Friday October 31, 2008

Punk Rock Name Quiz

Punk rock names are an established tradition.  Why should an aspiring musician have to put up with an ordinary, workaday name when he or she could be Johnny Rotten, Jello Biafra, Siouxsie Sioux, or Captain Sensible?  No reason at all, that's why.  Sometimes, though, somebody gets lucky and is born with a name that's already perfect for punk.

This leads me to today's quiz.  Which of the following members of the band X is not using a stage name?

Billy Zoom (guitar)
DJ Bonebrake (drums)
Exene Cervenka (vocals)
John Doe (bass and vocals)

Answer after the jump.  No peeking!

Improbably, the answer is Donald J. Bonebrake.  On the drums, yet!  I would have guessed John Doe, which after all has to be somebody's name in real life.  Exene, it should be noted, is almost using her birth name, Christine Cervenka, she's just performed the X-for-Christ subtitution familiar from Xmas.

X picked a pretty clever band name back in the old days, but it's a pain in the neck to search for on the 'net.  For your convenience, here are a few of their songs.  If you've never heard of them before, you're in for a treat.  (Just in time for Halloween.)

(That's Ray Manzarek of the Doors producing, BTW.)

True story: X played at a dance at my Catholic, all-boys high school.  Don't ask me how—somebody knew somebody.  I was on crutches, having had orthopedic surgery a couple of months before.  As I crutched around the back of the crowd at the dance, which was really more of a concert considering the amount of dancing not going on, I saw a girl with a cast on her lower leg, also on crutches.  As the band finished a song, I suavely hobbled up next to her, caught her attention, smiled, and asked, "Want to dance?"  She responded with what I can only describe as the FOAD look.  And not in an edgy punk rock way, either, just a garden-variety high school shoot-down.

It was a shame, really—that "want to dance" line has to be right up there on the list of funniest-in-context things I've ever said.  Remind me to tell you some day about the time I alluded to "Great Balls of Fire" during a testicular doppler ultrasound...

[Now playing: "Make the Music Go Bang" by X]

I am The Tensor, and I approve this post.
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Awesome. C'mon though, it has to be Billy Zoom! ;-)

Posted by: Mike at Nov 1, 2008 4:13:07 PM

If you're arguing that Billy Zoom is THE MAN, I can't disagree. But namewise, he can't be the answer, having been born Tyson Kindell. (Which would be an awesome name for a movie action hero, BTW.)

Posted by: The Tensor at Nov 2, 2008 12:11:28 AM

In the words of Johnny Carson, I did not know that! And I'm a huge X fan (I remember running out to buy Under the Big Black Sun the day it was released, which may have been the last time I did that). Thanks for the post and the videos!

Posted by: language hat at Nov 4, 2008 8:01:53 AM

Sex Clark Five is a perfect and hilarious band name.

Posted by: Tina at Nov 21, 2008 9:43:04 PM

Don't forget "Frank Discussion"

Posted by: Kellen at Aug 3, 2011 1:41:58 PM