So, what do Derek and the Dominos, Herman’s Hermits, Judas Priest, the Marshall Tucker Band, and Molly Hatchet have in common? Well, this quiz was inspired by last week’s American Idol guest coaching stint of Hermits frontman Peter Noone (pictured, third from left, with his Idol charges), whose last name also can be read as “No one,” which is how many members of his band were named Herman. Yep, all this week’s bands were named for people not actually in the band.
Extra credit goes to readers Lisa Beach,Andrea Dresdale, andTim Priester, who actually knew the stories behind the cryptic band names. Noone’s band got its name because someone thought he looked like Sherman from the Rocky & Bullwinkle cartoons; someone else misheard the name as Herman, and it stuck. Similarly, lore has it that Eric Clapton wanted to call his ’70s band Eric and the Dynamos, but a stage announcer garbled their name. (Another apocryphal tale says that “Derek” was a mashup of “Eric” and “Del,” a Clapton nickname.) Judas Priest is named for a Bob Dylan song, the Marshall Tucker Band for a blind piano tuner, and Molly Hatchet for a legendary Southern prostitute who allegedly decapitated her johns.
Some of you thought this was pretty easy. “I would bet a lot of money that the lead singer for Mr. Mister is not named Mr. Mister as well. Ha,” wrote Kate Royce. “In addition, all five bands are huge Dungeons & Dragons fanatics,” claimed Priester. “Eric Clapton plays as an elf named Wiggly.” (Man, if that’s true, I’ve lost any last vestiges of respect for ol’ Slowhand.)
Other readers noted the names of other bands we could have included in this quiz, such as Belle & Sebastian, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Camper Van Beethoven, the Dandy Warhols, Edward Bear, Hootie and the Blowfish, Jethro Tull, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Pink Floyd, Thompson Twins, Trashcan Sinatras, and Uriah Heep. Feel free to add your favorite band-that-doesn’t-include-its-namesake in the comments below. Meanwhile, this week’s correct respondents are listed after the jump.
Carl E. Cheely
Enrique Fernández Roberts
Florinda Pendley Vasquez
Patrick A. Yearout
Thanks for playing, everyone! Come back Friday for another HeadScratcher…