What’s In A Name?

Sometime in the mid-‘80’s I saw a short documentary about New York graffiti artists. It included an artist who called himself Crash. Crash also appeared on an episode of Livewire, a talk show for kids on Nickelodeon that you might remember if you’re old enough to have watched You Can’t Do That On Television as a kid. It intrigues me that the host of Livewire was Fred Newman who now does sound effects on A Prairie Home Companion, but that’s another story.

Crash was into computers and that’s where his name came from. A “crash”, he explained, is something that sometimes happen to computers.bluescreenThis is an incredibly roundabout way of wondering about graffiti artists’ names. Here’s one I’ve seen in a couple of different places. What, exactly, can we deduce about this artist? Maybe this is the sign of someone who’s also a professional chef.


The same artist has also chosen some less appetizing canvases:

dumpsterAnd now a flashback: the opening of Livewire.

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  1. kdcol

    I was wondering why these Nickelodeon shows weren’t ringing any bells and then it hit me – We didn’t have cable. My kids have a really hard time imagining only having 3 or 4 channels back in the olden days. And Butter reminds me of the SNL skit Coffee Talk, where they compared Barbara Streisand’s voice to butter. 🙂

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Now I’m going to imagine Mike Myers with that huge wig and huge glasses every time I see Butter’s tag. It makes me a little verklempt. Thank for that.

  2. TwerlaP

    At first I was thinking that gangs must be running out of nicknames, I mean how many people can you call Killer or Bugs. But maybe butter is new slang for grease. Like “We buttered all those Jets real good”.
    So be careful at that grocery store.

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      When you’re a Butter
      You’re butter all the way,
      From the stars to the gutter
      You rule the sauté.”

      Yeah, somehow that doesn’t seem like it would strike great fear into The Sharks or other rival gangs. 😀

  3. Ann Koplow

    Thanks to you, Christopher, I am now buttered up with pats of new knowledge. The only thing I recognized in this post was Fred Newman (besides your delightful writing, of course).

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Fred Newman is very recognizable. My wife and I once went to a live performance of A Prairie Home Companion and I’m still sorry I didn’t get a chance to talk to Mr. Newman and tell him I remembered his old talk show. I think I’m one of the very few.

  4. Pingback: All Art Is Local. - Freethinkers Anonymous

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