Namesmanship

I’ve always been intrigued by band names. From goofy to clever to politically incorrect to that thin, we-know-it-when-we-see-it line between way cool and too crude. Just noticed who was playing this week at Jannus Live in St. Pete. It’s the lead guitarist with Anthrax who will perform with Killswitch Engage. No, I’ve never heard of either group, but, yes, it did lead to this retrospective.

My short list of favorites for various reasons: The Rolling Stones, The Loving Spoonful, Peaches and Herb, the Sex Pistols, Hootie and the Blowfish, Led Zeppelin, Limp Bizkit, Smashing Pumpkins, Spinal Tap, Blue Oyster Cult, the Dropkick Murphys and Rage Against the Machine. Lynyrd Skynyrd makes it because it was a riff on a high school P.E. teacher named Leonard Skinner. The Dead Kennedys doesn’t make it for unconscionably obvious, disgusting reasons.

And this postscript. Back when I was a rookie, secondary English teacher in Bristol Township, Pa., I made an early mark in the Delhaas H.S. faculty lounge. My planning period coincided with those who passed part of the time with a wickedly funny, creative exercise in making up names for rock ‘n roll bands. I fit in. All too well. To wit: Napalm Sunday, Tit Offensive, Fellatio Alger and The Gaza Strippers.

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