Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History: Fake band names

Sometimes when a band has a new album, they’ll arrange to play a secret gig to road test the new material.  They’ll arrange a show under a fake name and then watch to see who shows up.  If you’re a hardcore fan, you can often spot these gigs in time to be there.

For example, if you were in London in January 1991, you might have seen a notice for a concert by a band called Five Imaginary Boys.  Had you turned up, you would have been treated to a club show by the Cure.  In December 1997, the group billed as the Honking Seals at a club outside of San Francisco turned out to be Pearl Jam.

And this would have been cool: Faithless and the Wonderboys in Reading, England, in February 1994.  That was actually Radiohead playing a secret birthday party for their manager.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38536 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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