"You boys need a name for the board" The guy running the songwriter night in The Duke Of York bar in Belfast was used to acts not having a clue what to call themselves. Although Jim and I had been working on new material for weeks, we never actually thought of a name. Jim & Michael sounded like a 1970's children TV show, so, in our wisdom, we settled for a throwaway name, for one night only. "Thelma And Louise, write that up on the board" It stuck. The next week we had 3 new songs and wanted to show them off. "Are you sticking with that name, it's a bit rare for two boys from Belfast" Well that was like a red rag to a bull. Of course, we are keeping that name. So we became known as Thelma And Louise.
I met Jim Anderson in early 1996 through a mutual friend. He was playing one of his own songs in Chris Campbell's home studio. It just blew me away. He really was the creative genius behind the music. I had been in a number of original bands but we never had material like this. We were both influenced by the same artists and really loved The Beatles, Crowded House and the Indigo Girls.
Someone once told me it doesn't matter what you call your band. Name it, stick to it, and market it. It's your brand now. Naming a band is a real pain in the arse. It requires a great deal of creativity and thought. The name of a band can often be the first impression potential fans have of a group, and it can set the tone for the music and style for which the band is known.
Many bands struggle to come up with a name that is unique and fitting for their music. Some bands may go through countless name changes before finally settling on one that feels just right. For example, the band The Beatles, one of the most influential bands in music history, went by a number of different names throughout their career.
The band was originally known as The Quarrymen, named after the Quarry Bank High School that John Lennon attended. In 1961, the band changed their name to The Silver Beatles, a reference to the silver suit jackets they often wore on stage. They continued to play in Liverpool and Hamburg, Germany, building a strong following and honing their skills as musicians.
In 1962, the band changed their name once again, this time to The Beatles. According to Lennon, the name was inspired by Buddy Holly's band, The Crickets, and was intended to evoke a sense of Beat music, which was popular at the time. The Beatles was a simple, easy to remember and catchy name. Coincidentally when they auditioned for record companies they thought it was a stupid name and wouldn't stick.
Throughout their career, The Beatles went by a number of different monikers, including The Fab Four, a nickname given to them by the media, and the Mop Tops, a reference to their shaggy haircuts. They were also known as the “Lads from Liverpool”, the “Foursome from Liverpool”, the “Fabulous Beatles” and the “Beetles”. The band's name change reflected the evolution of their music and image and helped to cement their place in music history as one of the greatest bands of all time.
One of the biggest challenges is finding a name that is not already taken. With so many bands out there, it can be difficult to come up with a name that hasn't already been used. This is why many bands end up choosing names that are variations of existing names or that have a similar theme. For example, Coldplay was originally named "Pectoralz" and Radiohead was called "On a Friday".
When it comes to naming a band, finding a name that is memorable and easy to pronounce is a must. A name that is too complicated or hard to pronounce may be difficult for fans to remember and may not be as effective in promoting the band. Take for example the band "Tame Impala" which could have been a difficult name to remember if it wasn't for their unique music. U2 is a great name for a band because it is short, memorable, and easy to pronounce. Additionally, it has multiple meanings, such as referencing the U2 spy plane and the band's early political message of unity and togetherness.
One of the key things to keep in mind when naming a band is to make sure that the name reflects the band's music and style. A band's name should evoke a certain feeling or image that is in line with the band's overall aesthetic. A name that doesn't accurately reflect the band's music may not resonate with fans and may not be as effective in promoting the band. For example, "The Rolling Stones" is a perfect name for a band that plays rock and roll music and evokes a sense of energy and power.
Meanwile, back to Thelma And Louse. We played a number of radio sessions and had a few TV appearances. This might not seem like a big deal in the era of Youtube and Tiktok where everyone is on TV. But for us, it really was a big deal. Here is a link to our live appearance on the Kelly Show in 1996. Gerry Kelly has a look on his face like he just licked a lemon when he introduces us. "So here is "Thelma And Louise"