Friday, January 07, 2005

Guido's Pizza and Franklin Apartments

These were both places I lived in Kent. At Guido's, Chris Butler, Gerry Casale, Terry Hynde, Jim Greathouse and myself all lived there at the same time.
Franklin apartments was right across the street from the old library. Myself and Patrick Cullie lived on the ground floor, along with Ted Bliss, a beatnik record collector who turned us on to old classic Robert Johnson blues. Bill Zorn, of later Coop fame, was Ted's roomate. Grant Kollar, an art student/race car driver was the manager and lived in the third ground floor apartment.

2 comments:

dscroggy said...

Where I lived in Kent:

I came to Kent in Fall 1969 to start school. I had a huge fight with my parents, as I flat-out refused to live in a dorm. This was resolved by my friend Pete Goodman suggesting a rooming house near campus he had lived in the year before. It was owned by a fireman who rented the ground floor as an apartment and the upstairs bedrooms to young male students.

When I moved in, I was the only tenant, and the had the whole place to myself. Problem was, the landlord was a gen-yew-ine redneck and it didn't take him long to not like the look of me. He came around often, and grew increasingly distrustful and overbearing so I left after a few months.

To go to jolly olde College Towers. Remember that swell place? A huge complex of small apartments adjacent to campus? They would get kids to sign these ironclad leases that were impossible to get out of. I took over the lease of a friend who wanted out, and shared a one-bedroom (I slept in the living room) with Rick Watt, who I knew from Firestone High in Akron. Terry Hynde lived down the hall. After some time there, I was able to extricate myself by palming off my lease on some other sucker.

Which led me to the Towne House Hotel! I was working downstairs at clothing store Halcyon Days. Patrick Cullie was the manager, Danny Miller had sublet space for Hallelujah Leather on the mezzanine, and Art Zigarelli and Joe Masseria owned it. We should do a whole post on that place- the stories are legion.

Patrick lived in the hotel, and had a pretty pleasant little roomette there. I wound up with a room that was "under renovation", and the bathroom was literally demolished in anticipation of a re-model, and half full of rubble. I had to use a common bathroom across the hall, as my tub was piled full of jagged bricks, among other things.

I could drag myself back there after a night at the bars (or wherever) and just groggily roll down the stairs to open the store in the morning. Or at least most mornings.

One thing I remember about the hotel was that Joe Walsh stayed there for awhile when I was there. His room was next door, in fact. When Joe would start to practice (loudly), rather than complain everyone on the floor would turn off their stereos or radios and just listen to him. However, the funkiness soon became untenable, even for me, and I relocated to the apartment over Nancy's Hat Shop.

This was a very cool space on Franklin, right across from the Train Station and waterfall/spillway. I looked at the scene pictured on the cover of Yer Album from my window.

The apartment was originally a second-floor bakery, so it had these real high ceilings and tall windows. My roommate was a guy named Claude, who unfortunately was a bit of a junkie as I discovered after moving in.

A freight train passed the station at the same time each morning, and blasted its whistle at exactly the same spot, which was on a direct line to my ear as I lay in bed. That was my alarm clock.

But it was a great spot. You could climb out the bathroom window and be on the roof of Hahn's Bakery. The first night of the Kent riots, when the activity moved from the Water St. bars to the center of downtown, Gary Jackett and I scurried down the railroad tracks behind the bars, got out on the roof and, peering over the Hahn's sign facade, had a catbird seat to witness the attempted thrashing of the bank. When the phalanx of police marched down Water St. from the police station and attacked the rioters, it was like we were in a theatre balcony with a staged tableaux before us. Except it was real, and quickly became a gut-wrenching experience.

I remeber General looking at me and saying "Wow! I'm glad I'm on acid". I wasn't, but if I had been I probably would have dove right down into the melee.

Peeking out the front window the next night, I witnessed the National Guard (who no one had seen as yet) fixing their bayonets on the bridge in unison, supported by a tank at the rear. Then they marched away toward campus.

But this isn't about that- it's about the apartment. There weren't very many living spaces right in the middle of downtown, and I'm happy I had one of them. -DS

PG said...

I remember the first night of the Kent riots. I was down on Water St. Friday night, May 1, 1970. We were hanging out in front of JB's. Nixon had just moved troops into Cambodia, students were rioting all over the country and the students at University of Santa Barbara had just torched Bank of America. Riot police dressed in black w/ helmets and shields pushed the students downtown back and then began chasing a smaller group w/ tear gas up towards campus. DS and General Jacket were watching this entire thing from their rooftop position. I went home that night and over the weekend, someone burnt down the ROTC building. The National Guard moved in. On Monday, May 4,1970 the senseless killing of 4 innocent students occured. This changed all of our lives dramatically. My older brother, Mark, was at my parents home in Bath, OH visiting, along with his wife and his newborn daughter, Elizabeth. We were able to get back into the town of Kent with his press pass (he was currrently working as a journalist for Time magazine). I was overwelmed by seeing jeeps with 50 caliber machine guns mounted at evey entrance and exit along with tanks on the street in front of the campus I had attended for the last 3 years. This was to be my first and last experience to date, with martial law. My brother spent a good part of the day interviewing our web host, Bruce, and went on to write the cover story for Time that week.
I moved to California about 3 months later as did Bruce who began working audio at the Fillmore. We hooked up and spent some very good times together including all of the Last Days of the Fillmore concerts with Santana, Greatful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Sons of Chaplin, Cold Blood, Tower of Power, along with other great shows featuring artists like Miles Davis, Boz Scaggs, the early Fleetwood Mac, Leon Russell, Albert Collins, Buddy Miles, the James Gang and many others. We both moved, along with our significant others, from San Francisco in August 1972 and went our separate ways. As we said our farewells, Bruce said to me something to the effect that we might not see each other for a long time, but when we did, it would be like we had never left. Here we are, some 33 years later telling our tales.
It was ironic that my older brother who wrote the Kent State cover story in 1970 found himself in a similar position some 21 years later. He was driving into New York city on September 11, 2001 to help move his then 21 year old daughter Elizabeth into her new apartment in lower Manhattan. As he came out of the Holland tunnel, the first thing he saw were the smoking remains of the World Trade Center towers.

PG