Getting The Band Together

The other day I was looking through a spare closet for something when I ran across a cymbal bag full of Zildjan cymbals. There were rides, crashes, and splashes and a lovely set of hi-hats. Then I tried to remember what I had come to this closet to find, but that train had left the one track of my mind.


I did have this thought: I have cymbals, drumsticks and even a set of drums. I should start a band!

It’s been years since I last played in a band, but other old guys do it (whether they should or not). And with casinos popping up all across our great state, there seem to be a lot of venues wanting musical acts of old, past-their-prime musicians.

If you’ve never started a band, you many not know that the first thing you do is think of a good name. Without a great band name, you might as well leave the cymbals in the closet.

"Pops & The Geezers" has a nice ring, but it eliminates any chance of cross-generational appeal. Remember that band from the early 60s with the visionary name, "Gerry And The Pacemakers"? I bet back when they were recording their big hit, Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying, they had no idea their band name would be as relevant in the 60s as it would be for them in their 60s (albeit with a different sort of connotation).

I do like the idea of a “coming of age” sort of theme to the band’s name. In fact, I think it would be cool to have a band made up of kids in their first coming-of-age and more senior members like myself in our second coming-of-age. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

How about "Puberty & Senility"? "The Young Punks & The Old Pharts"? Hmmm, I can’t really picture either of those in the bright lights of the Forked Feathers Casino and Buffet.

There’s actually an app for that. Yes, a website with a band name generator. You give it a key word and it spits out some suggestions for band names. So I entered the word “age” and got these recommendations: 

  • Unified Age
  • Age Pony
  • Timely Age
  • Godless Age And The Exiled Groove
  • Yard Of Age

No, no, no, no and nope.

Then I found an acronym generator. Here you put in your keyword and…

AGE = Advancing Gravity Era

So much for the help of technology. How about “The Slowly Rolling Stones”? Maybe something edgier: “The Angry Republicans”? Not musical enough. “The Old Spice Guys”?

I need more input, so let’s talk about adding band members and see if they have some ideas. First, I need some really good singers. We must have tight harmonies. How about killing two birds with one stone (not as a band name but as a phrase meaning taking care of more than one matter at a time). There’s that two-sister band called “First Aid Kit”! I love their vocals and seamless harmonies and they obviously are fearless when it comes to naming a band. Heck, throw some Lipitor and Viagra into that first aid kit and it’s multi-generational.

Since the band, “The Civil Wars” broke up (I guess their name was a self-fulfilling prophecy), maybe they’re looking for a new gig. I would take one or both of them.

On guitar: Hendrix is dead (and I don’t feel too good myself). Ha. (Thanks to Lewis Grizzard). James Taylor is timeless and wonderful. You not only get the guitar, but great vocals too. For me the choice for bass is obvious: Esperanza Spalding! And on piano: Diana Krall. Who else? 

I’ve often thought, if there is one jazz pianist I would love to see play live, it would be Diana Krall. But she hardly ever tours in the U.S. so what are the chances. Turns out, chances are 100%! She’s coming to OKC this fall and I already have tickets for My Amazing-Missus and myself. I sure hope "Pops & His Pals" don’t have a gig that night. (Sometimes you have to try a name in a sentence to see how it feels.) (It doesn’t feel right.)

The melody of our first song is already running through my mind. It will be a cover of the Leslie Gore song from the early 60s, but with a twist. Our’s will be “It’s My Party And I’ll Cry And Complain If I Want To.”

Check out this music video of the girls of “First Aid Kit”. They could be the new lead vocalist of “Pops & The Pups” (Not to be confused with “Gladys Knight & The Pips”).