Wednesday, October 23, 2013

TMFW 7 - A Name So Silly Someone Would Use It

There are many fun stories of how bands got their name - Three Dog Night, for example, allegedly refers to the degree of cold in the Australian outback.  An unoriginal, but nevertheless fun, story of band name etymology is Toad the Wet Sprocket.    
The name comes from a sketch on a comedy record - 1980's Monty Python's Contractual Obligation Album.  On side 2 of that record, Track 6 is a 2-minute skit called "Rock Notes," where a radio announcer reads through news from the music world.  The first bit deals with Rick Stardust, an "electric triangle player" who must have his elbow removed following a "worldwide successful tour of Finland."  Mr. Stardust, of course, plays for the band Toad the Wet Sprocket.  As Eric Idle recounts the story (and then performs the skit) here, he was "trying to think of a name that would be so silly, no one would ever use it."  He apparently underestimated the goofiness of rock musicians.
The "real" Toad the Wet Sprocket put together a good career, with one gold and two platinum albums, along with three top 40 songs (123) and one "top 41" song (1).  They released their first record in 16 years - a Kickstarter-supported effort that raised 5 times its goal - just last Tuesday.  The album's cover is above; it's a good listen (RdioSpotify).
Bonus fact (mostly for Jinxie):  Another early-1980s-media-inspired band name is Seven Mary Three, which any good CHiPs fan would recognize as officer Jon Baker's callsign.  Here's the very first scene from the show's pilot episode, where Jon uses his and Ponch's signs.  And for good measure, here's the all-time great intro sequence.

No comments:

Post a Comment