What’s in a name, right? Well, a helluva lot. Some bands use profanity (i.e. Starfucker, Holy Fuck) and some use strange, long names (i.e. Black Moth Super Rainbow). But another recent trick of the trade: Bands that cop the name of a famous person. The plus sides: instant recognition and conversation starter. The minus: Google searches might despise you and cease-and-desist orders could land in your mailbox. With that in mind, here’s five such acts that willingly poach from famous people.
1. Abe Vigoda
This L.A. foursome adopted the name of the Godfather actor after seeing him make numerous cameos on Late Night With Conan O’Brien. The band started out making erratic art punk with 2007′s Kid City but with 2010′s Crush, the band took a turn to more ’80s synth-pop approach, which screams Abe Vigoda the actor if you ask us.
Take the name of the drummer from one of the greatest bands of all time, mix it with a Star Wars reference, and you’ve got a band that immediately gets the Yellow Submarine/nerd vote. The Austin-based shoegazers just released Colour Trip, which is less inspired by Ringo or Darth Vader than it is by the Jesus & Mary Chain.
By tacking an extra junior at the end of the driver’s name and dressing up in NASCAR regalia, Michigan’s Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. started with a gimmick to draw people in. But not surprisingly: their Nilsson-esque male harmonies with electro beats are not exactly what you’d call music for the Daytona 500.
Natalie Portman is cool with a lot of things, like having her choreographer’s kid and starring in an A-list stoner comedies. But not this. The Seattle band got a call from Portman’s people, who said the actress wasn’t okay with the band name. Still, it’s better than trying to go with Britney’s Shaved Head.
5. Com Truise
Okay, so Com Truise took a different route of name recognition by flipping some letters around. It’s a strangely appropriate robot-esque name for a guy who produces wonky, soulful tracks. But as the New Jersey producer says on his website, “It’s not about the name, its [sic] about the music.” Sure, Com. Sure.