Such an epic name - so emotionally visceral. And now that I know how it came to be for this renowned post-punk/neo-psychedelic(?) Liverpuddlian outfit, I want to scour every comic book I own for similar out-there inspiration.
The Teardrop Explodes, whose style is also referred to as "bubblegum trance"(??), formed in 1978 and laid the groundwork for much of the 80's British Invasion (The Smiths, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Cure...) and some of the 90's one too (Blur, The Auteurs, Pulp...). It also seems they were trailblazers in the "running around dilapidated factories/warehouses" video concept.
I could provide a word-for-word anecdote of the group coming up with the name, but you won't get the same effect as closing your eyes and imagining you're a young Julian Cope, defacto head-Teardrop, reading this nonsensical page of Marvel Comics' Daredevil, issue #77:
The 'teardrop' is actually a spaceship(???) that takes Prince Namor/Sub-Mariner (the dude in the green Speedo lifting the tree) away to somewhere else. What's that sound? Yeah, that's your mind, blown.
Their music would've ensured the band's legacy anyways, no matter they could've been called. But this is a Hall Of Fame-level name origin to an exceptional band name.
Now, time to read my comic stash and pore over Teardrop song titles...
One of the most eclectic and revered bands out there, Oklahoma City's The Flaming Lips have close to the perfect career: do what they want, when they want, and their fans will love 'em no matter what. Short of recording a duet with Donald Trump or Vladimir Putin, they can do no wrong. Writing songs about being a frog...
... penning one of the most gorgeous ballads ever, then shoot the video with Japanese models and bunny mascots in Vegas...
... or recording a track-by-track cover album of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band with none other than Miley Cyrus...
Put it all together, and it's best left to frontman Wayne Coyne to talk about where the Lips' name came from:
“Back in 1983 when we were approaching our first gig, we really didn’t know what we were gonna be called. It was still sort of the punk era back then, but we didn’t want to be called something too political like the Dead Kennedys. I’d read somewhere about a group called the Flaming Hands, which was a name I’d liked and that led to the Flaming Lips.
"But I’ve had a lot of people come up to me and tell me that they really know where the name comes from. Some folks have told me that I got the name from an old Fred Astaire musical that it supposedly shows up in. Others said we took it from a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Nope, it happened like I said it did. I even remember making a flyer for the show where I cut out a picture of a woman with her legs spread and put a mouth over her, uh, parts — so there was this idea of a throbbing orifice. It just proves that if a man is completely left to his own devices, he’ll always go straight for vaginas.”
“Oh, we had a bunch of ridiculous ideas. We had considered things like the Tijuana Toads; the Corporation; the Firm. Silly names like that.”
Riiiight, Wayne - Flaming Lips not silly, Tijuana Toads silly. Actually, maybe starting a Flaming Lips cover band is in order. Think we'll call ourselves the Tijuana Toads...
This one has fascinated me since my teens. What is a Bone Thug? And does it require Harmony to be complete? Sadly, the true answer is nowhere near the philosophical mindbend my questions suggest. The Cleveland, Ohio band's name comes from none other than legendary N.W.A. co-founder Eazy E, who coined the name "Thugs N Harmony", which captured the "mean streets: vibe the group gave off, all the while taking note of the melodic backbone that gave them their trademark sound. The Bone handle comes from every member using it in their own names.
Speaking of coining terms, the Thugs may be originators of the "gangsta ghost" sub-genre, as witnessed in 'Crossroads':
Haven't gone with any huge band names here, but I've always been curious about the origin of Metallica.
Back in the early 80's, drummer/co-founder Lars Ulrich's friend was starting a metal fanzine. The friend was debating between two names for the 'zine: "Metallica" and "Metal Mania". He asked Lars for his opinion, and Lars told him that he should definitely go with "Metal Mania", because secretly Mr. Ulrich wanted Metallica for his band (who at the time went by such esteemed names as Red Vette and Blitzer). Another theory is that a 'heavy metal bible' of sorts by the name of Encyclopedia Metallica was in every music and book store in 1981 London, where Lars also happened to be at the time. Hmm...
Well, over 110 million records sold, an entry into the Rock N' Roll Hall Of Fame, and a concert with the San Fran Symphony Orchestra later, they can still get as raw and loud as metal bands half their age. And there's almost no one else could make moths sound so kickass.
This almost makes one forget the Napster incident...
The officially unofficial blog of Faux Rawk. Everything you read is true, although some of what you read is 100% false. Whoa... trippy, man.