They’re wearing out my name before I’ve even adopted it.
I was leaning strongly toward “The New Normal” as the name for my band — you know, the band I’m going to start once I get the name and the playlist all worked out, after which I’ll start recruiting bandmates — but it seems like everybody’s using it every time I turn around, such as here and here and here. If only I had copyrighted it earlier — I would have licensed it to be used only by the band itself, and other people who have paid for the right by, for instance, losing their jobs in this Great Recession. Yeah, I know we have this free speech thing in this country, but I think there should be a rule that you don’t get to say “The New Normal” unless you’ve lost your job.
But I didn’t act quickly enough, mainly because of my great indecision when it comes to picking a name. I could probably decide to go to war, were I a president or a king, a LOT more quickly than the almost four decades I’ve been pondering band names.
Over the years, I’ve considered:
- The Cotton Pigue Mentality — this was inspired by a certain county official in rural West Tennessee back in the late 70s or early 80s. Trouble is, this would have to be a bluegrass or progressive country band, which would eliminate a lot of my playlist. Also, I would have to have my friend Richard Crowson, the best picker of banjo, mandolin and guitar I know, and he lives plumb halfway across the country, in Kansas. Richard was there when we came up with the band name, so he shares the rights.
- Citizen Arcane — This was a sobriquet given me by the late Delores Ballard, my dear friend back at The Jackson Sun in the early days of my career. I got that handle because I knew a lot about really obscure, unimportant stuff, and I suppose I was kind of overbearing about it. Delores was generous with nicknames. She also called me “Wa-Wa,” which has possibilities for a band, and “Percival Pedant,” for my insistence as an editor on precision. That last was just way too uncool to make the list.
- Prussian Blue — It’s a color. In fact, it was one of the first synthetic pigments, whatever that means. I think I ran across it in a dictionary once. I liked the tension between a word with harsh, militaristic overtones (picture a Prussian army officer with a Heidelberg scar) and the dreamy “blue.” Unfortunately, the name was taken by a white nationalist pop duo. I am not making this up.
- Wireless Cloud — The dream that apparently will never be realized here in South Carolina, since all of our legislative sessions are all about Mark Sanford, rather than legislation.
- The Irreconcilables — This was a band idea I had very briefly, but dropped like a hot potato after I’d thought about it for 30 seconds. It would have included such politically irreconcilable local musicians as James Smith and Will Folks. I decided that normal bands have enough trouble with artistic differences; why buy extra trouble?
- The Romeo Clause — this was from a loophole in SC law on the age of consent, which essentially held that you couldn’t be charged for having sex with a minor if you too were a minor. You know, like Romeo and Juliet. Very South Carolina. Disgusting, but I liked the name.
- Splash Blend — If you recall, there was a brouhaha between Big Oil and the jobbers over whether gasohol had to be blended by the oil companies at the refinery, or whether they could be “splash blended” in the wholesalers’ trucks. Sounded like a band name to me.
I’m sure I’ve forgotten some of the names. Maybe y’all have some better ideas.