As a rock band, before you can play in the tiniest club or tour the world in largest venues, you must have a name. Ideally, the name reflects something about the type of music you play. As someone who played in rock bands for more than 40 years, I know a little about naming bands.
In this ongoing series Name That Band, we'll briefly highlight how some of the biggest bands of classic rock got their names. And just for a change of pace from time to time, I'll tell you a little about how some of the unknown bands I was in got their names, too.
This was the 1st band I was ever in - The Livin' End. I joined in June of 1966 and the band already had its name.
It was taken from a list of "cool" band names listed in a 1966 issue of Life magazine. For those unfamiliar with the slang of the time, the phrase meant a person or thing that was extremely cool and/or the utmost.
The 1st job I ever played with the band (then we were called combos) was at a place called the Circle D. I think we knew about a dozen song. A hat was passed and each of us walked away with $2 for the night. We later became the house band for the Mary Elmer Fire Hall, where a monthly teen dance was held from September to June. The Circle D is long gone, but the Mary Elmer Fire Hall still exists as a vacant building.
Although the band already had a name, there was a funny name incident involved in our founding. The only 2 people I knew before my audition was bass player Dave Korona, who was in my grade in junior high, and lead guitar player Layne Ball, who was a year behind us. However, I had only heard Layne Ball called Lanebaugh, so I assumed that was his last name.
Before we began the 1st song, I asked Layne Ball, "Hey Lanebaugh, what's your first name?"
"Tim," he replied.
Even today, 50 years later, Layne is often called LayneBall, but I am the only person on the planet to sometimes call him Tim or Timmie.
By the way, looking at this picture, I wish I had kept all my keyboards I used over the years. This Farfisa was my first. If you want to know what a Farfisa sounded like, play "96 Tears" or "Dirty Water" on your MP3 player.
Three of us, Layne, myself, and drummer Rick Freiling were still playing music into the 21st Century.
Maybe we could stage a reunion and appear on The Walking Dead in a show titled "The Livin' End Take On the Walking Dead."