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February 19, 2010


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Thanks for the mention, Nancy. Please note, I would never claim to be the coiner of a portmanteau like "snow-how" -- even when you think it up yourself (as I did), odds are good that someone else has done so too, as I said in my Feb. 14 Globe column.

About that WSJ piece on band names being "used up": It seemed like a (mathematically) ludicrous claim for a usually numerate publication to make. I'm hoping linguist and ex-rock 'n' roller Geoff Pullum will heap some eloquent scorn on it, but it may be too easy a target for him.

In 1967 I went to a concert in something resembling an airplane hanger. It was somewhere near San Jose. The bands included several of the big names on the San Francisco scene at the time, although the only one I can remember is Quicksilver Messenger Services, because they gave my friend and me a ride (we were hitchhiking...and obviously young and insane). In any case, one of the bands advertised on a big sign outside was the Black Shit Puppy Farm. I never saw the band, but the name has stayed with me all these years.

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