Speed Demon and the Demonettes

The BeatlesChoosing a good name for your band has always been a tricky business. The Beatles, you see, were a beat combo. Get it? If it hadn’t been such an age of innocence, a name like that would have faced utter ridicule. The band was quite good though.

When you pick a name, or make one up, it should be unique. Having the same name as another act is definitely not good for your musical career. If you remember, Spinal Tap started out as The Originals, before finding that there already was a local band of that name. So they became The New Originals.

If the Internet had been invented when The Beatles were formed, they would have been able to check very quickly that nobody had prior claims to the name. Also, importantly, if you search for “The Beatles”, or even just Beatles, you would only find information about the band. It’s a good name in that respect.

Probably the worst band names for Internet access are those which are a single English word. Ash, for example. Search for that and you need to separate out all the stuff about trees, furniture and fires. Faithless, there’s another one. And Garbage, Muse, Placebo, Wire and many more.

The same goes for short phrases which are common turns of speech, or ones that you might find in the dictionary. Just off the top of my head, say I was going to call my new metal band “Evil Intent”. Without even checking, it’s a good guess that somebody will have thought of it earlier. (Now that I’ve mentioned it, I suppose I’d better go and check… Yup. Some illiterate with a stuck caps lock key is using it.)

The other thing you have to remember is that the average Internet user doesn’t know how to search for phrases anyway. Rather than type “Evil Intent” into Google or Bing (with the quotes), they give it the bare words and greatly increase the number of irrelevant hits — pages in which those two words occur, but not together in the right order.

The best Internet-age names have got to be either made-up words, or words that are creatively mis-spelled, but not too difficult for the average (semi-literate) computer user to remember. Evelyn Tent, say. Or Beatles. That would be a good one.

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