If you have perused this site, you know how our family band, Caution! Blind Driver got its name. Our drummer, Jeff, is totally blind. And he is the driver of our music.
When Jeff was a little, he took great glee in sitting on my lap and steering our old pickup truck down the gravel road that lead to our rural home in Kansas. Problem was, he also took great glee in jerking the wheel toward the ditch, just to experience my panicked reaction.
When I moved from Montana to South Carolina, and our family band was put back together, we discussed our identity and what might work in big market Charlotte. It was Jenny’s idea to put the spotlight on Jeff, and I had the caution sign vision.
Cool band name, but by no means the coolest.
Most rock fans know the story about Lynyrd Skynrd, the band who named themselves after their high school gym teacher, Leonard Skinner. Some are aware that Led Zeppelin was actually named by Keith Moon, drummer for a competing band, the Who. Moon said their musical project would go down like a “lead balloon.” His bandmate John Entwistle modified the slur to “lead zeppelin.” So be it, decided Jimmy Page, but he changed the spelling of the first word to avoid mispronunciation.
I always liked the names of the psychedelic rock bands of the sixties, like Strawberry Alarm Clock and Moby Grape. I wanted to name my first band Chocolate Helicopter. And I was so jealous of the guys from my junior high who started a band with the fantastic name the “Rubber Band”.
But I still think the best band name I ever heard belonged to a group from Northern Montana College who only played together for a couple of years. Their brilliant name was “Opporknockity.”
Let that sink in for a minute. Opporknockity.
It’s an uplifting, optimistic name, no? But the best part is this: what did they play? Why, Opperknockity tunes, of course! (if you haven’t got it yet, it’s a play on “opportunity knocks”.)
And with a tip of the hat to the Butthole Surfers, and the Flaming Lips, and the Who and the Guess Who and the Band and Pussy Riot and the Beastie Boys, I still give homage to my favorite band name of all time: