The second best name for a band I ever heard was ‘These Cars Collide’ (a lyric from a verse of The Psychedelic Furs song ‘Pretty in Pink’). They were a local group and I never heard them or saw them but I could only imagine how cool, hip and urban they must have been, with a moniker destined for large billboards outside Wembley, Budokan, Madison Square Garden and The Hairy Lemon, Old Kent Road.
Of course the best name for any band was/is ‘The Beatles’. They thought of it first and they were the Fabs and so that’s that.
When Sting told everyone his group were called ‘The Police’ there followed natural derision – until he explained that whenever anyone heard the word ‘police’ in everyday parlance they might also be reminded of the screeching, peroxide bothering trio who should have been kept away from lutes at all cost.
An aquaintance of mine is currently exploring a new tag for his fledgling combo. As is the way in such matter it is proving more than a challenge to satisfy firstly his own conscience, then his fellow bandmates and finally his listening public (ie: his girlfriend) that the nominated suggestions are anything more than slightly awful and anything less than downright atrocious.
“You can’t call your band ‘So and So’ because there’s already someone called ‘Thingy and the So and So’s’ I remark, somewhat helpfully, somewhat in exasperation when met with quizzical eyebrows. ‘Nor can you call yourselves ‘This, This and This’ because you sound like a drag act from 1973 – (not that there’s anything wrong with being an early 70’s variety, music hall, burlesque novelty but when you’re five lads from south London playing ‘rock with a tinge of funk and a soul sensibility’ you’re really barking up the wrong metaphorical tree.)
‘Also’, I add as a post-script, ‘the name’s too long and it won’t fit on a tee-shirt without the lettering being shrunk to point 14.’ You have to think of your ‘merch’ these days.
I suggested using the chap’s actual, real, authentic name (which, is really, actually quite cool.) I followed up this idea by referring to Manfred Mann, Alice Cooper, The J. Geils Band or Hanson. Seems the rest of the group would have a problem with this matter, recognition for their efforts being key, and all that.
My favourite tribute band name has to be ‘Nirvanaramarama’ – possibly a grunge trio playing the hits of a big-haired, 80’s girl group who couldn’t dance or a big-haired, 80’s girl group with limited dancing ability singing the hits of a grunge trio. I fear Googling whether they do in fact exist … it would spoil the mystique!
The Google age has lent itself to this age-old problem too; as bands find to their cost that their hard thought-out moniker is actually the number one search result for a crumbly singer with bad teeth and a dodgy hair-piece from the 1960’s. Take it away, Englebert …