Bands named after band members that aren't the lead vocalist
August 18, 2005 9:33 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for examples of bands named after members of the band that aren't the lead vocalist.

I went to see the B. B. King Bluesfest here in Denver the other night. One of the performers was Kenny Wayne Shepherd. I've certainly heard of him, but never really listened to his music or seen him perform. So I was somewhat understandably confused when the lights came up and there were two guys onstage - one playing guitar, and one singing. I figured out quickly enough which one was Mr. Shepherd, but I got to wondering how many performers are named after a member of the band that isn't the lead vocalist. It used to be fairly common, but it's certainly not the norm now. The Earl Scruggs Revue is still around, but they've been around since it was common, so I've decided they don't count. I'm after relatively recent examples, so let's limit examples to groups formed within the last twenty years or so. Also, strictly instrumental performers don't count.
posted by paisley to Media & Arts (44 answers total)
 
Van Halen.
posted by drpynchon at 9:36 PM on August 18, 2005


Well, they're not really a band in the we-tour-and-make-albums sense, nor do they really have a lead vocalist, but the Max Weinberg 7 band from the Conan O'Brien show comes to mind.
posted by thewittyname at 9:42 PM on August 18, 2005


Laddies and Gentlemen, welcome to the stage,
those bad boys from Boston,
the funkiest band in the land,
the incomparable,
J. Geils Band
posted by Chuckles at 9:55 PM on August 18, 2005


Ted Nugent.
posted by buzzman at 9:57 PM on August 18, 2005


Kool and the Gang (bass player)
Echo and the Bunnymen (drum machine)
The Alan Parsons Project (producer, not even in the band!)
Zumpano! (drummer)
posted by jjg at 10:02 PM on August 18, 2005


Manfred Mann.
posted by Eamon at 10:15 PM on August 18, 2005


Oops, I should've read the whole question.
posted by Eamon at 10:16 PM on August 18, 2005


The Spencer Davis Group (guitarist)
Bonham (drummer, but not the one that first comes to mind)
posted by jjg at 10:17 PM on August 18, 2005


The Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation
Santana
posted by kirkaracha at 10:19 PM on August 18, 2005


Two more (albeit outside your 20-year window):
The Dave Clark Five (drummer)
Fleetwood Mac (drummer and bass player)
posted by jjg at 10:25 PM on August 18, 2005


Montrose, Was(Not Was), I'll probably think of more in the middle of the night...
posted by First Post at 10:26 PM on August 18, 2005


Mingus was a bass player and he had a band, right?
posted by mai at 10:40 PM on August 18, 2005


Rod Torkleson's Armada
posted by drezdn at 10:43 PM on August 18, 2005


Don't think jazz groups are in the purview.
posted by kenko at 10:44 PM on August 18, 2005


Vander/Top (drummer and bassist).
Robert Fripp's Exposure was released under his own name, though he does not perform any of the vocals on it.
posted by kenko at 10:52 PM on August 18, 2005


Older:
Nick Mason's Fictitious Sports; the lead vocalist is Robert Wyatt IIRC.
Joe Byrd & the Field Hippies
Jeff Beck Group

Newer (so the answer will actually be useful):
Hughscore (named after Hugh Hopper, bassist, after a merger with a band called Caveman Shoestore)
Many of Barry Adamson's releases feature vocals not by him. I think he only started providing vocals himself recently.
posted by kenko at 11:07 PM on August 18, 2005


Blackmore's Rainbow
posted by mischief at 11:24 PM on August 18, 2005


Zumpano. (Named after the drummer. Gotta have a little indierock here.)
posted by Tomatillo at 12:11 AM on August 19, 2005


Brian Jones Town Massacre
Check out the pop-doco 'Dig' which explores the rivalry between BJTM and The Dandy Warhols.
MINT!
posted by sconbie at 12:16 AM on August 19, 2005


Eddie From Ohio
posted by mosch at 12:16 AM on August 19, 2005


Phish. Named after Jon Fishman the drummer.
posted by benkolb at 12:22 AM on August 19, 2005





Rod Torkleson's Armada
posted by drezdn


you forgot Herman Mendelchuck
posted by ShawnString at 4:30 AM on August 19, 2005


Paul Revere and the Raiders.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:57 AM on August 19, 2005


Team Dresch (mid-90s queercore band named for guitarist Donna Dresch. Kaia Wilson was the lead vocalist.)
posted by pollystark at 5:12 AM on August 19, 2005


Elvin Bishop Group.
posted by JanetLand at 5:42 AM on August 19, 2005


J Boogie's Dubtronic Science (named for the DJ/bandleader)

