What's in a Name
By Benny Villalobos
MARCH 9, 1998: Weekly Alibi Recommends the Most Bitchin' Names for Your Band
Here's a tip for those of you getting started in the music biz: The name is everything. You think acts like Meatloaf and Foghat got their first big breaks because of their music? Shit no. It was their names, baby. And while there are a few exceptions who got by with extraordinarily boring names (i.e., Kansas, Beck, Hanson), for each one of those there is a Fleetwood Mac, a Beastie Boys, a Kajagoogoo.
What follows is a litany of band names that we've developed for your use. We're donating them to you out of the greatness of our hearts, in order to improve your chances for success in the marketplace. Look them over, and find the one that's right for you. Just think hard, keep practicing and choose wisely.
But First, Some Sucky Names:
Before you choose, it's important to learn by example. What you see here are some of the most colossal failures in the music business. Place names? People names? Goddamned nonsense words? Please avoid these pitfalls at all costs.
Names We Wish We'd Thought Of:
The message here is that sexual innuendo is essential to a band name's market value. The more shocking or tantalizing, the better. But of course, if that's not your style, go after something downright insulting (viz. The Motards, Jesus Christ Superfly). Remember: A rude, sexy band name says, "I'm hot!"
Now, Our Suggestions By Genre:
Violence, in this case, is equally effective as sex. But it's best if you combine the two.
You get the idea.
For this genre, it's always best to base your name on something incredibly banal or arcane. Obscurity is the secret to success here. When in doubt, you can always swipe the name of some trademarked drug, like Thorazine, Prozac, Percocet or Valium. Just beware of lawsuits--and be creative!
Among the existing band names in this genre, our favorites are Rednex (a techno-country group) and Boy Howdy (a New Mexico cover band). But since those two are taken, we suggest the above. As you can see, the country equivalent of drug brand names is tobacco brand names. Otherwise, the rule of thumb is to pick a phrase that asserts the purity of your Anglo heritage.
Newly Available Band Names:
These names were once taken, but thanks to Albuquerque's own 107.9 The Edge they're now free again! It seems that anyone who plays at the radio station's gross and overpromoted event Edgefest goes under soon afterwards. So now these names are yours for the takin'! Enjoy!
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