Etiquette about band names

Discussion in 'Band Wagon' started by kiwi blue, Sep 6, 2019.

  1. kiwi blue

    kiwi blue Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm sure most of us who have been in bands have had bright ideas for the perfect band name, only to google and find of course it's already being used. In fact it can seem like all the good ones are already taken.

    I think it's pretty obvious that if some-one local has a similar name you don't use it, especially if they are in a similar genre. The further away they are geographically, musically, and in their market/audience, the looser I think we can be about it.

    So if a part time blues musician with a very local audience in one part of, let's say, the Netherlands wants to use a name like one used by, let's say, a semi-pro looking bluegrass band in Montana, what do you think?

    I suppose it comes down to how likely it is it to interfere with the other band and their audience.

    We didn't have this problem before the internet.
     
  2. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire

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    True. There are umpteen million bands named “Moments Notice” at any given time as they need ’somerhing’ to put on the marquee...
    Band names are certainly tough these days. Every now and then you will run across a gem. My wife and I found a band the other day called:
    Harmonica Lewinski
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2019
  3. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    I was in a band once where we wanted the name to give people a good idea of what to expect.

    We called ourselves Desperately Bad.

    After a few months we improved and changed our name to Pretty Bad.

    That was as good as we got, though.

    Believe it or not, bad as we were, we got gigs. Go figure, as the colonists say.
     
  4. Bob Womack

    Bob Womack Tele-Holic

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    My favorite was a band that played this area and had a name that aggravated the venues in this vacation destination: "Locals Only." Looked great on the marquee.

    Bob
     
  5. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's

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    I like the idea of a dual purpose band name. I might call my next band "No You Can't Get A Discount Because You Missed The Support."
     
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  6. mexicanyella

    mexicanyella Tele-Holic

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    The OP has me imagining a Dutch blues band called Yellowstone Jack and the Geothermal Feature Boys.
     
  7. oceanblue

    oceanblue Tele-Meister

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    One I don't think I would have had in my top 1,000 to choose from....Glamour Kitty, for a 80's glam rock cover band, though I hear they are pretty good. Story is that the name started as a joke, then next thing they know, they are getting more gigs, wearing wigs (drummer), and sometimes wearing outlandish outfits, etc.

     
  8. oceanblue

    oceanblue Tele-Meister

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    Or, to subtly get across the point you are an 80's cover band....The Reagan Years, and here this band is great, and charges more than $10K a gig. I guess there are still names left out there if you work at it?

     
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  9. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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    I was in a band who , jokingly, called ourselves "And Many More" taking advantage of the TV commercials at the time. Funnily enough we were a a a good band but a new member and our lead guitarist's heroin addiction , led to our downfall. Sad as we got two gigs for everyone we played, and, initially, were great mates just out of High School, with, I believe, some talent. At the time, early 70s, we were being heavily booked.
    So, the name worked, and no etiquette breached. Cheers!;)
     
  10. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    If you're not a cover band, you should try to have an original name. I don't think geography could be an excuse when one of the bands could be a cult band.

    Also the classic 80s excuse "there was a band with that name but they broke up" isn't valid anymore.
     
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  11. PlainAllman

    PlainAllman Tele-Holic

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    Good band name. The Colonists. Dibs.
     
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  12. teletail

    teletail TDPRI Member

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    I wouldn't use a name that's being used by another band in the same geographic area, but other than that, I don't worry about it. Unless you think you're going to make it "big" I don't think it matters.
     
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  13. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I started my band about 10 years ago.
    If I'd have known that we were going to be moderately popular, have an online presence, get on a label, iTunes, Spotify...I'd have been much more careful about picking a name.
    I really think the most important thing in the internet age is originality, so when folks do an internet search, ONLY your project comes up.
    If you name your band The Second Amendment, NOBODY will find you on the internet.
    Next time, I'm going with Moonshine Monkeybutt, or...you know...something like that.
    But...to answer your original question...no problem.
    Funny, though...my Blues band has a very similar name (The Blue Plate Specials vs. Blue Plate Special) to a Bluegrass band...but only one state over in NJ.
     
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  14. tlsmack

    tlsmack Tele-Afflicted

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    I always wanted to name my band "...and a very special guest." Do you think Leslie West would mind?:)
     
  15. Whatizitman

    Whatizitman Friend of Leo's

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    Some of the more, uh, forward thinking bands (I use the term loosely) will get URLs/websites, trademarking, other branding to claim their name as best they can, ofttimes with legal help. There's always a risk someone at some point can claim name and/or trademark infringement.

    The reality is the vast majority of bands will never make enough money, notoriety, or last long enough for that ever to come into play. But better to be safe than sorry. Just because your favorite band name is used does not mean you can't come up with another one.

    No guarantees, of course. But if I absolutely have to use that amazingly clever band name I came up with :D, here are some issues I would take into account. The less any of these are likely to become an issue, the better.

    1. geography
    2. number of band with similar names I can google
    3. fame/notoriety, history, and level of professionalism of said bands
    ***4. The gap between reality and "truly clever and/or unique".

    ***I have a name I have my current solo projects under that I'm really proud of, and think it's truly clever. Googling has brought up nothing close enough to it. But in reality that means zilch. I can count the number of folks that have heard my noise in the tens. :rolleyes::D Plus, just because I think it's clever and unique doesn't mean it is.
     
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  16. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I agree with the idea that a local band can use any name they want, as long as they're not close enough to another band to cause confusion. A band with national exposure needs a unique name, and should protect it.

    Remember Dinosaur Jr.? They had to add the Jr because some codger band in California threatened to sue them.

    A band I was in used to play Fridays in a street cafe, right near a sign that said "One Lane Bridge". We looked it up; there's a few other bands using the name, but all far away. Never heard from any of them.

    olb.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2019
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  17. tvvoodoo

    tvvoodoo Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a local customer here who leads a band called Midlife Crisis. The name has been quite a headache for them as there are possibly dozens of bands with same or similar.
     
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  18. ecoast

    ecoast Tele-Holic

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    I just had off to Urban dictionary when I need a unique name...

    I think if I post what we went out as the last time, I'll be banned....lol

    --but general folk will never know the connotation unless they Google

    On edit: pm for a good laugh...
     
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  19. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    Naming a band was (I think) much easier in the "old days". In high school, my band changed our name to one of my favorite names ever.....Spice. It was a single word, memorable, simple. Not "The Spice", not "Spices", not "The Spice Band" or anything else. This was LONG before the internet, and long before Spice Girls, and, we felt, reflected the variety of music we played. I found out many years later there was a band in England that used that name, but I still wouldn't hesitate to re-use it if those guys and I ever got back together.
    I agree that if an insignificant band in another (distant) area was using a name, it wouldn't matter if you used the same name.....but if there's even minor fame involved, I'd find something different.
     
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  20. ddewerd

    ddewerd Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    I agree with the geographic part. I just Googled my band name and found about a dozen with the same, or very similar, name. But they're scattered all over the place, with several different styles.

    I checked out one from York, UK (I am in Texas, USA). Their logo is very similar to ours!

    A bit different in the description though. My band is semi-retired (no web site, PR, just play out a few times a year nowadays). We're 3 old dudes (57, 59, 69) who have each played since we were kids (and we've been together 15+ years). We play a mix of classic/southern rock, country, jazzy stuff.

    The band in York describes themselves as:

    A female fronted covers band playing a range of rock, rock 'n' roll, disco and pop.

    Hmmm, maybe we're not so different after all. I looked at a few pics on the FB page and they're all probably just slightly younger than us. And one of the guitar players is playing a Tele, so there's that...

    Cheers,
    Doug
     
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