The band gets a name…

IMG_0833“For what time shall I set your ‘six pussy’ alarm today?” asked the English butler-sounding baritone that projected from J’s smart phone. She looked at me with a quizzical expression that morphed into half bemusement and horror as I nearly dropped my coffee mug with the inevitable split-second effect of cataplexy. “Funny as shit!” I say and put the mug down quickly before I drop it a second time. “What an awesome name for a band,” I howl without missing a beat, propping my half-collapsed carcass up on the table. I knew it the second I heard it, just as my knees began to buckle- the great search was over!

A good band name is the kind of thing that when it comes along should make you put down everything you’re doing, run like hell to the nearest music store and purchase the instrument of your choice despite your ability to play it. A good band name is the perfect blend of a come-to-Jesus, hand clapping clarion call and the melancholic middle eastern call to prayer that sets flame to the wick of one’s being. It can also be the dirge-worthy tolling of the bell, the dead-man-walking drum roll of death by metal, a poison-dipped arrow’s tip of sonic testosterone whose only mission is to strike with a lethal dose of inspiration and lodge itself deep into the tissue of consciousness. A good band name is a mission statement, a call to arms, a manifesto, a god-damned rebel flag that just won’t die. It. Just. Won’t. Fucking. Die. It is something that, upon first hearing, fills you with the piercing certainty that it must exist and that if it doesn’t you must stop at nothing- at nothing– to make it so, despite all odds.

Yes, 6 Pussy Alarm was definitely a suitably irreverent name for a band and certainly more alluring than “the Rusty Jonz band.” Ugh. Nothing original about that. A six pussy alarm, on the other hand, mmm… kinda gets a man to thinking. Plus, I’m a firm believer in invoking the hand of chance, chaos, randomness, or whatever one chooses to call it into the creative process- more often than not I’ve found the most sense is made of non-sense, da da da and what not. No doubt poor Siri was thrown a curve ball by J’s British accent as she was attempting to schedule her alarm for 6:30 a.m. It leaves me dubious though as to what exactly Siri thinks about left to her/his own devices. 

Anyone that really knows me knows that in my head is warehoused- among a slew of other fatuous and frivolous absurdities- an extensive list of perfect band names. Well, in truth it’s not a real list, principally because I can hardly remember any of those names besides the bands that actually manifested through the years (a lapse in memory which I always blame on having done too many drugs in the sixties), but I’ve been keeping this supposed list since high school in the eighties, when I first began having fantasies of being in a band but only had a notebook full of predictable, depressive teenage poetry and that fire-engine red Hondo electric guitar I bought from Amy in chorus class, a gal who should have gone on to become the next Joni Mitchell- she was that talented. Alas, that piece of shit guitar wouldn’t stay in tune, though I looked totally rad with it in front of my bedroom mirror rocking the air guitar along to Pink Floyd’s The Wall. (David Gilmour is, quite simply, a guitar god! More later on how Pink Floyd literally saved my life.) If I could in fact remember even a fraction of the names on my perfect band name list, I’d unleash an impressive torrent of funky, iconoclastic band names vast enough to supply an entire generation’s worth of pissed off, pimply faced, don’t-give-a-fuck young turks with three chords, a distortion pedal and an amp turned up to eleven. 

Recently, in putting together this song-story website and brewing up some new material while dusting off older tunes to be paired with stories, I began to feel the relentless itch to be in a band again, to feel the surge of a groove mounting into the crunch pedal of a raging chorus, even if it meant starting from scratch with brand new musicians and repurchasing all the gig-ready gear I sold for peanuts when I left LA. In my head I was calling it the embarrassingly unimaginative “Rusty Jonz Band” -about as lame a band name as you can get. But then Providence found its way in through the back door of J’s iPhone- or was it Divine Applevention? Big cosmic shout-out to you, Señor Steve Jobs, wherever the fuck you are…

Anyway, I’ve commissioned my talented buddy James (responsible for the brilliant Bindu Bros icons too- see Big Tent Yoga Revival) to come up with a logo, and met with him last Saturday to rummage through a crotchful of ideas, from the heady oblique-suggestive to the puberty-laden and probably perverted obvious. We’re off to an inspired if not hilarious start- let’s see in which lap we land… 

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