Sometimes, American record labels get kinda funny when it comes to the names of certain Canadian bands. For example, Teenage Head took their name from the title of a 1971 album by a San Francisco band called the Flaming Groovies. But when it came time for Teenage Head to release a record in the US in 1983, their American label forced them to change their name to “Teenage Heads” so as not to offend sensitive music consumers south of the border. The Payola$ had an even bigger problem.
Then they found they couldn’t get a break in America because too many people felt that their name evoked images of the great DJ payola scandals of the late 50s that involved people like Alan Freed and Dick Clark. Dick was never charged with anything back then but he wanted to distance himself so much from the controversy that he refused to let a group with a name like the “Payola$” appear on his TV show, American Bandstand.
Check out Monday’s on Major Tom trivia. And don’t forget to check out my podcast The Ongoing History of New Music where you listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google, Stitcher, or wherever you get your on-demand audio.