Watts in a name

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Watts in a name

Post by Dannorama » Sun Mar 08, 2009 11:27 pm

Here's a thought that came to me while reading an old magazine.

Suppose it's March 16, 1968. The boys have just discovered that Todd Rundgren already has a band named the Nazz in Philadelphia. NOW, suppose instead of changing it, they say "So what?" and keep the name for themselves.

Time goes on... The band follows the same course of events - same songs, same makeup, same stage act... The only thing different this time is that the group is still named Nazz, and the sick lead singer is still named Vince. Would the mystique have held? Would we be tuned in here to the Vince Furnier forum?

Personally, I think a big part of the band's success was the name. It was the first most shocking thing you heard about them, and gave them a lot of attention. Without it, I doubt they would have found the same degree of success.
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Re: Watts in a name

Post by Shoesalesman » Mon Mar 09, 2009 2:25 am

I agree with the name ideology. That seemed to be the first shock (the whole folk singer thing) but I think the stage show and subsequent following would have gotten out to the general public anyway, maybe just later on or in a different way than how it developed as we know it.

Just my thoughts anyway.

The name Alice Cookies on the other hand... ;)
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Re: Watts in a name

Post by Toronto Bob » Mon Mar 09, 2009 5:43 am

While the name Alice Cooper did fit the whole freaky package, ultimately it's the performance and the music that made the success. A good or bad name has almost nothing to do with the success of a band.

Examples of bad names and very successful careers:

The Beatles
The Who
Kiss
Queen
Yes

Those names don't seem so bad because we have their music to offset how lame those monikers are, but think if you were in a band and came up with one of these names (suspending reality for a moment that there never was a famous band called the Beatles, The Who etc)I could imagine that you would get a lukewarm response.

Good names of Toronto bands that have gone nowhere:

Thurston Howell & The Lovies
Slutarded
Satan's Cheerleader

See - way better than YES or KISS but they don't have the tunes.

Without the great tunes and the high energy performances they would of been a mostly forgotten novelty act, joining Wildman Fischer as more of a piece of trivia and a curiosity.

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Re: Watts in a name

Post by glamprincess » Mon Mar 09, 2009 1:19 pm

Toronto Bob wrote:While the name Alice Cooper did fit the whole freaky package, ultimately it's the performance and the music that made the success. A good or bad name has almost nothing to do with the success of a band.

Examples of bad names and very successful careers:

The Beatles
The Who
Kiss
Queen
Yes

Those names don't seem so bad because we have their music to offset how lame those monikers are, but think if you were in a band and came up with one of these names (suspending reality for a moment that there never was a famous band called the Beatles, The Who etc)I could imagine that you would get a lukewarm response.

Good names of Toronto bands that have gone nowhere:

Thurston Howell & The Lovies
Slutarded
Satan's Cheerleader

See - way better than YES or KISS but they don't have the tunes.

Without the great tunes and the high energy performances they would of been a mostly forgotten novelty act, joining Wildman Fischer as more of a piece of trivia and a curiosity.
In all fairness, I don't think anyone is really suggesting that the band's name was the main reason for their success. I think it goes without saying that the music and shows were the most important factors for the band's success. I think they are just saying that the band's name was a good choice and things could have turned out differently with a different name. And I tend to agree with that.

And here's why: I also don't think the Nazz would have been as good a name for the band. For one thing, the name "The Nazz" doesn't indicate that the band was controversial and had a sexually ambiguous image. A lot of Alice Cooper's ability to attract attention was due to the sexual confusion they generated everywhere they went. And the name Alice Cooper for an all-male band was certainly confusing. When the song "I'm Eighteen" first became a hit, there were people who were not sure if the lead singer was a man or a woman! The voice sounded male but the name sure confused people. And it got people talking about them. There were even rumours that the lead singer had been male but no longer was, etc. The attention that the band attracted was due largely to their sexually ambiguous image and unusual name. Without the "Alice Cooper" image, the band may have been just another hard rock act with some hit songs rather than the rock phenomenon that they became.

And by the way, most of the band names that you list as bad, are ones that I actually think are quite good. It's a matter of opinion. And names like Slutarded and Satan's Cheerleaders are not better ones, in my opinion because they are not mainstream enough and sound like names for novelty acts.

By the way, Danno, very interesting thread. I agree that it would not have been the same if they were "The Nazz". Alice Cooper was definitely a much more attention-getting and controversial name. And certainly much more interesting.

