The Name Blog
So, we had this band. I started a band, and we did all this crazy shit, as you’re supposed to if you love it and are taking seriously enough to want to get somewhere with it.
The bass player had a van that was an illegally large size. The three of us all had day jobs at the psych unit of a local hospital. We used their copy machine to make copies of our show tickets that were outrageously large, or almost too small. The people working the door at clubs hated this.
After one year, we moved the band to England. Thought they might understand us. Some did. We gigged and recorded, and after six months, our visas turned back into a pumpkin. We went home.
We recorded and got college gigs, actual good paying gigs. We got interviewed on the radio.
Our drummer left. Another came in, and we went on.
Back in England, five teenage boys took their clothes off, lay down next to each other, turned their heads for the camera and smiled. They recorded. They called this a band. They used our name. People noticed. I’m sure I’m leaving some stuff out.
They began plans to come to the States. The identity and being that we had created was over in one shot.
We panicked, then got hold of ourselves. We hired a lawyer. A very big and good one.
Their lawyers attempted to shame us with the fact that they had huge sales, compared to our our loyal following. Then one day, the story hit the tabloids, featuring the evidence that we had lived, gigged and recorded in their own country as Take That two years previous to their existence. Their lawyers suddenly recalled our lawyer’s phone number. We “came to terms”, as is said.
So, what’s in a name? Something well named speaks for itself. Ultimately, there is basic brain association. For us, Take That meant pop melodies hinged on traditional and progressive hooks; it meant edgy riffs, it meant determination; it meant stopping everything you are doing to say something.
It means something else to them, I’m sure. After all that, they never appeared in the States.
Following that band, I called all of my musical activity Sporkfly, believing I was fairly safe in not stepping into anyone’s domain, and knowing that anyone thinking of using it wasn’t too grounded psychologically. You see it here and there, lifted for chat room ID’s. I like seeing it out there.
I started an activity known as Question Of The Day in 2003. It became a book in 2008, and at the beginning of 2009, I was ready to put it out as an iPhone app. I did some research.
There was already an app called Question Of The Day.
Oh, no. Oh, no; not that.
I inhaled. I exhaled. I psychically thrust myself forward into a future life and yelled at all my neighbors and slammed all the windows shut, then came back.
“I have to get lawyers. I can’t get lawyers. There’s no money for it. I have a book; he’ll yield. He won’t yield. He doesn’t have to, it belongs to him. He’ll listen. He won’t listen. I have a book! It doesn’t matter. I’ll have a different app name. I can’t have a different app name, it will ruin everything.”
“I have to try to talk to him.”
Social media, my ass. I’m going to have to have a conversation.
Ready for anything, I wrote to him:
I want to know if you would consider changing the name of one of your apps. I have a book called Question Of The Day that I will be developing an app for. I would like to use that exact name, but I’m ready to use a very similar one if need be. Would you be willing to consider changing the name of your app?
I held my breath. I went for a walk. I dug a hole in the sidewalk. I went back inside.
36 hours later, I heard from him. He said,
“I can change the name. I will try and do so next week.
And, it was done. It really is a different world now.
Ethan, you’re a good man. This one’s for you.