When John Lennon organized his skiffle band back in 1957, he called it The Blackjacks. Upon discovering that there was already a band in Liverpool using that name, they changed it to The Quarrymen. Then for a minute they were Johnny and The Moondogs. When Stewart Sutcliffe joined the band he suggested calling it the Beatals, inspired by the Crickets. That later evolved into The Silver Beetles. Then they became The Silver Beatles, and finally just The Beatles. I can just imagine how that evolutionary process played out behind the scenes. Been there, done that with band names.
In high school my buddy, John Eads, and I sang under the moniker of The Kinsmen. Of course that name was often confused with The Kingsmen, who at the time were riding the success of "Louie Louie." Still, the lack of a "g" in our group name did distinguish us. Probably there was another group called The Kinsmen somewhere in the world at the time, but we didn't have the internet back then to scan the planet. Now that we can do that, naming a band has become nearly impossible. It seems like every name you can dream up has been used or is in use.
I've been performing as a solo artist here in the Medford area. I didn't have to dream up a name - Bob Haworth pretty much covers it. However, I have found (thank you Al Gore for inventing the internet) that I'm not the only Bob Haworth on the planet. One was a famous soccer player in England. Another is a popular ball-room dancer. (My wife hates the way I dance.) Then there's Bob Haworth in Arizona who owns a plumbing company. So far I haven't found any other musicians with my name.
But I'm contemplating forming a group so that I can vie for gigs in larger venues, fairs, festivals, etc. I've been auditioning musicians - so far with little success. Since I can't offer steady work, I can't really attract good local musicians who aren't already committed. (Josh - are you sure you wouldn't like to live in Oregon?) I'm probably facing the reality of hiring free-lancers for just a single show - assuming they're available.
Well, that's a bridge I'll cross when I get an offer for a booking. In order to solicit these larger venues I need to present myself as having a band. And a band must have a name. So here I am in that quandary of trying to come up with a name that hasn't been or isn't already used.
I came up with a great name the other day - The AcoustiCats. I googled it - taken. Bummer. Then I thought of The Folk Kings. Taken. How 'bout something goofy like Folkie Dokie? Yup - already in use. Let's try another spelling: Folky Dokey. Dang - taken.
I think it would be fun to come up with a name that uses some form of the word "folk" - it's somewhat descriptive of what I do, but I want it to form a pun. I'm looking for something on the order of The Motherfolkers. They were a group in Denver - all women who played original acoustic music. Going down that path I thought of the name, The Folk Ups. Wouldn't ya know - already taken. I wrote a song called "Folk In A". Meri says I can't use that for a band name.
So here's the deal. I need help. I want all you creative brains out there to submit ideas for my band name. Doesn't necessarily have to be a pun (ala The Folk Ups), altho that would be my preference. To make this more interesting and somewhat competitive, I'm offering a prize to anyone who comes up with a great band name that is totally unique in the universe. Well, let me qualify that by saying it has to be a name that I really like and decide to use. What's the prize? How 'bout a Brothers Four or Kingston Trio poster? I have a few of those that I've collected from gigs we've played over the years. And I don't have room to display them all, so... Or maybe a CD. I might even be coaxed to part with that ball of Bob Shane's navel lint.
Alright, the contest is now open to submissions. Be sure to vett your ideas before you submit. Don't want anything that's already in use. Let's have some fun with this!