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Re: Watts in a name

Post by Gunner » Mon Mar 09, 2009 3:51 pm

It's a very good question for the topic.

I think we would be logged in here to discuss 'Nazz' the lead singer. Not sure I need to elaborate more on that, check out the urban dictionary - it's name that suits the man anyway.

I think the name 'Alice Cooper' helped in the shock stakes, but not in an overwhelming manner.

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Re: Watts in a name

Post by Gunner » Mon Mar 09, 2009 4:02 pm

Examples of bad names and very successful careers:

The Beatles
The Who
Kiss
Queen
Yes
How could you exclude Pet Shop Boys, Cheap Trick, Deep Purple etc etc? :p

Name doesn't matter so much, after a while one doesn't even relate it to what it is, if someone says 'Beatles', I think of the band immediately and forget what it actually is! Anyway, that's not a bad name really with the spelling of 'Beat'.

Re Cooper; the name was a very secondary factor to other shock tactics like chopping up babies, mock hangings in 1972. I don't buy the idea that 'sexual ambiguity' effect of name was too significant either, the antics created all that confusion. However, the name certainly was a shocker, 'head turner', attention seeker, but not massively significant, only a touch and not enough to affect the whole course of the band.

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Re: Watts in a name

Post by A_MichaelUK » Mon Mar 09, 2009 7:03 pm

>Re Cooper; the name was a very secondary factor to other shock tactics like chopping up babies, mock hangings in 1972.

I think you've misunderstood what Glamprincess wrote. She's referring to the period before the "shock tactics" that you refer to and she explained the part the name played very well when she wrote "A lot of Alice Cooper's ability to attract attention was due to the sexual confusion they generated everywhere they went. And the name Alice Cooper for an all-male band was certainly confusing."

>I don't buy the idea that 'sexual ambiguity' effect of name was too significant either,

So why was it referred to quite often in the press at that time then?

> the antics created all that confusion.

Again, "the antics" came just a bit later than the period glamprincess is referring to.

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Re: Watts in a name

Post by glamprincess » Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:45 pm

A_MichaelUK wrote:>Re Cooper; the name was a very secondary factor to other shock tactics like chopping up babies, mock hangings in 1972.

I think you've misunderstood what Glamprincess wrote. She's referring to the period before the "shock tactics" that you refer to and she explained the part the name played very well when she wrote "A lot of Alice Cooper's ability to attract attention was due to the sexual confusion they generated everywhere they went. And the name Alice Cooper for an all-male band was certainly confusing."

>I don't buy the idea that 'sexual ambiguity' effect of name was too significant either,

So why was it referred to quite often in the press at that time then?

> the antics created all that confusion.

Again, "the antics" came just a bit later than the period glamprincess is referring to.
Thanks, Andy. As usual, you totally understood what I meant. I was referring to the period before the mock hangings and dead babies. A lot of people nowadays don't realize that Alice Cooper's original image was one of "sexual ambiguity" and the "horror stuff" came afterwards. And there was quite a lot of mention in the press about Alice Cooper's gender-bending image.

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Re: Watts in a name

Post by Toronto Bob » Tue Mar 10, 2009 5:35 am

How could you exclude Pet Shop Boys, Cheap Trick, Deep Purple etc etc?
I actually was going to include Deep Purple but I thought I had enough examples. :)

In all fairness, I don't think anyone is really suggesting that the band's name was the main reason for their success.
In all fairness I didn't say that, but what part of...
Personally, I think a big part of the band's success was the name. It was the first most shocking thing you heard about them, and gave them a lot of attention. Without it, I doubt they would have found the same degree of success.
did you not understand to suggest that the name was a key factor to their success?

And names like Slutarded and Satan's Cheerleaders are not better ones, in my opinion because they are not mainstream enough and sound like names for novelty acts
You mean mainstream like a name such as Alice Cooper, signed to Zappa's Straight Records along with other mainstream artists like Captain Beefheart, Wildman Fischer (I know he was on Bizarre but same thing) and The GTO's?

Wait until I make a mistake before correcting me.

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Re: Watts in a name

Post by Dannorama » Tue Mar 10, 2009 10:54 am

Not to get snippy, Bob, but there is a big difference between "main reason" and "big part." Just ask my wife.

