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I Can't Believe I'm Asking This. (Name Question)

Posted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 5:55 pm
by Squid
I know I should know, but I don't. So I'm asking.

So today, when I looked at the bio on the Sasquatch site, I noticed that the band name apparently came about as the result of a comment from Chris Walla. But...I thought it was taken from the quote at the beginning of this Paste article?

I'm sure this is in a FAQ somewhere, but I'd like an answer anyway. Haikus preferred. Thanks.

Re: I Can't Believe I'm Asking This. (Name Question)

Posted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:58 pm
by Flyn
I thought it was from a Japanese T-shirt that Walla saw.

Re: I Can't Believe I'm Asking This. (Name Question)

Posted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:41 am
by Moni
Flyn wrote:I thought it was from a Japanese T-shirt that Walla saw.


That's what John told me years ago, and I believed it--until I read that it was in fact a reference to Alaska, like the Sasquatch bio says. Or not. Or something.

A related question, why are most bands/artists so annoyed when you ask them where their name came from? I know it's not a terribly original question, especially for an interview, but I just wanna know things like that. *sad panda bear*

Re: I Can't Believe I'm Asking This. (Name Question)

Posted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 3:10 am
by John
It isn't so annoying, exactly, and I'm speaking as a person who has certainly been asked the question fewer times than Eddie Vedder. It's just that it's a banal question, and half the time the person kind of answers for you, like "Is the Long Winters a reference to you growing up in Alaska?" The actual answer, that Walla's then-girlfriend saw it on a tee-shirt in Japan in 2001, is not that much more interesting, and more importantly, is no more illuminating. So you end up saying, "Yep, that's right", just in the hopes that the next question will be about sex.

Now in the case of Pearl Jam, although they've been claiming for years that their name is a reference to Jeff Ament's grandmother Pearl's jam recipe, in fact it is clearly a reference to semen.

Re: I Can't Believe I'm Asking This. (Name Question)

Posted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:18 am
by Squid
Okay now THAT'S a piece of information I wasn't expecting! Excellent!

And yes, it is a boring q, but I also know that there's nothing worse than being introduced as, "a huge fan" at a show and then having someone ask me a question about the band I can't answer. I HATE that. Normally I just pretend to be drunk, but you know every now and then my ingenious visage of booziness falters and I am trapped, panicked, wondering, "I don't know why the f*ck they're called that! Why can't anyone ever ask me about Terminal Cheesecake ?!" Happens more than you know.

Re: I Can't Believe I'm Asking This. (Name Question)

Posted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:05 pm
by Harvey Winters
i was going to ask about "terminal cheesecake" in Ask A Dumbass Question, but since you're volunteering the info...

Re: I Can't Believe I'm Asking This. (Name Question)

Posted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 3:35 am
by Liesbeth
Do things have to be so black and white? I'd like to imagine that the name came from a t-shirt, but Walla may have thought it especially appropriate since John was from Alaska, or because in Seattle the winters are long, wet and dreary, or because John is tall, or simply because Death Cab for Cutie was already taken (talk about a great band name)...

I don't really care much about where band names come from, but this made me think : if someone could find a photo of said Japanese t-shirt, that would be awesome.

Re: I Can't Believe I'm Asking This. (Name Question)

Posted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 11:32 am
by grant
I thought it was because in one of their first gigs, they were sort of understudies for the opener (the backup's backup), and it happened to be not at a rock club, but a comedy club, and so when Omelet Vision suddenly came down with food poisoning, it was up to the band to warm the crowd for more than 90 minutes before funnyman Jonathan Winters came on for his 45-minute set. They played longer than the headliner, a fact which he used as a riff in his routine, and the name stuck.

Re: I Can't Believe I'm Asking This. (Name Question)

Posted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 5:29 pm
by Harvey Winters
I thought it was from "Here Comes The Sun"...
"Long, cold, lonely winter(s)"