Ongoing History of New Music Daily: The name “The Black Keys”

There are a couple of stories about where the Black Keys got their name.

One says that Patrick Carney’s dad, who was an art dealer, knew of someone who referred to good-for-nothing people as “black keys.”

But another story says the guys had an acquaintance named Alfred McMoore who suffered from schizophrenia. Alfred would often leave weird phone messages that referred to their fathers as “black keys.” When he was particularly upset with them, he’d call them “D-flat,” which, of course, is one of the black keys on a piano. Interesting backstory, so Patrick and Dan Auerbach decided to go with that.

Check out Tuesday’s post on X Ambassadors . And don’t forget to check out my podcast The Ongoing History of New Music where you listen on SpotifyApple PodcastsGoogleStitcher, or wherever you get your on-demand audio.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ 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.

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