Anyway, I think that all the great names in rock got used up long ago. Alice Cooper is certainly one of the most brilliant band names - at least in my book. It sparks an emotional response from people to this day. Deep Purple is a great moniker. Led Zeppelin has to be the best ever, especially if you know the story behind it. These names all have become a definition of the group, their music, and where they stand. Call it branding. Queen is a great BRAND name, grandiose and commanding. I just wouldn't wear it on a t-shirt.

I think it's fun to wonder if The Quarrymen, The New Yardbirds, and Smile would have made it as big as they did after a name change. That idea can be argued to death, but in the case of Alice Cooper, I think the name change was well conceived.
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Re: Watts in a name

Post by Gunner » Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:41 pm

A_MichaelUK wrote:
>Re Cooper; the name was a very secondary factor to other shock tactics like chopping up babies, mock hangings in 1972.

I think you've misunderstood what Glamprincess wrote. She's referring to the period before the "shock tactics" that you refer to and she explained the part the name played very well when she wrote "A lot of Alice Cooper's ability to attract attention was due to the sexual confusion they generated everywhere they went. And the name Alice Cooper for an all-male band was certainly confusing."

>I don't buy the idea that 'sexual ambiguity' effect of name was too significant either,

So why was it referred to quite often in the press at that time then?

> the antics created all that confusion.

Again, "the antics" came just a bit later than the period glamprincess is referring to.

Alice Cooper only started to get anwhere when Bob Ezrin and Shep Gordon started working with them. Someone to help construct and write songs that actually appeal to people and someone to market them. Up until then they were a complete joke, were hated and ridiculed for the drunken singer in drag. Aye, there was some sexual ambiguity there and the name would eventually serve to add to the successful shock value. BUT, the original question was whether the name changed the course of the band and the answer is: NO, not really at all, they would have been as much as an impact called Nazz or KISS even!



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http://www.pointlessinternetargumentforums.com/

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Re: Watts in a name

Post by glamprincess » Tue Mar 10, 2009 1:07 pm

Toronto Bob wrote:
In all fairness, I don't think anyone is really suggesting that the band's name was the main reason for their success.
In all fairness I didn't say that, but what part of...
Personally, I think a big part of the band's success was the name. It was the first most shocking thing you heard about them, and gave them a lot of attention. Without it, I doubt they would have found the same degree of success.
did you not understand to suggest that the name was a key factor to their success?

And names like Slutarded and Satan's Cheerleaders are not better ones, in my opinion because they are not mainstream enough and sound like names for novelty acts
You mean mainstream like a name such as Alice Cooper, signed to Zappa's Straight Records along with other mainstream artists like Captain Beefheart, Wildman Fischer (I know he was on Bizarre but same thing) and The GTO's?

Wait until I make a mistake before correcting me.
When I responded to your post, I was only interested in continuing the discussion because I thought it was interesting and we could all exchange ideas. Unfortunately, you have responded to my post in a very defensive manner and I think your comments "what part of....did you not understand" and "wait until I make a mistake before correcting me" were unnecessarily rude.

Firstly, I was not correcting you. I was merely expressing my opinions and providing alternative ideas. That's what a discussion board is for. And it turns out that I did understand what Dannorama meant because he just posted to point out to you that he was not saying that it was the main reason for the band's success. As for correcting you, I was not correcting you when I disagreed that those were bad band names. Whether someone likes a name or not is a matter of opinion and I said it was a matter of opinion. I was merely saying that it was my opinion that those were mostly good names. There was no reason to respond so harshly simply because I liked the names when you didn't. I made it clear that it was just a matter of opinion.

As for your comment about Alice Cooper's record label, that was not part of the discussion regarding what is mainstream as the discussion was only about band names. I never said that Alice Cooper was mainstream in the beginning. In fact, in the beginning, they were definitely "underground". But I do stand by my opinion that a name like Alice Cooper would be more acceptable to the mainstream than a name like Slutarded which has the word "slut" in it. Yes, it is controversial that Alice Cooper was used for a man but the name itself is harmless and doesn't have words like "slut" or "Satan" which are less suitable to the mainstream.

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Re: Watts in a name

Post by A_MichaelUK » Tue Mar 10, 2009 2:18 pm

>BUT, the original question was whether the name changed the course of the band and the answer is: NO, not really at all,

I didn’t say it did! What I said was that you are under - estimating the part the name played in the period when they were what you refer to as a “a complete joke”, not the period you keep referring to. No – one denies that what you say about “1972” is true – however, “the original question” refers to a scenario that began before that point.

