This is a tough world. I tried to sit back, relax, and provide some entertainment for you to enjoy. But my man Jonathan wasn’t about to let me off that easy. Nope. He noticed me making fun of band names, like Minus the Bear, and asked me “what would you name your band?”
Given that I have absolutely no musical capabilities of my own, I immediately thought The Talentless. It would certainly be apt and descriptive, right? You would know exactly what you are getting. Which is why I hate the fact that Supertramp didn’t use the name The Talentless themselves. Instead, they used subterfuge, sucking you in with a pretty cool name, making you think that only a decent band would be traveling under their name. Bastards. Here's one of many reasons why they suck:
But that’s a bit too easy. I guess the challenge was for me to assume that I actually could play an instrument and put together a band. If that were the case, what band name would be adopted? Well, first I would need to go further and tell you that it would be a punk/power pop band with some indie influences.
I wouldn’t want to use some cutesy name that reflects my real profession (I’m a lawyer), like Big Law or Pass the Bar. How about one that uses both my name and my profession, like Bar Bill. Admit it, you just spackled the porcelain with puke, right? I know I did. I hate those names – they are the direct descendants of bands you saw at high school talent shows that used some crappy localized reference as their name.
My best friend growing up had a much older brother who ended up being a professional classical guitarist. But when he was a teenager during the 60s, he played in a psychedelic rock band called … hold on, are you ready? Mother Murdock’s Marvelous Display of Animated Art. Of course, they pretty much went by Mother Murdock’s, but whoa, that was a helluva name. I have no idea where it came from, but I have theories. I did see them practice in the basement of my buddy’s house, and I thought they were badass. Then again, it was probably the first live band I ever saw or heard (I was probably 7), and hey, isn’t that very first rock band you ever saw, as a rule, badass?
Back to my band name. I’m going to flash a few candidates on you with the background logic as to why I selected each one. Here’s a rule: I did not go and see if any real bands exist that used any of the following names – if I know of a band by a name that came to mind, I eliminated that name, but if I have never heard of them, then it was fair for me to run with it. I haven’t had a chance to spark up in Colorado, either, and I’m straight edge these days anyway, so here goes nothing:
City of God – a fantastic movie about the slums of Rio is called City of God. The name has so much promise, yet the reality is something rough, gritty and full of lowlife. I think it’s a good name for a band.
Lunatics – In case it hasn’t dawned on you yet, I’m certifiably loonie tunes. Naming a band after my condition is personally compelling, and anyone crazy enough to want to form a band probably should travel under this name.
Thrasher – Great skateboard/punk name. You would clearly know what you are getting with this name.
We’ll Keep Melania – Obviously, I try to avoid politics on BRP as it’s so freakin’ divisive. But the First Lady is hot, and the Prez is not, so We’ll Keep Melania kind of sums up the situation.
Air Bag – Full of hot air? An accident waiting to happen? An explosion in the face that saves you, but hurts you somewhat in the process and leaves you with scars and a broken rib? Yup, welcome to punk rock.
Royal Family – Yeah, we might have the Trumps, Clintons, Kennedys and Bushes, but at least we don’t have to suffer through the Royal Family. This falls into the “count your blessings” category. And self-descriptive – the Royal Family is oftentimes a mess, just like a punk band.
Scratch the Itch – Oh, yeah, you bad boys and girls, sometimes you just have to scratch the itch even though you shouldn’t. Itch it and move your leg like a dog in that funny way. Or worse, end up like one of those dogs who have to wear the lampshade thing because that itch is just so there. Again, punk-y and fulfilling.
Don’t Call Us Fat and Ugly – We’re Americans dammit!
Even If We Are – The follow-up name as rock bands are always breaking up just as soon as they are formed.
Family Night – Ironic misnomer. You see the poster, come to see what you think is this nice band, and they do everything that a functioning and capable family shouldn’t be doing, like yelling, being super loud and aggressive, and blasting nasty lyrics about you in your face.
Shut Up Joe Buck – Does this little pretty boy sports announcer annoy you, too? Well, here’s a band that goes all in and tells him to shut the buck up.
Rinse and Repeat – Does anyone actually follow the double shampoo instructions? I don’t, but I think if you’re a band, you want repeat plays on everyone’s music machine. So it works, right?
Fight the Power – Named after the great Isley Brothers song. Isn’t rock all about sticking it to The Man? You know, speaking truth to power, blasting the conventions, pushing for teenage revolution, and refusing to ride in BMWs. On the first album, we could cover Fight The Power, I Fought The Law, and The Authority Song.
Phone Slave – It’s hard to believe that the iPhone only came out in 2007. How stupid that we have let this thing take over our lives. Punk is all about pointing out things that are wrong with society, and wasting time staring at that phone or keeping up with people that you don’t really give a crap about is absurd. Interact with a band that is right in your face. You know, real live people. How revolutionary.
There’s a Speed Limit? – A question for the ages by all those with a heavy foot (like me). Punk also moves at a rather rapid pace itself. Humor and irony are important in the punk space. And trying to stick it to the man with ignorance and puppy dog eyes.
Disarm the Doors – C’mon, flight attendants, fly with me in a space that isn’t all safe. We’re disarming at 35,000 feet! The Wright Brothers were such bad boys that they didn’t even have a solid fuselage and you’re concerned about a disarmed door? Live a little.
Your Lips Were Moving – That’s how I know you are lying! Don’t we all know people who just embellish and fib their way through life? Let’s call them out – no better way to do that than with a loud, snotty and obnoxious band blasting it right out in your face.
Chia Pet – While it’s true that they are the perfect Christmas gift, they are also a head-scratcher. You grow something out of the clay head of an animal? OK, whatever. A band with wit and humor could carry this name.
Cool. The ubiquitous slang word that has lived for decades. It would take a presumptuous band to seize on this name, and one that would need to live up to its haughty name. A challenge, that’s for sure, and one that BRP’s rockin’ band would be up for.
Rehab. No, not a post-surgery thing. The real deal, Amy Winehouse style. Let’s all joke about America’s alcoholic tendencies. But don’t go after the food court! How did people ever survive shopping without stuffing 2,000 calories into their pie-holes? Whatever happened to “you’ll spoil your dinner?” And how many times do you have to say “not that kind of rehab” when you are really going to the orthopedic surgeon’s in-house gym after you got scoped? This name can go many ways.
BRP. It’s pronounced “burp.” It can smell and taste bad. We all do it. But some of us do it louder and prouder. And hey, it’s a play on the best damn music blog out there.
I’m going to have to come back to this one and come up with band names that should be rejected and never used. Here’s a preview: How about Dick? Nah, too easy and already in widespread use by law firm partners – I don’t want to get sued for misappropriation of a well-deserved name.
In fairness, it takes a lot of time to think up these band names. Maybe that’s why so many band names are crazy or nonsensical. I prefer the names that are more fun, something that we can all relate to. Any suggestions on your part? C’mon, BRP readers are an opinionated bunch, so share ‘em and I’ll shine some light. In the meantime, we’ll get back to some other great things here at BRP and keep it coming.
My name is Bill, and I live in the greater Philadelphia area. I love music, and I have a lot of opinions. This site is primarily focused on music, but sometimes I get off track. I hope you enjoy.