Thursday, June 21, 2012

Band Name Origins: T - U

Take That
After rejecting the name Kick It, the band settled on Take That, although member Gary Barlow has described that name as the "worst of a bad bunch.”  Taken from a magazine with Madonna on the cover with the words "Madonna: Take That & Party".  The band’s first album was named  "Take That & Party".
Talking Heads
Probably from the video jargon for a camera shot showing only the head & shoulders of a person. Another story says they were inspired by a military experiment involving talking mannequin heads.
Reputedly as being 1cc more than  the average amount of ejaculate from a healthy male, which is supposedly 9cc.  Wrong on all counts.  The band was named by Jonathan King, who signed them to UK Records, who had a dream the night before of the group being No 1 in England and the US and that their name was 10cc.  This has been confirmed by King and band member Eric Stewart. Plus the average male ejaculate is 3cc.
Thin Lizzy
When original quitarist Eric Bell saw Eric Clapton reading a copy of the BEANO comic on a John Mayall album cover he bought a copy. One of the characters in the comic was Tin Lizzy. Phil Lynott thought that was a horrible name for a band and suggested Thin Lizzy instead. 
Three Dog Night
The official commentary included in the CD set Celebrate: The Three Dog Night Story, 1965-1975states that vocalist Danny Hutton’s then-girlfriend June Fairchild suggested the name after reading a magazine article about indigenous Australians, in which it was explained that on cold nights they would customarily sleep in a hole in the ground whilst embracing a dingo, a native species of wild dog. On colder nights they would sleep with two dogs and if the night was freezing, it was a "three dog night". Plus the band had 3 lead singers.
Drummer Jeff Porcaro wrote the word “Toto” on their initial demo tapes an identifying mark, after watching The Wizard of Oz on TV.  They did not have a name at that stage.  Subsequently it was decided to adopt that as the band’s name, not after the dog but because in Latin the word meant “all encompassing” which suited the fact that they played a mixture of different styles.  Also the name was easy to pronounce and remember. 
The Turtles
Originally the Crossfires, but changed their name to the Tyrtles as an unveiled homage to the Byrds, but soon amended the spelling. 
Three possibilities:
1.      A type of spy plane used by the United States in the 1960's - made famous when Gary Powers' U2 plane was shot down over Russia and he was taken as a
prisoner during the Cold War.  
2.      U2 as in "you too" referring to the audience and its role in the musical experience. (Bono once said that the band’s name came from the interaction with the audience, hence the “you too”).
3.     A U2 is an unemployment form in Ireland (see UB40)
Code number of a form people in Britain have to fill out to receive public assistance or welfare. Known in the UK as a signing-off form when you get a job.  Hence the title of their first album Signing Off.

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