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How Nardwuar the Human Serviette got his name

It's kind of a long story
nardwuar-bob-kronbauer-photo copy
Nardwuar at Neptoon Records on Main Street in Vancouver

Did you know that Nardwuar The Human Serviette is not the real name of the Vancouver music journalist who has conducted revealing interviews with everyone from Alice Cooper to Jay-Z?

I know it's hard to believe, but it’s true.

John Ruskin is his given name, and he came to be known by his moniker in the late 1980s.

At that time he and a group of his friends were organizing and promoting punk rock shows at his high school in West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and at local all-age venues.

On the posters for those shows they would put "Nardwuar Presents" at the top - it was actually a group of people who were originally known as Nardwuar.

The word Nardwuar was something that the group used to refer to "old people." As Nardwuar told Glacier Media in 2017, it was some sort of inside joke.

Then, in 1987, Ruskin got a radio show on CiTR - the University of British Columbia’s student-run radio station.

It was then that he decided to drop his given name and go by Nardwuar the Human Serviette.

The Nardwuar part comes from the group of friends and their inside joke.

The Human part comes from a classic song by the Cramps - "Human Fly."

And Serviette, he says, comes from the United States where they don’t have serviettes, they have napkins.

Most people just call him Nardwuar.

And now you know.

Check out more stories like this by following our BC Is Awesome TikTok account

 

@bcisawesome It’s not his given name. #bchistorywithbobk #nardwuar #nardwuarsvideovault ♬ original sound - BC Is Awesome

 

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