>You can always go here you know?

http://www.pointlessinternetargumentforums.com/

“You can always” stop trying to create a fight where there it doesn’t exist.

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Re: Watts in a name

Post by A_MichaelUK » Tue Mar 10, 2009 2:22 pm

>And it turns out that I did understand what Dannorama meant because he just posted to point out to you that he was not saying that it was the main reason for the band's success.

Exactly and that’s proved by the fact that Gunner has made the exact same assumption about what I posted, that Toronto Bob did about what you posted.

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Re: Watts in a name

Post by Toronto Bob » Tue Mar 10, 2009 3:00 pm

I agree with Gunner, it wasn't until Ezrin came along that things were headed in the right direction before that the name wasn't doing much for the band.

And while there is a difference between "main" and "big" it all comes undeer the same umbrella - we're not drawing up a legal contract here. Alice Cookies would of been just as good, provided they still recorded LITD, KILLER, SO and B$B.

I actually like Alice Cookies better but what cn you do?

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Re: Watts in a name

Post by A_MichaelUK » Tue Mar 10, 2009 3:03 pm

>before that the name wasn't doing much for the band.

No one said it did. I hope you don't deny that it was a talking point though.

> Alice Cookies would of been just as good, provided they still recorded LITD, KILLER, SO and B$B.

No one denied that.

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Re: Watts in a name

Post by Toronto Bob » Tue Mar 10, 2009 3:25 pm

A_MichaelUK wrote:>before that the name wasn't doing much for the band.

No one said it did. I hope you don't deny that it was a talking point though.

> Alice Cookies would of been just as good, provided they still recorded LITD, KILLER, SO and B$B.

No one denied that.
Excellent - I'm glad you agree with me

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Re: Watts in a name

Post by glamprincess » Tue Mar 10, 2009 4:23 pm

Toronto Bob wrote:I agree with Gunner, it wasn't until Ezrin came along that things were headed in the right direction before that the name wasn't doing much for the band.
And while there is a difference between "main" and "big" it all comes undeer the same umbrella - we're not drawing up a legal contract here. Alice Cookies would of been just as good, provided they still recorded LITD, KILLER, SO and B$B.

I actually like Alice Cookies better but what cn you do?
So does your second paragraph mean that you think Dannorama thinks the name was the main reason that the band was successful? I didn't interpret his comments that way.

You still didn't address the fact that your comments to me were unnecessarily harsh as I pointed out in my earlier post. Telling me "what part didn't you understand" and "wait until I make a mistake before correcting me" were comments that most people would apologize for or explain. Most people don't engage in a discussion like that here.

In my original post, I did point out that I thought the name had some significance even after Ezrin came along. If you notice, I mentioned the period when "I'm Eighteen" first became a hit. As I mentioned, there was a lot of confusion and attention brought to the fact that the public wasn't sure if Alice Cooper was male or female. And during the period of Love it to Death, the band's image was more of sexual ambiguity than horror. The horror stuff became much more apparent with Killer and it is with the Killer tour that the mock hangings and "dead babies" started.

And it is, in my humble opinion, that Alice Cookies is a silly name and I'm glad they stuck with Alice Cooper instead.

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Re: Watts in a name

Post by glamprincess » Tue Mar 10, 2009 4:29 pm

A_MichaelUK wrote:>And it turns out that I did understand what Dannorama meant because he just posted to point out to you that he was not saying that it was the main reason for the band's success.

Exactly and that’s proved by the fact that Gunner has made the exact same assumption about what I posted, that Toronto Bob did about what you posted.
Yes. And in my last post, I explain that it can include the period where Ezrin first worked with the band on Love it to Death. At this point, the band had become relevant and the sexual ambiguity was the band's main image.

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Re: Watts in a name

Post by Toronto Bob » Tue Mar 10, 2009 5:01 pm

gp - you started off by suggesting I didn't understand the thread - I clearly did. Next you goon to correct my opinion about good bands/bad names. This didn't need tobe corrected - it's a matter of taste and opinion. I have nothing to apologize for. I felt I was once again being attacked/corrected by you and I responded accordingly. I also PM'd you so this thread wouldn't be cluttered by this kind of back and forth.

State your opinions by all means - don't "correct" mine, as they don't need correcting. Respect.

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