A rosebud by any other name

By Evangeline Jennings

I am frequently asked – well, occasionally – about the name PANKHEARST, often with the immediate follow-up, And do you know you can’t spell for shit?

Well, no more. Here is the complete, unabridged, and totally true story of why I called our little group PANKHEARST.

I was chatting with a friend about my ideas for an independent collective of writers. I was all “Yeah, but what if no one joins?”, and she was like, “Dude, if you build it …” And then this song came on.

This song.

Presented as an interview between a journalist from the NME and yet another pretentious indie singer determined to play the “Nick Drake” card, it’s not my favourite Half Man Half Biscuit song, but it is very good, funny, and true. It also mentions the fictitious band, Pankhurst. That name resonated with me. I could see and almost hear a band that fell somewhere between Elastica and Sleeper, all girls, except for the drummer, obv. The girl singer holding her guitar just-so, probably wearing Airwear shoes and white ankle socks – don’t ask – and with no idea whatsoever that she had been a little presumptuous in adopting the name of Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst for something as trival as … well, you get the idea.

But the name stuck in my head. And then a week later, we watched the episode of Veronica Mars with Patty Hearst. And I remembered Citizen Kane, Rosebud, Marion Davies, Orson Welles, Gore Vidal, and William Randolph Hearst. And I decided that Pankhearst – which has such a beautiful sound to it – with its connotations of feminism, controversy, and a big mad decadent publishing empire just kinda made some sort of silly sense.

So there you are.



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