Are you thinking the same thing I am? You’re probably thinking about the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001. I bet you are thinking about the gaping hole in New York City that is now a memorial to the thousands who died on that fateful day. I don’t believe you were thinking about a great place to hear some live delta blues and nibble on a Fried Green Tomato Sammich. Well, the owners of the Ground Zero Blues Club, which include the famous film actor Morgan Freeman, want you to.
When I happened across the Ground Zero Blues Club (it’s a mouth-full), I thought, maybe this was a blues club near the World Trade Center that served meals to rescuers during the months of recovery work. Not so. The Ground Zero Blues Club is in Clarksdale, Mississippi and It looks like they are the victims of bad timing regarding their name. The Ground Zero Blues Club opened in May 2001, four months before the tragedies in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania.
“Clarksdale, Mississippi has long been described as “Ground Zero” for blues aficionados from around the globe. It all started here. That’s why Ground Zero Blues Club® was created — to celebrate the area’s rich blues heritage and to provide a forum in which it can continue.” (http://www.groundzerobluesclub.com/)
I’m aware there was a delay for the term Ground Zero to become a noun and brand the site in New York City were the World Trade Center stood. In any case, it didn’t take years for this transition to noun to occur and the blues club had time to change its name to something that carried a little less emotional weight. I could envision the blues club justifying its name if it had been operating under that name since the 1920′s or was as famous as the House of Blues. I read through their entire website and didn’t find one reference to 9/11.
My suggestion to the owners is to change the name of the club and as I see it they’ve almost arrived at this change today. The navigation menu on the left of their website and the food menu already use the initials GZBC and this might be a better direction for them in the post 9/11 United States. How about G.Z. Blues Club? I like that one. People love initials and barring the few whom were on deep-space missions or completely out of touch may not not want to be reminded too often of that horrible day. At this point I’m sure quite a few people find out about the Ground Zero Blues Club by mistake, but is that the way they want people to find out about their club? I wouldn’t want that, but ten years since their founding they are still going strong and enjoying the boost in exposure, that I’m sure they are getting, from ill-timed their choice of names.
What are some other names you can come up with for the Ground Zero Blues Club?