Are All The Good Band Names Really Taken?

The Wall Street Journal just ran a story entitled “From Abba to ZZ Top All The Good Band Names Are Taken” discussing how impossible it is to name a band these days. As evidence, author John Jurgensen sited the Discovery Vs. Discovery feud, and the fact that Them Crooked Vultures wanted to be known as Caligula only to discover that the name had already been taken. To illustrate the ease of naming your band in the good old days of band namery, Jurgensen recounted the story of Jerry Garcia picking the name “Grateful Dead” by flipping through a dictionary. Ironically the Dead were originally The Warlocks but changed their name because another band had taken The Warlocks. Funnily enough, The Warlocks was also the original name of the Velvet Underground. Claiming that all the good band names have been taken is like saying that all the good songs have been written or that all the good progressions have been played. Sure, a quick perusal of myspace may reveal a hundred bands named “Mirage,” but that doesn’t mean that bands didn’t choose the same names before the internet arrived. It was just harder to figure out.