Every Big Star fan knows how the band got their name, but how did they come up with the title for #2 record? Until I sat down to write the book, I hadn't given the title much thought other than thinking it was a really good name that somehow brought together in my mind all my adolescent years listening to the mighty WKBW-AM in Buffalo and the times my grandmother took me to Radio City Music Hall in New York and how futuristic the architecture seemed – like something inspired by Flash Gordon. Somehow all that connected to the sound and name of Radio City.
But as for how the album actually got its name, Andy Hummel volunteers this theory in the book:
Andy Hummel: This was probably pretty lame, but in
those days putting any word in front of the noun “city” to
sort of emphasize the totality and pervasiveness of it was just
a way of talking people had. If someone suggested going to
a store but you had gotten a bad deal there you might say,
“Oh no, that place is ‘rip off city.’ ” Calling an LP Radio
City would be kind of wishful thinking. I mean we hoped it
would be played on the radio a lot, making it “radio city.” Of
course it didn’t pan out that way . . .