Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Band names I have subjected others to

So, I've been playing in "bands" since I was in like the 5th grade, some more pretend than others, but all with pretty stupid names, it turns out. At the suggestion of my friend Brian, I complied a list of all the bands I've played in, from Elementary school through College and beyond, into the probably-too-old-to-still-have-a-band days.

My requirement to be on the list was to have made a recording of some kind, even if it was hitting record on my dad's Commodore 64 tape cassette player and "singing" without instruments.

Please enjoy the following awful names, with unnecessary & incredibly long commentary on some of the standout names to follow.

Here goes:

Wesley & Nathan
Him & The Other Guy
Rubber Duckies From Hell
Suction Cup Monkey
The Invisible Pine cones
Bliss Trip
Mr. Antelope
The Funk Alans
The Options
David Dancing
The Bakery Boys
Peachtree Salvage
Baby Jessica
The Chromosomes
Wes Whitener & the Holy Roman Empire
The Adults
Ft. Lauderdale Mi Amour
Rock and Roll Summer

Adventure: This was my first experience recording things. My friend Greg Fast and I, in elementary school, recorded the audio track for a puppet show we wrote (I guess so that we could focus on the puppetry), which featured numerous songs, mostly about Centipede and Pac-Man. My favorite song goes "They were friends, They were friends" over and over. Pretty darn cute.

Wesley & Nathan
: This was my friend Nathan and me, obviously. This went from Elementary to Middle School. We wanted to be Weird Al, like every middle school boy should. I think our shining moments were "Fig Time" (Peter Gabriels's Big Time), "Living with the Mayor" (Bon Jovi's Living on a Prayer) and "Material Girl" which was obviously Madonna's Material Girl, but the twist here was that our version was about a woman made completely of cloth. So you know that was awesome.

Him & The Other Guy
: This was the beginning of a long musical friendship between Fred Copley and myself. I played the casio, Fred played a Flying V guitar. Our musical teaming began in middle school and lasted through college, when he realized that playing with me meant he would be in bands with names like "Him and The Other Guy" and he promptly began to write non-middle school level music on his own. These were fun times, though. Our first tune was called "Black Widow" because we thought we had to be really scary and tough. In those days, we just wrote a song to record it once, then never played it again, which I think is kind of nice.

Rubber Duckies From Hell: This was a band I played in during middle school and probably the first band I played in with a drummer, my friend Todd. Our original name was going to be "Jimmy Stewart's Rubber Duckies From Hell" but we were actually worried about getting sued, so we dropped the first part. I guess our 60 min. Magnavox cassette tape could've ended up in the wrong hands. "Inflatable Spanish Sushi on a Stick", our only hit, is still one of the best songs I've ever been a part of.

Suction Cup Monkey: Well, this one is a terrible name, but close to my heart because I loved being in this band all through high school. We changed our name a couple of times, because folks booking us at shows kept saying "Sucksum Butt Chunky". We had a large number of people in the band over time, and eventually played a lot of fun parties and several pointless shows at seedy clubs in downtown Atlanta. Our last day of school party during our senior year of high school was legendary (in my mind.) Ending on "This Monkey's gone to Heaven" was a nice touch. Ah, those were nice times. I was often a dork, but it was fun.

Crushed: Ok, this one almost doesn't count, because we never recorded anything. My friend Todd asked his dad if he could help us get paying gigs, and his dad told us to learn 50 songs and then he would book us shows (turns out he meant weddings and parties, he was a DJ). So we worked hard on songs we thought we should learn for that, but didn't really care for. "I Remember You" By Skid Row and for some reason "California Sun". Eventually we realized that we never would learn 50 songs and that Todd's dad probably knew that.

The Invisible Pinecones: One of the better names, sadly. My friend Nathan's band.

Bliss Trip: This was Suction Cup Monkey trying to find a better name, and failing miserably. Turns out "Bliss Trip" sounds like "Blister Rip" which means exactly the opposite thing. And either way the name is terrible.

