Fire In The Sausage Factory

I scanned the headlines the other evening and my orbs flitted right past the usual fare – health care, underpants bombers, the economy, Tiger – settling on an item that resonated.

Sausage Factory Burns In Lebanon

Sausage is a fantastic foodstuff, with trusty sidekick bacon, augmenting the goodness that is pancakes…it’s little wonder the headline caught my eye.

I wondered if the air smelled like the parking lot outside a sporting event. It had to.

Fire in the sausage factory…it made me think of band names like Panic At The Disco! and The Arcade Fire.

I could imagine coming across some album, on vinyl, by a band I’d never heard of called Fire In The Sausage Factory. Perhaps they’d be some ’70s punk band from the UK, spitting slogans with a sneer, that made one, two albums, maybe an EP, and a couple singles for a small label to little notice.

I don’t think I would be inclined to buy an album by a band called Fire In The Sausage Factory.

Names were extremely important to me as a kid purchasing music for the first time. I bought three Tangerine Dream cassettes out of cut-out bin simply because I liked the name.

(the music turned out to be a mixed bag to me)

In the three decades since, there have been numerous groups/singers whose name elicited enough interest from me to gamble meager funds on unknown music. But it was early on, when I knew far less and information about bands wasn’t simply a few keystrokes away, that the name of the band was oftentimes the determining factor as to whether or not the album was coming home.

Here are some songs by acts whose names helped earn them a shot at earning my teenaged allegiance…

Hanoi Rocks – Village Girl
from Bangkok Shocks, Saigon Shakes, Hanoi Rocks

I’ve noted before that I never really went through a heavy metal phase. However, one of the few music magazines that our hometown drugstore carried was Circus which I would peruse at the rack until the old woman behind the counter would eye me disapprovingly.

It was in Circus that I likely read about the Finnish, glam-rock quintet Hanoi Rocks. Not only did I dig the name, but they were Finnish, and had an album titled Bangkok Shocks, Saigon Shakes, Hanoi Rocks.

Actually, by the time I checked them out, the band was already on its fourth or fifth album. A lot of folks predicted that they were ready to break in the States. Instead, their drummer was killed in a car wreck and the band split up.

Bananarama – He Was Really Sayin’ Somethin’
from Deep Sea Skiving

I didn’t buy Bananarama on name alone. I had heard a couple tracks on 97X when their debut finally arrived in the States. Then following autumn, Cruel Summer was everywhere.

But Deep Sea Skiving was fun. The three girls were cute as buttons. And it’s still the only Bananarama I need to own.

Siouxsie & The Banshees – Dazzle
from Hyæna

Like Bananarama, Siouxsie & The Banshees was a personal discovery from listening to 97X when the station gave heavy airplay to their cover of The Beatles’ Dear Prudence in the fall of ’83. It must have been the following spring when I purchased a copy of Hyæna.

As for Dazzle – it was my favorite track on the album and, though I now own most of Siouxsie’s catalog, it remains one of my favorites.

Zebra – Who’s Behind The Door?
from Zebra

During the summer of ’83, several friends were twitterpated over Zebra. They were hardly alone as the trio quickly attracted fans (and detractors) for the heavy Zeppelin influence in their sound.

The comparisons to Zeppelin were irrelevent to me at the time. I knew Stairway To Heaven and not much more by the band (and, at such a young age, I had already been burned out on Stairway).

I did like the name, though – Zebra. It was concise and fun to say. Who’s Behind The Door? began to get some airplay on our local rock stations and I took the plunge, buying their eponymous debut.

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3 Responses to Fire In The Sausage Factory

  1. Perplexio says:

    Fire at the Sausage Factory sounds too long to be a band name (although there is the equally long actual band name, Godspeed You Black Emperor), but “Fire At the Sausage Factory” would make for a decent album title.

    When I was in high school I wanted to start a band and name them “Severe Bowel Movement” the idea being that we’d sound like shit and I believe in truth in advertising so the band name should reflect the sound.

    One of the most clever band names I’ve ever heard is Liquour Bachs. I received an email on myspace.com from one of the members of the band inviting me to join their myspace fanpage. I replied complimenting them on the cleverness of their band name.

  2. […] Click here to go to BAIFP to check Zebra “Who’s Behind The Door”, and Hanoi Rocks “Village Girl” […]

  3. whiteray says:

    I played keys for a couple of years in the late 1990s for an oldies band. We had a lot of fun, did about ten gigs. I lobbied real hard for us to call ourselves Brown Paper Bag. (I’m sure there are or have been bands by that name other places.) No one else in the band like the idea. I forget what we called ourselves.

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