A Jovial Journey Through Fictitious Band Names


Cleverly-named Pittsburgh-area tribute act Bon Journey play a set that draws heavily on the music of the two bands whose names combine to form their own appellation.


Considering it doesn’t take much to bend idle minds to pointless mental meanderings, this set us to considering the plethora of possibilities for other cover band designations. To wit (hopefully):

If your band covers the music of Bon Jovi and Joni Mitchell you could name it Bon Joni.

If you do music primarily by The Rolling Stones and Styx you could be Styx and Stones.

S’pose you played mostly Johnny Cash and Eddie Money tunes. May I suggest Cash Money?

Now if you’ll indulge us, further into the preposterous we blunder for the sake of a laugh. If your band was all about Richard Marx and Skid Row music, you could be known as Skid Marx.

Supposing your band loves to play 80’s hair band anthems such as “Round and Round” and “Nothin’ But a Good Time”. You could call yourselves Ratt Poison. Of course, your set would feature a heavy dose of Poison, Cuz Ratt didn’t have that many hits but hey, every rose has its thorn I guess.

Let’s say your set combined the music of Grover Washington and AC/DC. You could be Washington/DC. Fats Domino and Don McLean? Fats McLean.

If your band mixed the early work of Clapton with to-the-extreme 90’s white rap may I suggest Vanilla Ice Cream?

You say you’re way into Cream but you don’t really play that much Vanilla Ice? That’s weird. But if you instead focus mainly on Humble Pie and Boston you could be called Boston Cream Pie.

marxSay your Richard Marx tribute band got tired of mixing in Skid Row songs and decided to include more Doobie Brothers in its set. You could call yourselves the Marx Brothers.

No…I’m not done yet. Smokey-voiced Chris Rea and Mark Knopfler of rifftastic rockers Dire Straits have remarkably similar vocal styles. Given this and the fact that in England they are both fairly prominent artists, perhaps it’s not completely unthinkable that if your tribute band were British you’d cover both artists’ material. Whether or not you decide to call your band Dire Rea would be entirely up to you.

I know this is unlikely. But if your band played only songs by New Pornographers and Destiny’s Child the obvious choice of band name would be Child Pornographers. Unfortunately.

marx 2

Do Tom Petty and Johnny Cash dominate your playlist? Cool. I dub you Petty Cash. REO Speedwagon and Patty Smyth? Patty Wagon, natch.

Have a female lead singer who belts covers of Ann and Nancy Wilson tunes  accompanied by a guitarist who wishes he was Ritchie Blackmore? I’m gonna pin Purple Heart on you.

Do Bryan Ferry, Godsmack and the Mothers of Invention form the bulk of your live repertoire? For some reason bands like yours have all overlooked the name Ferry God Mothers so far. You’re welcome.

And to you versatile rockers who alternately play Aerosmith, Insane Clown Posse and Tool songs: Aeroposstool.

You say your lead guitarist worships Duane Allman but your keyboardist wants to play Joy Division? Allman Joy is your band’s new name.


In one of those 80’s tribute bands that mainly cribs the catalogues of the Police, Billy Squier and Culture Club? Police Billy Club.

Or maybe your cover band is a mishmash of Fleetwood Mac, Public Enemy and Yo Yo Ma. It could happen. If so, please help yourself to my suggested band name: Fleet Enema. Of course your band logo may not be as cool as Bon Journey’s…

And if you play Grateful Dead, Phish and Bon Jovi covers I dub you Jam Band Jovi.


Not to fixate on the whole Bon Jovi thing–they are the reason we’ve come to this after all–but it occurs to me that if you like to play Bon Jovi tunes interspersed with Pete Seeger folk songs (and who doesn’t?) you really ought to consider the moniker of Banjovi.

Or if you have a Bon Jovi tribute band that happens to be fronted by a woman who looks like Debbie Harry you could be BlondeJovi. You don’t? K, just trying to help.

Are you one of those acts who tends to ping pong between the British heavy metal of Iron Maiden and the breezy American folk of…America? How about Maiden America?


Are you in a rock and roll revivalist act who cover Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry? You could be Holly Berry.

Thinking of starting a band that plays Gentle Giant, Tim Hardin and Ce Ce Peniston? I dunno. Use your imagination–you can do this!

I could go on. In fact, it’s difficult not to after a while. REM Speedwagon, Buffalo Springsteen, Faith No Doubt, The Mamas & the Papas & the Babys, Aretha Hollies, Ratt Poison, Kajagoogoo Dolls, ABBA & Costello

But I want to hear your tribute band names. Bring ’em on–the more preposterous the better!

p.s. If there can be an Australian Pink Floyd, could there be a Swedish Phish?


13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Zach Sestili
    Apr 23, 2015 @ 04:22:15

    Rush Delivery

    Queen’s Right: Queen is always Right

    Smashing Pumpkin Heads that Talk

    Beach Boys with Balls

    Stairway to California / Hotel of Heaven

    Van Funk Railroad

    Michael Accent


  2. Ed Cyphers
    Apr 23, 2015 @ 07:12:40

    They have better drugs in Hawaii don’t they?


  3. Zack Cyphers
    Apr 23, 2015 @ 12:20:05

    What if you’re a Fleetwood Mac cover band, but once in a while you do “To Be With You” as an encore. Could you call yourself “Big Mac”?


  4. Zack Cyphers
    Apr 23, 2015 @ 12:21:57

    Or if you cover songs by Great White and the Black Crowes. Could you call yourself the “Russell Crowes”?


  5. Zack Cyphers
    Apr 23, 2015 @ 12:25:15

    “Barenaked Men At Work”


  6. Ed Cyphers
    Apr 23, 2015 @ 16:27:33

    …without hats!


  7. Zack Cyphers
    Apr 25, 2015 @ 06:09:20



  8. Zack Cyphers
    Apr 25, 2015 @ 06:09:48

    Well, it’s obvious they don’t have hats!


  9. Zack Cyphers
    Apr 25, 2015 @ 06:10:34

    Apparently my zeal for commenting has invoked the ire of the WordPress gods. I just got this error message: “You are posting comments too quickly. Slow down.”


  10. Zack Cyphers
    Apr 25, 2015 @ 06:12:21

    This is a stretch, I think, but a group that mostly covers a locally known rock band with the occasional tribute to the obscure solo material of one member of Jethro Tull could call themselves “Clark Barres”.


  11. Ed
    Apr 25, 2015 @ 07:59:29

    Stupid WordPress gods!
    Clark Barres is right on.
    I mean, they are ALL a stretch, right?


  12. jimjcoogan
    May 04, 2015 @ 19:07:58

    I thought I’d have lots of ’em but nothing jelled until today.
    The band covers Kansas and songs from one Bruce Springsteen album.
    The Kansas-Nebraska Act


  13. Ed Cyphers
    May 04, 2015 @ 19:33:12

    Wow. Almost too erudite for the crowd. But we’ll take it!


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