sisters last month to cancer.)
~ My father cannot differentiate Carly Simon from Carole King. I totally understand this.
~ Watching Springsteen and Mellencamp’s tribute to Jerry Lee Lewis brings to mind an obvious question: Why have Springsteen and Mellencamp never made an album?
~ I missed
Halford’s duet with Dolly. Will have to catch this later. Oh. so it’s more of a supergroup deal. Wasn’t that cool.
I always kind of poo-poo the Rock Hall inductions (let’s induct the Mothers, already). But the broadcast of the event itself always gives me the feels.