Tuesday, May 02, 2006

All Hail the Gaylords!

As I've mentioned before, I'm absolutely in the soup at work these days (minestrone, as it happens, with an extra ladleful of High Executive Anxiety) and involved in a Super-Double-Secret Humor Project in what little remains of my evenings -- I'll be able to tell you about it at some point in the future, but not now.

I'm forced to let the blog go relatively fallow for the next week or two. But I don't want the japes and hijinkery to cease completely; mavens of Blogtopia suggest that when stuck for time it's a good idea to stand aside and invite the Two or Three Assembled to pony up the yucks. I think "Web 2.0" is the operating buzzword.

On this mornining's commute I was thinking about a book I've been browsing lately, a wonderful encyclopedic tome about British beat bands from the Sixties called British Beat: Then, Now and Rare, 1960-1969. It lists and describes hundreds and hundreds of the British bands that followed the Beatles' rise -- some certainly qualifiable as British Invasion bands, but many also who toiled in utter, and who knows, perhaps deserved, obscurity. One group in particular came to mind, a combo with the mystifying monicker The Gaylords. My goodness, I thought, now that's a really, really self-sabotaging name to give yourself, innit? Who knows if "gaylord" had the same snickering impact in 1964 that it has now, but it's impossible to believe it passed completely unnoticed.

That set me thinking about how often recently commenters here have picked out phrases here and there and observed that they'd make really good names for rock bands. All very well, and please don't stop -- but what about really bad names for rock bands? Why should that side of the equasion be made to go begging?

So that's your assignment, Dear Readers. While I'm lost in the bowels of my professional hell (and bowels is, believe me, exactly the word I want), I challenge you to list some of the truly awful band-names you've stored up. I welcome both real names and ones that spring freshly minted from your fertile crania.

I'll start the ball rolling: I was once in a very rotten jazz-fusion (!) band called "Ethlyn Rash," the name the brainchild of the drummer, perhaps under the influence of a few too many Tolkien novels. I'm not sure it occurred to him that the name sounded rather like something you'd turn up at the Emergency Room with after spraying your dandelions with the deadly carcinogens I have been chastened for using in recent comments. (Folks: objections duly noted. Thanks for your input.)

On a more contentious front, I've always been slightly mystified by "The Beatles," which is a really labored pun, n'est-ce pas? I think if they'd known they would go as far as they did they'd have thought a little harder about it.

In the Ineffable O'Reilly's immortal phrase, What say you?


Sluggo said...

The Commodes, featuring L'Anal R. Itchie.

I saw a flyer once for (I think) a band called the Pudendas. Which I thought was funny since the "s" for the plural is actually redundant, being unnecessary.

Decatur Dem said...

Ultimate Spinach was, to my knowledge, the only group with the bad judgment to name itself after a leafy green vegetable. (J.J. Kale doesn't count, not being a group).

Gavin M. said...

'Fotheringay', although 'Gay Dad' is a great band name.

helmut said...

French punk band, "The No Talents." It's in keeping with punk protocol at first glance. At second glance it's far too cute for punk.

Bobby Lightfoot said...

These fuckin' kids today, aside from having no respect for any sort of healthy youthful nihilism, have some truly crappo band names.

I give you Hoobastank, No Need For A Name, Something Corporate, Life Hates Me, Jimmy Eat World, Linkin Park, Three Doors Down, those assholes Nickelback (they all worked at Starbucks and that was th' change for a coffee if you gave them a buck- bleagh). Also we have The Fray, Papa Roach, Sister Hazel.

God it just goes on. They've all been Myspaced by Rupert Christing Murdoch.

Some classic San Diego plumber band names: Chune, Pig Iron, Fluf. A good San Diego name: Th' Shitgivits.

There's some kids hereabouts with a band called Th' Fucking Sparklies which is nice.

Decatur Dem said...

And who can forget:
Wayne Campbell: Hey, Tiny, who's playing today?
Tiny: Jolly Green Giants and the Shitty Beetles.
Wayne Campbell: Shitty Beetles? Are they any good?
Tiny: They suck.
Wayne Campbell: Then it's not just a clever name.

roxtar said...

