Your Band Name Sucks!
Back in the day (as in a long-long time ago–early 90’s), I was in a band in the San Francisco Bay Area. This was a thriving time for rock music. Nirvana was the new hot thing, Green Day was just being signed, and it seemed like Tool was playing every weekend in some part of the region. There were hundreds of venues and shows every day of the week. I remember playing one show at a laundromat with a stage and a bar. It was called “Time Machine” if I remember correctly. How cool is that? Actually, it was kind of humid.
Anyway, my band had a standing headliner gig in upper Haight-Ashbury. We started around 11pm on Sunday nights and played until 1am a couple of times per month. There was always a varied crowd of pub-going beer drinkers plus a few regulars who seemed to enjoy our “enviro-mantic” punkish musings featuring bass guitar, keys, and drums (that’s right, no guitar) inspired by They Might Be Giants, The Specials, and Oingo Boingo among others.
I’ll never forget the protest rally gig in Berkeley where the freeway was shut down by cyclists and we performed on a flatbed truck stage with a big diesel generator providing power. It was shoulder-to-shoulder people on foot, on skateboards, and on bicycles. Yet here we showed up and parted the crowd in 3 separate gas-guzzling cars full of musical gear. It was some weird irony considering the organization and protestors for whom we were hired to play. However, a few things happened on our way to becoming a locally-known fish in a big pond.
Anyway anyway, we really started getting noticed and gaining regional traction after local music magazine, BAM, or Bay Area Musician, ran a poll in which our band won the crown for having the worst band name. It doesn’t matter what the name was (they’re still around using the same name), but this really happened. Initially, our feelings were hurt and we sulked around wondering what to do. The fact is, we had gigs lined up under that name. We gave some attention to the idea that we might need to change our name, but it was so unique and inspired so many questions, we just carried on. I’ll give you one hint: I had a personalized licensed plate “GIRAFFE” at the time.
Little did we realize (not immediately) being voted as the band with the worst name wasn’t so bad. People (fans) started coming to our shows and we started getting airplay on Live-105. It wasn’t a lot of airplay, but to get anything in such a huge market was incredible for a young 20-something band. Unfortunately, due to a number of factors including needing to move back to Bakersfield, I had to leave the band shortly after the hype started.
“Your Band Name Sucks!“
However, my point here is that I learned a long time ago when someone says, “Your band name sucks,” that can be a true badge of honor. Yeah, that happened already and we haven’t even played a show. They remember our name whether they like it or not, right? Wait until they hear us!
Will Gail Dance?
Who is Gail? Will Gail Dance? Would Gail Dance? Or, is this something to do with someone named Will? If so, who is Will? Or, is their name Will Gail? Is this a dance called the “Will Gail?” Is this about a real person? What’s going on here? How many questions can we come up with? Do they also go by “WGD?”
At the end of the day, if you like music and you like to see local bands, you would be hard-pressed trying to convince me you didn’t or don’t have the slightest intrigue as to what the heck this is all about and you’re probably asking some of the same questions. You’ll just have to come and see Will Gail Dance? for yourself to find out.