The World According To Damien
in a World gone mad – one sane voice emerges…

Damien on… Pop Group Names

Back in the days when Pop ruled (1920-90) many groups tended to go for exotic names that only meant something to THEM. Although the fact that the film “Barbarella” lacked a credit sequence meant Duran-Duran were unaware the character’s name was actually Durand-Durand. But never mind.

While punk groups who went with names like Dead Kennedys, P. Pott And The Urinators and Johnny Durex And The Prophylactics (okay, I made that last one up – but the others are genuine) guaranteed they would never get AIRPLAY.

But those who chose simple names did best. The Beatles combined “beat” with “beetles” and did all right. The Animals, The Move, The Doors, Cream…

When Cliff Richard’s backing group, The Drifters, realised they might be confused on marquees with the American vocal group of the same name, they changed to The Shadows. Hank said it only took them SECONDS to come up with THAT one.

So the lesson is – keep it sweet and simple. I mean, how famous are The Kasenetz-Katz Singing Orchestral Circus and Adge Cutler And The Wurzels today? I rest my case.

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4 Responses to “Damien on… Pop Group Names”

  1. Then there were some with simple names who never made it either!

    The Peddlers for instance!!!

    At least I can listen to “Quick Joey Small” without feeling seriously depressed!

    Unlike “Birth”.

    I may just have bad memories because someone at school used to bring his tape recorder in and played it ad nauseum to us!

    Alfie

  2. The Peddlers were in serious danger of rising from a “lounge group” to a fully-fledged pop group until “Birthday” – their first LP with the dreaded CBS. It contained the (admittedly syrupy) “Birth” – and “Girlie”, which I always liked. All told, it did well, getting lots of airplay. Then… NOTHING! A few years later, they surfaced with a mediocre single on EMI, but it seems their best years were behind them. During the Sixties, they turned out some excellent work, including songs and music for “The Lost Continent” – Hammer DUMPED the original score. And Roy Philips was SOOOOOOO cool (I wore black turtle-necks for the first half of the Seventies). I recently Googled the guys and while the drummer and bassist appear to have disappeared into session-work, Roy turned out to be retired to New Zealand, where he keeps his hand in by doing local gigs – he’s got a HUGE repertoire (for a man of his size) – and releasing the occasional CD. Of course, after 40 years, his looks have gone a bit – but then, YOU don’t look much like you did in those Copleston days EITHER!

    I, of course, am still beautiful – check out my pic at the foot of Morpheus.

    Oh, and that “Quick Joey Small” – it’s crap. But it does have an interesting “b” side – “Rumble ’69”. Hey, I said INTERESTING – not GOOD!

  3. Hmm, yes. It seems I’ve lost my looks whereas you have found some! I was always prettier than you at school!! God that sounds SO gay – must be that “all boy” school thing again!

    You also mentioned the Wurzels (with or without Adge) – a guy I used to work with sent me a “recent” album of cover versions that they did called “Never mind the Bullocks!”

    They may have always been pretty naff, but their re-working of Robbie Williams’ “Rock DJ” had my family and I pissing ourselves!

    The bloke who sent me that album is the same person who introduced me to “Dub Side of the Moon” mentioned in
    http://littlealfie.wordpress.com/2009/06/16/cover-versions/
    a while ago.

    Sorry to put that in but it seems no-one has been reading my stuff while I’m on holiday!

    Alfie

  4. Oi zdill ‘ave “Dringup Thee Zidur”!


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