If you’ve never tried to name a band, let me just tell you that it can be a difficult challenge.
During at least four decades, I have found myself sitting huddled up in various locations with fellow musicians, the sound guy, friends, writing utensils and notebooks, and even once with a designated scribe using chalk on a driveway going through and crossing out various logo-esque hieroglyphics and considering possibilities for band names.
I heard a piece on NPR once which highlighted “The Richardson Rock Band” formed in 1842 near London which may be the very first named band of its kind (playing a giant 65 stone xylophone no less). In the spirit of the creative energy required to name a rock band, this week I present my choices for the strangest and/or most unique band names. Drumroll, please…
The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza
Founded in 2004 in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, playing a combination of hardcore punk and metal (mathcore). The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza finally broke up in 2012. My favorite fact about this band is that some older fans when attending shows would leave disappointed that Tony Danza did not make an actual appearance.
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
Like many great band names, this one was birthed just minutes before the first gig for this Australian band formed in 2010. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard released their 16th studio album last year. Their music runs the gambit from garage rock and surf tunes to full on psychedelic pop.
Peaches and Herb
This one may cause controversy and I know we have all become accustomed to this duo being named for members Francine “Peaches” Barker and Herbert “Herb” Feemster. I get the naming origin. And, as much as I love to sing “Reunited and it feels so good,” it’s still a strange name. I guess it’s better than Peaches and Feemster, though.
Formed in 2006 in Glasgow, Scotland, alternative rockers Dananananaykroyd pay a strange tribute in naming rights to SNL legend and Blues Brother, Dan Aykroyd. I spent far too long trying to work out what the correct pronunciation would be for this band.
The Lonely Biscuits
Nashville Band The Lonely Biscuits formed in 2011 at Belmont University combining soul, funk, hip hop and pop. The bands original name, Gravy and the Biscuits, was shortened shortly after the release of their debut EP, “Soul Food.”
? and the Mysterians
It would be wrong to leave out the band from Saginaw, Michigan responsible for the number one 1966 hit, “96 Tears.” Question Mark (or “?”) was the stage name for lead singer Rudy Martinez with the rest of the band taking their namesake from the 1957 sci-fi movie, “The Mysterians.” The band is credited for being a pioneer of punk rock.
A Brooklyn-based punk-pop group that was rising in pre-COVID popularity including an appearance at SXSW. There’s nothing quite like a yucky duster to ruin the job.
Bob Hope to Die
This short-lived UK band released two EPs in the mid-1980s including “The Living Embodiment of Jimi Hendrix.” Such promise, unfulfilled. If you can find a copy, it may be a collector’s item by now so good luck with that.
Above Average Weight Band
Another British band that formed in 1989 and has been going strong for more than 30 years. Checking the band’s Facebook page reveals some fun facts such as “their very first gig was in a club full of uninterested gas workers,” and “their first smoke machine was called Geraldine.” I would love to hang out with the AAWB.