Statlers, Sprockets and Such

I’ll never forget the first time I heard my children talking about smashing pumpkins. I thought they were up to no good.

Smashing Pumpkins from discog

Turns out they were talking about a rock band, The Smashing Pumpkins. What a name, I thought.

I was reminded of this a few days ago when the TV was on; a guy was being interviewed and the identifying caption on the screen was “Toad the Wet Sprocket.” The Duppster made some comment about what in the world that combination of words might mean.

from MySpace

Yes, Toad the Wet Sprocket is another band, one that happened to be playing Charleston that night.

Do musicians and would-be musicians sit around trying to figure out the weirdest possible name for a group?

Just consider some of the other names: Gorilla Biscuits, The Germs, The Casualties, Public Enemy, Bad Brains, Black Sabbath, Velvet Underground, The Black-Eyed Peas, Pink Floyd, Flying Burrito Brothers, Counting Crows and Mott the Hoople.

Mott the Hoople 2009 Reunion from Wikipedia

Mott the Hoople?

Black Sabbath from Wikipedia

There’s Insane Clown Posse, Nine Inch Nails, Velvet Revolver, My Chemical Romance, Neutral Milk Hotel, Iggy Pop, The Arctic Monkeys. And, yes, even our South Carolina guys, Hootie and the Blowfish.

Certainly there must be a reason behind each name, although I can’t imagine what. In fact, with some of those names, I don’t think I even want to know!

Toad the Wet Sprocket took its name from a comedy sketch by Monty Python’s Flying Circus, a name which must have a story of its own.

Statler Brothers from Wikipedia

The Statler Brothers, a country-western/gospel group, got its name from a company that manufactured paper products. The guys were in a room, trying to come up with a name, when one of them spotted a box of Statler tissues.

from http://www.originaldrifters.com/

Whatever happened to “regular” names like The Ink Spots, The Temptations, The Drifters, The Coasters and The Moonglows?

Maybe those band members didn’t have the creativity and imagination of more modern groups, as weird as that creativity and imagination might be.

But at least their music was real music with melody and understandable words.

Ah, for the good ol’ days.

from discog
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