In 1989, Lloyd Dobler held an obnoxiously large boombox over his head outside Diane Court's window and blasted "In Your Eyes" to prove how much he loved her. Somehow this was viewed as romantic by an entire generation of women who now expect equally grandiose gestures from their trench-coat-wearing boyfriends. Years later, five dudes from Baltimore named their band The Lloyd Dobler Effect for no apparent reason other than they thought it sounded cool. They're not alone in finding inspiration for their band's name in pop culture. We actually see this as an annoying trend, one that seems to support an almost self-reflexive admission of pop irrelevancy and pop indifference in music today. Don't believe us? Check out these unfortunate band monikers.
Five Finger Death Punch
When the urge to make a pop culture reference when naming your band strikes you, take a cue from Rob Zombie of White Zombie's rule book: The more obscure the reference, the better it will work. Five Finger Death Punch must not have known any better — one year after The Bride killed Bill using the five-finger death punch, these guys named their band after the supersecret kung fu move.
The Lloyd Dobler Effect|bad band names
The Lloyd Dobler Effect: Tuesday, September 9. Miami Dade College, Kendall Campus, K Caf, 11011 SW 104th St., Miami. Show starts at noon. Admission is free. 305-237-3777, www.lloyddoblereffect.com
The Devil Wears Prada
The Devil Wears Prada was formed in 2005, two years after the release of the very famous chick-lit novel upon which the movie was based. In other words, someone was wandering around Borders one day, saw a book on the shelf, and said, "Hmm, this sounds like a lame name for a metalcore band. Why not?" When the movie came out in 2007, the name got even lamer and, worse, embarrassing.
It doesn't come as much of a surprise to find out Gwen Stacy, a band that stole its name from Spider-Man's first girlfriend, is also good friends with the equally name-challenged The Devil Wears Prada.
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Well, just plain Destro was a G.I. Joe super-terrorist with a metallic disposition and a penchant for hot Eastern European girls with baronial lineages. We actually like this moniker, despite our better judgment. Makes us think of our childhood and how much Destro's main squeeze turned us on.
Han Solo was a scruffy-faced nerf herder, according to Princess Leia. Nerf Herder, the band, dug the reference and, for about one week, we did too. Then every other wannabe pop-punk band in America decided to steal their name from the Star Wars trilogy. Another one pops up every 16 seconds. Hell, six popped up while we were writing this blurb about Nerf Herder.