Worcester Wormtown

How did Worcester get to be called "Wormtown"?

The moniker was bestowed upon the city by L.B. Worm, a locally famous disc jockey who coined the name in the late 1970's when rock 'n' roll was in it's punk heyday of green hair and pierced body parts. The Worcester punk scene was so lifeless that it made Mr. Worm think of death and worms--hence Wormtown. The name caught on, with its "ring" and cleverly satirical and self-effacing allusion to "Beantown". It has been used as record titles "Wormtown '78" and "Exile in Wormtown", a radio show name "Radio Free Wormtown", concert names "Wormtown Revue", "Wormfest", and "Wormtown Underground". Telegram and Gazette Sports Writer John Gearan wanted the IceCats to be called the Mighty IceWorms. Further use includes big black letters painted on the old Ethan Allen Furniture Store in 1984 proclaiming "Wormtown Rocks", the Wormtown Wiggle, a 1985 concert at Mount Wachusett, and the Wormtown Warriors, a Worcester Modified Pitch Softball Team. When the team rallies, they cry out "The Worm has turned". Their logo is a pair of crossed bats with worms crawling out of the holes in the wood.

(Excerpted from Paul Della Valle and James Dempsey, Worcester Telegram and Gazette Columnists)

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