We of the cognoscenti know that the all time shittiest name for a band is:

"Four Jacks and a Jill"

Coming soon to a Ramada Inn near you......with special guest Ynearm

cleek said...

"Hot Tuna" is unpleasant.
"Free Pizza" was a band at R.I.T. when I was there.
"Homey G and the WhatUps" is one of mine.

Eugene Wellborn said...

Nosmo King played the Supper Club in Lamoni, Iowa in 1978.

And nobody thought it was clever then, either, even though they drove up in a jpgqyar.

lilcollegegirl said...

One of my mom's favorite band names which always scares me is "Toxic Scalp". It just sounds so incredibly unpleasant.

Mike said...

My fave band name was a little local combo in Memphis called "Mary the Dog is Lost". The fact that they so cynically capitalized on the missing dog posters that plastered Midtown one summer was brill. Or the more charitable take, they kept awarness of the missing pooch high, with the off chance it could lead to her return.

The bad band name I wanted to use waay back in the mid 80's was one in the spirit of "Free Beer". My creation was "From Athens Georgia". The joke of course being you'd have flyers like "This Saturday at the Antenna, The Penetrators, with special guest From Athens Georgia".

Kevin Wolf said...

I always thought The The had to be one of the dumbest names in the history of rock. In fact, back in the 80s, my brother and I would, for fun, think of stupid band names and one of them was The The. Then, come to find out...

This was in the wake of "New Wave" when band names moved from the poetic to short and snappy - though they often missed the mark - The Photos, The Jags, etc.

I think the laziest trend was using a place name: Oregon, Kansas, etc.

I did a post recently on band names, which was augmented by a masterly comment from our own Bobby Lightfoot.

poodlehead said...

One hyped French "punk" band was Stinky Toys. Gross, non?

I always thought that The Monks was a dumb name and costuming conception. But what a great band!

One name idea that did not catch on with my band mates, back in the day, was The Wasted Apes. I can see why, now.

An Upstep or a Downstep said...

Flash Trapezoid and the Rhombus Configuration

Kevin Wolf said...

If you can stand more, there's a similar discussion here.

dwgs said...

Here in montreal we have b.a.r.f. (blasting all rotten fuckers) as well as 'vaginal croutons'
i have to go wash now.

Anonymous said...

Wizard Belch.

I imagine they'd sound like Dio meets the Frogs. Scary stuff.

AssParrot said...

Electric Meat Pope. The Winona Ryders. Mod Fuck Explosion. Donkey Show (who were slightly older contemporaries of No Doubt in the OC/San Diego mod/ska scene of the late '80s-early '90s.

J.M. Parsbu and the Word Verifications!

AssParrot said...

Wait, I screwed up. Thought this was a thread for cool band names. I like all the ones above, except No Doubt, which is horrible, horrible, horrible. It's like naming a band 'Fer Sure'.

Decatur Dem said...

OK, just one more.
Butthole Surfers.

Those guys were never even near a surfboard.

ade said...

Shurely the worst band name ever would be "Closed For Refurbishment"?
I can see the posters now:
Thursday: The Inevitable Groin
Friday: Closed For Refurbishment.
Failing that, just take any of these word verification words like uibxkos - which could possibly already be a Greco-Peruvian Drum & Bass collective.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure that it's possible, even theoretically, to have a band name worse than Hootie and the Blowfish. Nevertheless:


Anal Cunt
The Burning Sensations
Scraping Foetus Off the Wheel
Helen Keller (high school talent show. I had three weeks to learn the bass, and I didn't quite make it.)
Godspeed You! Black Emperor


Bob's Wife
Death by Boondah (the punchline of a really bad joke)
World Without Spam
Up Against the Wall With Yer Pants Around Yer Ankles

Ol' Pal D said...

Sorry I'm so late to the party, went to E3 and came back a little depressed, digital gaming is run by the same dickweeds that run the music biz, just younger.

Anonymous above me must've dug playing The Rat as much as I did, Scraping Foetus Off The Wheel was the best band name I've ever seen scrawled on a toilet-wall. My favorite non-SFOTW band name of the East Coast punk scene was/is Archbishop's Enema Fetish, I mean come on...

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