1123 – Omar Khayyám died. Persian polymath: philosopher, mathematician, astronomer and poet. He also wrote treatises on mechanics, geography, mineralogy, music, and Islamic theology.
The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit,
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.
But helpless pieces in the game He plays,
Upon this chequer-board of Nights and Days,
He hither and thither moves, and checks… and slays,
Then one by one, back in the Closet lays.
1872 – The crewless American ship Mary Celeste is found by the British brig Dei Gratia. The ship had been abandoned for nine days but was in seaworthy condition and still under sail heading toward the Strait of Gibraltar. She had been at sea for a month and had over six months’ worth of food and water on board. Her cargo was virtually untouched and the personal belongings of passengers and crew were still in place, including valuables. One lifeboat was missing, along with its 10 crew and passengers, who were never seen or heard from again.
1971 – The Montreux Casino in Switzerland is set ablaze by someone wielding a flare gun during a Frank Zappa concert. The incident inspired the Deep Purple song “Smoke on the Water”.
We all came out to Montreux
On the Lake Geneva shoreline
To make records with a mobile
We didn’t have much time
Frank Zappa and the Mothers
Were at the best place around
But some stupid with a flare gun
Burned the place to the ground
1993 – Frank Zappa died. American composer, singer-songwriter, guitarist, recording engineer, record producer and film director. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa wrote rock, jazz, orchestral and musique concrète works. He also directed feature-length films and music videos, and designed album covers. He produced almost all of the more than 60 albums he released with the band The Mothers of Invention and as a solo artist.
Frank Zappa was one of the first to try tearing down the barriers between rock, jazz, and classical music. In the late Sixties his Mothers of Invention would slip from Stravinsky’s “Petroushka” into The Dovells’ “Bristol Stomp” before breaking down into saxophone squeals inspired by Albert Ayler
The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll