According to Old Miami’s website,
Established in 1979 as a haven for Vietnam Veterans, the Old Miami has been called “the C.B.G.B’s of the midwest” for it’s history as a music venue. Almost every notable artist from Detroit has played on its stage as well as many national acts of the punk/modern rock era. “Miami” is an acronym for Missing In Action Michigan and the walls are lined thick with Vietnam and other military mementos, many of which were given to owner Danny Overstreet by fellow veterans. People from all walks of life call the Old Miami a home away from home. Bikers, students, bladers, musicians, lawyers and anarchists are its patrons who gravitate to this easy-going off-campus dive where live music rules.
I found this particularly fascinating because if you grew up in southwest Ohio (as I did), Miami means one thing: Miami University. Well, it might also mean the Great Miami River, Little Miami River, Little Miami High School (alma mater…holla!), or the Miami Indian tribe, after which all the above is named.
Now, if you are a Miami University alumna (as I am), the phrase “Old Miami” refers to a particular part of the school’s history and our alma mater. You see, after its founding in 1809, Miami chugged along as an institute of higher learning until the Civil War, when it closed for a few years. It reopened sometime during the 1860s, but from then on, the period before the school closed was considered “Old Miami.” This is reflected in the alma mater (which still brings tears to my eyes….*sniffle*): “Old Miami, New Miami.”
(You’re going to have to listen to the Fight Song first in the video, but oh well. It’s Miami, it’s awesome).
Funny how things turn around like that. I’m sure Detroit’s Old Miami is nothing like my Old Miami, but it’s nice to be reminded of home.