Mr. Antelope: This is what we tried after "Bliss Trip". I can't remember the reasoning but I bet it was interesting. Lasted all of a month or so before switching back to Suction Cup Monkey and suggesting to folks that they just call us SCM. Turns out they just didn't call us.

The Funk Alans: My friend Alan and I recorded a couple songs under this name. Alan was a part of Suction Cup Monkey for several years before "finding peace" and giving up the drums, which is the best drummer-quitting excuse I've ever heard.

Mulch: This was basically my friends Sean & Errol and whoever they invited over to play songs with them, mostly people who didn't know how to play their instruments. It was very, very fun.

David Dancing: Hmm. This was a band that Fred and I got drafted into at our church with some older guys. It was my first foray into playing in a faux heavy metal band, except this one was not in on the joke.

The Bakery Boys: This band barely existed, but included Sean from SCM and Mulch and our friend Tim on drums. We did record a few songs, one of which was an ironic cover of "fight for your right to party" in which we realized the line "Dad you're just jealous we're the Beastie Boys” had to change because we weren't the Beastie Boys. Hence the name Bakery Boys.

Peachtree Salvage: This was my band my Freshman year of college, named after a thrift store in the metro Atlanta area. I still kind of like this name.

Baby Jessica: I had nothing to do with this name, another joint effort with my friend Nathan, but I do remember a pretty awesome cover of Jack & Diane at our first and only show in Athens.

Wes Whitener & The Holy Roman Empire: Well, this name started when it was just me on guitar and my friend Amy McCollum on the drums. I thought it was pretty great to have one person, a girl drummer (My Pastor's wife, even) and refer to her as the Holy Roman Empire. Our first show was at the Q-Zar laser tag in Athens, where Servotron had just played a show. I assumed they had mikes and a PA, and was wrong, so I sang in to a headset mike that got broadcast throughout the laser tag playing area. A Capella. So that was pretty awesome. Eventually we added Davis on bass and another guy Brian on keys, and played a couple of shows during the Olympics in downtown Athens, which was a whole lot of fun. Later, another band appeared with the name Holy Roman Empire so we dropped it.

The Adults: WW & The Holy Roman Empire became the Adults, and played one show under that name on Live in the Lobby at 90.5. Then we found out there was already a punk band of sorts with that name, so we dropped it.

Ft. Lauderdale Mi Amour: Formerly the Adults. This name lasted about a week before switching it to:

Rock and Roll Summer: For some reason I was really particular about not being Rock N' Roll Summer. Something about that N' bothered me. Seems like a weird thing to mandate, looking back. This was some of the most fun I've had in a band.

Pants!: This band was formed at my last job, McKinney, by my boss David in order to enter the Battle of the Ad Bands in NY. We won that with our faux heavy metal Rock Opera about pants and then won the next year as well (with the opening song "Did you see us last year, we were awesome"). Then we entered the Fortune 500 Battle of the Ad bands at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and won that as well. That was one of my favorite band moments, because we closed with the song "Thank You for Inducting Us to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame" which is clearly not what happened, and caused a lot of concern from the Hall of Fame staffers. We even presented ourselves onstage with a giant check for a million trillion dollars. Good times. We ended the band with a recording at one of the best recording studios I've ever been in, and got an excellent sounding recording of our faux metal tunes. To quote my friend Jerry, the drummer: "Why is THIS the best recording I ever made?"

Whew, that was a long and only-fun-for-me list. Hope you found a way to enjoy or read it.


Regan said...

wes, my friend...
"Fig Time," "Living with the Mayor," singing a capella over a head mike at a laser tag place?
pure comedy gold, i tell ya!

holly said...

baby jessica strikes me as i kept a baby jessica and that's what i called her...i think that might be one of the more unique band names i've ever heard.

Jerry said...

My list is not nearly as fun, and I don't have a great tidbit for each one, but here goes:
- The Triffids
- Start
- Mondays Friends
- The Irredecent Blues
- The Crabby Jacks
- Shifter
- My Code Name Is Blue
- Pants
Nothing better than rollng up to the venue for a Crabby Jacks gig and seeing "The Crappy Jacks" on the marquee. And once we got "The Crabby Jaques"... actually, a better name.