Monday, November 17

Musicians Love Their Sports Too


This past weekend, I finally got around to reading Linda Cohn's autobiography. And let me tell you, that woman is amazing. Fully inspiring with her "Get it done" attitude. If you haven't read it, I urge you to pick up a copy.

But in reading Linda's book, I learned what a dope I am. She spoke about her relationship with John Ondransik of Five for Fighting and how she, as a hardcore hockey fan, had to appreciate him for his band's name.

I am sure most of you already realized that, but my reaction was, "Ohhh, that's what that means! How did that never occur to me?" I immediately called Shinny and she laughed at me for never realizing that.

So it got me to thinking about what other bands' monikers are a take on a sporting reference. And music being my other passion, I had a great time compiling this list for you all. I hope you dig it as much as I do.

Five for Fighting
Let's start with the inspiration for this whole article. Ondransik and co. take their name from a hockey penalty - five minutes for fighting. If their music wasn't such loser rock, I would probably be really into them on this basis alone.

Switchfoot is a term used in surfing to reference the abillity to be able to switch your feet to face in either direction. Clever terminology. Despite living in SoCal, I have never been a surfer so that one had gone right over my head.

I don't think this one requires any explanation. Next.

Luscious Jackson
They are named after basketball player Lucious Jackson, whose name was mispronounced during a telecast as "Luscious Jackson".

Pearl Jam (used to be Mookie Blaylock)
There are two different variations on this story. This first involves Eddie Vedder's grandmother, Pearl. Pearl supposedly made a peyote jelly/jam , which as kids they called pearl jam. But the other variation on the tale is that the name comes from NBA player Mookie Blaylock -- it's his nickname. Band members Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament were huge fans of Blaylock, loved his peculiar name and wished to just call their band "Mookie Blaylock". But Blaylock protested, so they used his nickname "Pearl Jam" instead. You be the judge.

The Starting Line
This young band of rockers takes their name from the beginning of a track and field race. And they're super cute.

These boys from SoCal (who took me to my first strip club.. random fact of the day) apparently must be huge soccer fans. Yellow card refers to how a soccer official calls out an infraction of the rules. Might have been a little more badass to be Redcard.

Moving on...

Ace of Base
This super strange band name references Section 16 of the rules adopted in 1860 by the National Association of Base Ball Players ("No ace nor base can be made upon a foul ball ...").

Rookie of the Year
I would like to claim this was a testament to the lovely Evan Longoria, but it really is just a tribute to the award itself. I will be holding auditions soon for my new band, sexy Third Basemen. That one will officially pay homage to Longoria.. and David Wright.

Bowling for Soup
Terrible band. Terrible name.

Faith No More
Named after a race horse they saw listed on a racing form.

Smash Mouth
Football players use this slang term in any game with a lot of blocking or tackling. I would like to tackle this band's piece of crap lead singer. God, I hate them.

Yo La Tengo
Yo la tengo translates to "I have it" from Spanish - said to be the phrase called out by Hispanic baseball players when fielding a pop fly ball. Singer/guitar player Ira Kaplan got the expression from a book he was reading about baseball called The Five Seasons.

Gnarls Barkley
A take on basketball legend and LLR homey, Charles Barkley. I hope they like turkey reubens and key lime pie!

Gym Class Heroes
This one is a little bit of a stretch but I sure do love these boys, so I have elected to include them.

A nickelback is a cornerback who serves as the fifth (in addition to the typical four) defensive backs on the defense. A base defense contains four defensive backs, consisting of two cornerbacks, and two safeties. Adding an extra back makes five, hence the term "nickel".

A slang reference to a boxer with a suspect chin

The Mendoza Line
A term I actually didn't know (though Shinny informed me that she learned about it on Beverly Hills, 90210). It essentially means when someone's batting average has gone from being below average to totally shitty. I could have used that term this year... not mentioning any names.

Kaiser Chiefs
They were named after the South African football club Kaizer Chiefs, a team which former Leeds United defender Lucas Radebe played for.

Simply Red
A play on the band's love for Manchester United.

So that is what I have come up with. I would love to see ones I have missed in the comments!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My understanding regarding Pearl Jam is they named their first album "10" because it was Mookie Blaylock's jersey number when he played for the Seattle Supersonics (now the Oklahoma Thunder). And the name, Pearl Jam, refers to a rather, ahem, sticky sexual maneuver.

I was introduced to Simply Red in the 80's via the legendary British show, Top of The Pops. On the band's first appearance on the show, the host opened by stating the band was named Simply Red because of the color of the lead singer's hair.

That's my ten cents for today.