In Three Notes Can You Name That BandIn Three Notes Can You Name That Band

Okay, y'all...remember that old TV show called "Name That Tune?"

Well, I couldn't wait a full week to get this one out because, not only is it so important, but it is, in fact, vital and can get you involved *very* quickly in a lawsuit, which could be financially devastating to your career.

Plus, as I would have normally published this article on this coming Friday, I am otherwise headed to Houston this weekend to record my new single titled, "Vampire Love." :-)

But, getting back to the main point, if you have become a successful independent band, and just happen to have the same name as a band that had the name before you, you can be legally forced to pay back all those royalties and sales profits, in addition to an incredible amount of damages. This little pleasant process is known as a lawsuit.

Okay, Kenny, what are you hammering about NOW?

I'm very glad you asked because there is an increasingly big problem with successful bands being legally forced to change their names because they were *lazy* and did not bother to thoroughly check to see if another band had the name first. They have become victims of the "It can't happen to us" theory. In fact, not only can it happen to you, if you become successful, it *will* happen to you.

That's right...if you have managed to assess a small fortune in royalties, and have not conducted a trademark search on your band's name, look out! Because, the chances are great that a less than successful band is waiting on you, figuratively speaking, just around the corner. And, all this less than successful band has to do in order to turn your day trading into a nightmare, is simply prove that it had the name before you.

And, if you happen to reside in the Third Ward district of one of my beloved hometowns (Houston, Texas) and, particularly, near McGowen or Scott streets, one of these bands could be waiting on you, literally, and usually after dark wielding a Lone Star-studded machete.

But, I'm not here to discuss geography...I am here, however, to discuss topography...and, specifically, the topography of your music career.

Several years ago, during one of my stints as a broadcast radio host, my then business partner and I were considering starting a record label, and were interviewing a very nice vocal group whose music we had been playing on our station, for our label's first signing.

However, the group's name (perhaps as hindsight) simply seemed like a name that might already be in existence. Lo and behold, after searching the 'Net, I discovered a similar group with the same name, that had been in existence much longer, as well as had a couple of releases out.

The group that we were considering signing has now folded because they were so distraught and were so in love with the name, and simply could not move on to another. I guess that's why they call it the Blues.

Now, I'm betting that, as a result of reading this, a good number of you who are in bands will find tonight's sleep a bit of a disconcerting effort, and for that I am truly sorry. :-( But, it is my civic and patriotic duty to be the bearer of bad news if it helps protect your career.

Ever heard the phrase, "This is going to hurt me a lot more than it's going to hurt you?" Well, this ain't one of them times.

At the very least, if a trademark search is not within your budget at the moment (around $300-$400), at least, register your name at or

And, much success to your getting "legalized."

Note: To see how far the lack of proper registration of your band's name can escalate, take a look at some popular name artists who found out the hard way, so to speak, and whom you may recognize below. ____________________________________________________

Black Sabbath - they were originally a cover band called EARTH. The band saw Boris Karloff's 1963 horror movie "Black Sabbath" one night and were inspired to call their first original song "Black Sabbath." They found out at a gig that there was another band called "Earth," so they changed their name to BLACK SABBATH.


Blink-182 - They were originally called BLINK, but were forced to change their name because a techno band from Ireland was already called that. 182 doesn't actually mean anything. The band has helped start rumors about 182 like: Al Pacino said "f--k" 182 times in Scarface, Al Pacino said "f--k" 182 times in "The Godfather", etc.


Testament is a North American thrash metal music group from California. Being one of the most influential American thrash metal bands, while recording their first album, the band was forced to change its name to Testament because another band held a copyright to the name, "The Legacy." ____________________________________________________

by Kenny Love
References and Bibliography

Kenny Love is president of, a radio promotion, media publicity and multi-service firm for independent musicians andd recording artists. Get more extensive details at Kenny's page.

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