Just BH, please! Austin American-Statesman once banned the Butthole Surfers’ full name

- Barbara Bester - Tom Stern wedding

– Barbara Bester – Tom Stern wedding announcement

Note the band “Butthole Surfers” makes it into Times here. When I lived in Austin in the 90s, the American-Statesman always and famously referred to the band as the “BH Surfers.” – a Romenesko reader who doesn’t want to be named

That’s confirmed by Austin American-Statesman managing editor John Bridges, who browsed through his paper’s index this afternoon and found the band’s name as either BH Surfers or B.H. Surfers in stories from the late 1980s and early 1990s. Did the Statesman have a prudish editor who banned Butthole? I ask.
buffhole
No, says Bridges, “everybody was pretty conservative and cautious back then.”

Former Statesman music writer Michael Corcoran writes in an email: “I started at the Statesman in 1995 and was able to use band’s full name, but I remember earlier in their career, the Statesman used BH Surfers. During my time at AAS, we did have to shorten Nashville Pussy to Nashville P and the Yuppie Pricks were Yuppie P.”

What band names did your news organization refuse to publish? Post in comments or send me an email.

UPDATE:

Andy Viner Seiler writes: “In the 1980s, I was an entertainment reporter for The Home News in New Brunswick, NJ. The Butthole Surfers played regularly at Trenton’s legendary, long-defunct City Gardens. Our calendar compiler always billed them as Bud Whole Surfers. I never knew if she was mishearing the name or if the new name was deliberate. I got such a kick out of seeing it each time, I never even dared jeopardize it by asking her, though she was sitting right next to me.”

The band was the “Buttonhole Surfers” in the old Los Angeles Herald Examiner, writes Kevin Allman.

“The Cincinnati Post used to call the Ass Ponys the Burro Ponys,” writes David Milstead.

“As I recall, the Rocky’s music listings for shows by the Fornicators called them the 4 Nikators,” writes Rob Reuteman.

A Romenesko reader from a Cincinnati publication writes: “I’d always heard that Ben Bradlee’s proximity to the Kennedy legend precluded publishing the Dead Kennedys name in the Washington Post for some years. Supposedly ‘the Dks’ was used.” I’ve asked a few Post staffers about that. Two veterans tell me that’s news to them. See my post in comments for more.

* Earlier: New York Times won’t print “WTF” (jimromenesko.com)




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