The Street Names Are Watching

Dec 12th, 2008 // 15 Comments

An English town is naming 13 of its its streets after Rolling Stones songs—although it’s doing so in a rather pathetic way, using songs like “Get Off Of My Cloud” and “Sympathy for the Devil” for inspiration instead of, say, “Brown Sugar” or the simple and obvious “Sex Drive.” The neat concept, yet somewhat flubbed execution by the town of Dartford, where Keith Richards and Mick Jagger grew up, made me wonder what American cities would rework their municipal geographies in honor of musical artists.

I wondered if my current home of Phoenix would consider such a thing, but to be honest, I’m not sure what band we would choose to honor that way. Sure, the Gin Blossoms (second mention today!) might be a candidate, and one song would be an immediate choice.

Still, the Gin Blossoms are playing malls and RV parks these days, so I’m not sure Phoenix (or even Tempe, the actual home of the band) would be all that into the implied association.

My hometown of Tucson’s most famous export is probably Calexico, but they seem to name half their songs after local haunts, so street naming might be a wasted exercise. Up north, the town of Winslow already has a statue honoring the Eagles, so why not use one of the most famous (albeit dreadful) acts of the ’70s to boost tourism further? Just don’t make one of the streets “Life in the Fast Lane” (for obvious reasons).

What band could your hometown take on as street-naming inspiration? Would Minneapolis consider a Charlemagne in Sweatpants Avenue?

Stones get road name Satisfaction [AP]

  1. Maura Johnston

    before anyone asks: no, i don’t think renaming the street i grew up on from princess street to

    “>Big Shot Drive is a good idea.

  2. Maura Johnston

    or, rather, big shot drive:

  3. Chris N.

    Why isn’t there already an Alphabet Street in Minneapolis?

  4. Ned Raggett

    @Chris N.: Because not everyone has their daddy’s Thunderbird to drive on it.

  5. The Illiterate

    Grunge titles make lousy street names (though Smells Like Teen Spirit Street or Touch Me I’m Sick Boulevard have their appeal), but why there aren’t already Seattle streets named after Hendrix songs is beyond comprehension. Little Wing Way. Foxy Lady Lane. Crosstown Traffic Bypass. And, in Tacoma, Spanish Castle Magic Highway South.

  6. D.R. Mosby

    Social Distortion is from my hometown of Fullerton, CA, so I propose renaming one street “Ball” and a perpendicular street “Chain” so there can be an intersection of “Ball and Chain”. (Too bad there already is a Ball Rd. that runs through Anaheim just to the south, messing up the whole scheme.)

  7. Christopher R. Weingarten

    how did you guys miss the whopportunity to call this piece


  8. Michaelangelo Matos

    @Lucas Jensen: Nah, there’s already an Uptown.

  9. lempha

    There is, of course, that block of E 2nd (between Bowery and 2nd Ave) that has been “officially” renamed “Joey Ramone Place”, although it doesn’t really count because it’s… one block (and above the street sign there is another that says “E 2nd”).

  10. Luke N Atmaguchi

    In the fallout of Blagojevich-gate, I’m hesitant to lionize The Godfather of Chicago machine politics, but I must mention that the late mayor Richard J. Daley did see fit to designate a “2120 South Michigan Avenue” in acknowledgment of the Rolling Stones song of that name.

  11. Lucas Jensen

    @Chris N.: They could rename part of Minneapolis Erotic City.

    I’m surprised there’s not something here in Athens for REM.

  12. Anonymous

    I know of a small retirement community where all the streets are named after Beatles songs. Including Revolution DR. Because boomers are bad to the bone. And old.

  13. Anonymous

    Not quite a song title, but I do wonder how my folks in Chicago would react to living on 6225 Songs About Fucking Ave.

  14. bcapirigi

    I’d like it better if Providence had a Ruthie’s Knocking Avenue. Or maybe a Hit Em Up Style Drive. Or a New York’s A Lonely Town Parkway.

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