Origins of Band Names

And here’s a list of the origins of band names:

  • Spandau Ballet was a Nazi guards’ term for the contortions of Jewish prisoners being gassed to death. There was a large gas chamber in the city of Spandau.
  • The Red Hot Chili Peppers were originally called Tony Flow and the Miraculously Majestic Masters of Mayhem.
  • Pantera is Portuguese for “panther.”
  • Oingo Boingo is Swahili for “thinking while dancing.”
  • The Eagles were originally going to call themselves Teen King and the Emergencies.
  • Def Leppard got its name from Joe Elliot’s drawing of a leopard with no ears.

I always wondered about that last one. What a stupid name.

Historical Cats

Cats and their owners:

  • Hodge: Samuel Johnson, British writer and lexicographer
  • Selima: Horace Walpole, British writer and historian
  • Langbourne: Jeremy Bentham, British writer, reformer, and philosopher
  • Old Foss: Edward Lear, British poet and humorist
  • Siam: Rutherford B. Hayes, American president
  • Appolinaris, Beelzebub, Blatherskaite, Buffalo Bill: Mark Twain, American author
  • Bismarck: Florence Nightingale, British nurse
  • Cobby: Thomas Hardy, British writer
  • Chess, Checkmate: Alexander Alekhine, Russian-French chess player
  • Taki: Raymond Chandler, American novelist
  • Jellylorum, George Pushdragon: T.S. Eliot, American-born British critic and writer
  • Blackie, Jock, Nelson, Tango: Winston Churchill, British politician and writer
  • Beppo: Jorge Luis Borges, Argentinian writer
  • Gujarat: John Kenneth Galbraith, Canadian-born American economist, writer, and diplomat
  • Fuckchop: Trent Reznor, leader, Nine Inch Nails

Doc Holiday

Doctor Zebra’s Medical History of American Presidents gives the lowdown on all 43 commanders-in-chief. Excerpts:

  • George Washington really did wear dentures, made of hippopotamus ivory, seahorse ivory, and lead. “Other sets used the teeth of pigs, cows, elks, and humans.”
  • A dentist once broke off part of Lincoln’s jawbone while pulling a tooth — without anesthesia.
  • JFK was diagnosed with Addison’s disease in 1947 and given less than a year to live. In October he was actually given last rites.
  • Reagan quit smoking easily, which can be an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • George W. Bush has creases in his earlobes, which may be a marker for increased cardiovascular risk. No one knows why.

The Constitution explains what to do if the president dies, but not if he’s incapacitated by illness. “Note the heavy burden of disease that has afflicted our presidents,” writes the anonymous doctor. “We have been very lucky indeed.”