Strawberry Alarm Clock.
Death Cab for Cutie.
The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band.
Just a few of the actual band names out there. How did they come up with these? I’m convinced they knocked back a few shots of cheap whisky then opened up the dictionary to a random page.
Back in 1991 when I was 19 years old, I was in college out in Olympia, Washington practicing my right to wear Kurt Cobain grunge and dabble in recreational drugs. (I never inhaled.)
One day my three roommates and I cooked up a brilliant plan to become famous. Right after we cooked up yet another steaming bowl of Ramen noodles laced with patchouli incense dust.
“Hell, yeah, dudes! We should form a rock band!”
But we needed a name. Sure, we didn’t actually have instruments. Or knew how to play any. And none of us could sing. But the name was everything, right? I mean, just look at Hootie & the Blowfish! Our ticket to stardom was just a dictionary away!
So we took turns closing our eyes, flipping open the dictionary and randomly pointing at words. Hey, it was a slow day in the great Northwest — there’s only so much rain-soaked Starbucks lattes a person can stand.
Yesterday I was digging through a tote full of my old college papers and found a ripped page from my notebook that listed these gems. I laughed so hard I was crying. Crying tears full of lost dreams and laced with patchouli incense dust. (That’s right — I still like to burn incense, don’t judge)
I’d like to repeat that we actually thought we would form a world-famous band with these names.
I still think we can.
The Suede Turtlenecks
Scrod Hodge Podge
Flying Lemur Gas
Cozy Offbeat Snot Rag
Darla and The Dandy Deputy Moonstones (my favorite)
The Frightful Zits
Devil’s Food Cake 4:00
Chastity Belt Nation (I think this band actually exists)
The Stodgy Boondoggles
Mudpuppy Game Theory (might have been a Seattle band pre-Nirvana)
Undersexed White Sauce
Good stuff, huh. I think all of them were worthy of a popular rock band name. We finally chose one name and stuck with it. We only played a few gigs on campus, most of them in our dorm’s living room to an audience of zero.
Yes, we were Liquid Lion.
I even composed a song for us that went something like this…[imagine me with flowing dreads wearing an oversized fuzzy green cardigan layered over a dirty plaid shirt and banging my head while playing bad air guitar]
Liquiiiiiiiiiid, Liquid Lion!
Liquiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiid Liquid Lion!
LIQUID LION!” [insert Wayne’s World riff here]
Sadly, Liquid Lion broke up due to creative differences and the drummer’s numerous rehab stints — not to mention my brief and torrid fling with a man named Jingo who’s singing voice sounded like a pig in heat yet somehow he convinced me to leave the group to collaborate on a double fantasy album, effectively killing my musical career forever.
What’s the strangest band name you’ve ever come across? Let me know in the comments so I can steal it for my own band.