Wednesday, September 07, 2022

Death Cab for Cutie owe their name to Simon Hoggart's father

I like to think that my readers are the sort of people who know that the American band Death Cab for Cutie named themselves after a track from the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band's first LP.

But where did the Bonzos get it from?

The blog Idiotic Hat explains:
The title comes from The Uses of Literacy, a rather solemn book by Richard Hoggart about working class education and the dilemma of the "scholarship boy", stranded in an uncomfortable limbo between his class of origin and his class of aspiration. I used to own (and may even have read) this book, in its blue-spined Pelican paperback incarnation. 
In a moment of uncharacteristic inspiration, it seems Hoggart made up the title "Death Cab For Cutie" as an example of the sort of trashy gangster movie that typified popular culture (he didn't much like popular culture), simply because the publisher wouldn't let him use any real ones.
And, Richard Hoggart was the father of the Simon Hoggart, the political sketchwriter, who died three months before him.

The judges were unanimous in making this our Trivial Fact of the Day, though they did add a rider deploring what Idiotic Hat says about Neil Innes.

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