Thursday, December 08, 2005

What's my name?

A tribute to Andy Rooney:

You ever wonder why some bands are called "The" something-or-other? Why bands aren't called "The" something-or-other? Why is that?

With rock bands in the 60's, it was pretty easy. Bands were more likely to put "The" in their names. You knew it was THE Beatles, THE Who. Not Beatles, or Who. Then in the 70's it got a little tougher because the preference wasn't to use "The". Yeah, we know it's not THE Foreigner. Not THE AC/DC. Just Rush. Styx. Queen. But is it THE Sex Pistols? or Sex Pistols? Right about now, you thinking "Well their album is called Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's THE Sex Pistols." Right, but the title of the band on the cover of Flogging a Dead Horse just says "Sex Pistols". Damn punk rockers. So angry they wanted to confuse us all.

In the 80s, there was no preference for "The" in your name or not. Great. It's THE B-52s, but is it THE Stray Cats? (It's not, it's just Stray Cats. But try saying it that way the next time they come up in conversation - which will be like, never.) You think it's THE Go-Gos, but it clearly says just "Go-Go's" on Vacation. It gets easier with hard rock bands, because they don't want to think about whether it's THE or not, they just want big hair and beer. Motley Crue. Guns n' Roses. Not THE Poison. And not THE Twisted Sister.

And when grunge killed glam in the early 90s, it also axed THE from its vocabulary. Easy to remember: Soundgarden, Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam. (Some Seattlite is going to write me and tell me that those bands are from the late 80s, I just know it.) Hip-hop made it easy too by bustin' a cap in THE's ass: Gangstarr, NWA, Mobb Deep, Wu-Tang.

Then around the new millenium, THE came back in vogue. So many THE's it was The THE empire strikes back! The Strokes, The White Stripes, The Vines, The Hives! AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!

I heard The The was touring again, but it's probably just as interesting to see whether the THE is popping up in band names again. -LL THE MB

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