Ongoing History Daily: The Zwan oops

When Smashing Pumpkins found out that Billy Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlin were reuniting in a new band called Zwan, they were excited.  But they also started asking “What’s a “Zwan?” 

Selecting this name turned out to be an error. 

Western European Pumpkins fans knew that Zwan is a brand of canned luncheon meat that’s made in the Netherlands.  It’s sort of like Spam and comes in three flavours: classic, low-fat and aromatic herbs.  Billy should have done a little checking to see if there were any international language embarrassments lurking for him.  That’s the problem with globalization, I guess. 

The company that makes Zwan–Elais Meats of Holland–didn’t sue Billy for any kind of copyright infringement–but a properly stored tin of Zwan sure lasted a lot longer than the band did.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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