So what about jazz, hip-hop and reggae? Are those outside the range of the question? I ask because it's pretty common for jazz albums to be released under the names of bandleaders, and hip-hop and reggae albums to be released under the names of DJs and producers.
posted by box at 6:09 AM on August 19, 2005


Robin Trower
Yngwie Malmsteen
posted by isotope at 6:31 AM on August 19, 2005


Fleetwood Mac
posted by Pollomacho at 6:44 AM on August 19, 2005


Sorry jig, I missed your post.
posted by Pollomacho at 6:49 AM on August 19, 2005


Frehley's Comet. (I'm pretty sure Ace didn't sing)
Did Edgar or Steve Winter sing or just play guitar? If so, then the Edgar Winter Group and Steve Winter.
posted by spicynuts at 6:50 AM on August 19, 2005


crap..not steve winter..johnny winter. i've always been more interested in edgar, that's why i can never remember johnny's name.
posted by spicynuts at 6:52 AM on August 19, 2005


Am I missing something, but even forgetting about the genre-splitting, don't most of these answers not fit the stated criteria?

"I'm after relatively recent examples, so let's limit examples to groups formed within the last twenty years or so. Also, strictly instrumental performers don't count."

Santana? J. Geils? How did the criteria simply become bands that aren't dead yet? Sheesh. Also, despite the revolving line-up, I'm pretty sure Brian Jones never cracked his way into the Brian Jonestown Massacre.

You know what, paisley? I can't think of any groups that fit this criteria. At least, no new groups: I can come up with plenty of old ones (Bob Wills, Bootsy Collins), but no new ones. And, yeah, that is pretty weird.
posted by .kobayashi. at 7:57 AM on August 19, 2005


Mike + the Mechanics
posted by RibaldOne at 8:02 AM on August 19, 2005


Am I missing something, but even forgetting about the genre-splitting, don't most of these answers not fit the stated criteria?

I would consider any band primarily active and achieving notoriety in the late 80s to early 90s to fit his 20 years or so criteria. Therefore, of the answers given so far, these seem to fit:

Yngwie Malmsteen - his band did have several songs with vocals and he did have a vocalist, so he fits.

Ace Frehley's Comet - definitely a vocal group

Alan Parson's Project

Phish - although that's strecthing it a bit

Was (Not Was)

Bonham
posted by spicynuts at 8:08 AM on August 19, 2005


Kenny Wayne Shepherd used to sing his stuff live, but started using another vocalist so he could concentrate on his guitar playing (KWS's singing is better, IMHO). So your question happens to be about a band which might not be particularly representative of the phenomenon you're asking about. So neener.
posted by biscotti at 8:11 AM on August 19, 2005


Ace Frehley did "sing" for Frehley's Comet, as I recall. Note his rap-like delivery on the autobiographical car-crash song "Rock Soldiers".

"If the devil wants to play cards now...(music stops)...he's gonna have to play...without an ACE...in his DECK!"

Heh. It's right up there with that Bushwick Bill song about how he got his eyeball shot out.
posted by First Post at 8:11 AM on August 19, 2005


Hmm, barely counts, but, The Farriss Brothers, who became INXS.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 8:40 AM on August 19, 2005


Zumpano is a late 90's/early 00's band so it counts.
posted by matildaben at 9:11 AM on August 19, 2005


Ace Frehley did "sing" for Frehley's Comet, as I recall.

I think you're right, but let's not think about it too much. And there was a proper singer too. I think. But again . . .
posted by yerfatma at 9:51 AM on August 19, 2005


A lot of wonderful answers here! I can't check them all out right now, but I will later.

Certainly jazz, hip-hop and reggae examples are valid. I'm not too familiar with hip-hop or reggae, and all the jazz groups that sprung to my mind were either instrumental or not so recent.

Meech, Santana doesn't work -- but that musicians union requirement bit may go a long way towards explaining the shift in naming trends...
posted by paisley at 10:27 AM on August 19, 2005


Bronksi Beat (Steve Bronski: keyboards) formed in '83 so they're almost in the right timeframe.
posted by Monk at 10:55 AM on August 19, 2005


Not sure if Buckethead'd count, since he's the lead guitarist and doesn't sing, but some of the cuts have various singers on there (IIRC, Monsters and Robots has Les Claypool on one or two, and another has Bootsy Collins. But Bootsy might just be playing and not singing. It's been a while since I've heard that record.)
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 12:35 PM on August 19, 2005


Van Halen. You can look up their formation date for yourself though.
posted by Good Brain at 2:36 PM on August 19, 2005


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