If 30 is the new 20, I’ve got a little over two years until I need to start seriously thinking of starting a band.

I like the name ‘Mantell’ for my would-be band. I’m not sure what kind of music we’ll play. Obviously, there will need to be some rock in there. How else will I be able to excuse the leather pants I want to wear to myself? Impossible.

But I’m also starting to get the idea that we could also be into some more of the atmospheric electronica. I could happily be John Graham. He’s got that whole cool-sounding English accent that tinges his vocals and makes them sound all the better. I hate him for it, even as I am seduced by his world-weary Limey tenor.

I don’t know. Maybe we’ll re-invent ourselves with every album, and delight in alienating all our fans. That’s how real we’ll be. I mean, I have no idea how to play an instrument. But I’m practicing my rock-sneer for use on groupies – complete with just a soupçon of regret and heartbroken empathy, as if to say ‘Hey, babe. Maybe we could have made it. But the goddamn record labels… they’ve stripped the soul from me. That and all the Robotussin I’ve been drinking. Now get out of here while you still can – while you still believe in yourself. Go and get that college degree in Veterinary Science and six years out of college settle down with a man from Syracuse and raise some children (two boys and a girl) in the suburbs, and sometimes at night, think of the rock star who possibly dabbled in other genres, although I haven’t made my mind up about that yet, who you got together with backstage at the Fillmore.’

Wait. Do electronic acts have groupies? Because that’s going to be a question to answer before we get too far ahead of ourselves. I’m not going to waste a look that expressive otherwise.

I picked the name Mantell because I like the sound of it and because it’s a hearkening back to the Mantell Incident, which was the first time that the world at large believed we may be under threat from UFOs. Yes, a man died, but it’s also historically important. So I’m just left hoping his family doesn’t come to any of our shows.

Legend has it that Gomez got their name because they had a friend named Gomez with a terrible sense of direction. They didn’t at the time have a name picked out for the band itself, but at one of their early gigs put up a big sign outside saying ‘Gomez! The show is here!’

There are worse names.

But, possibly, there are better ones.

What are the thoughts on this?


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SIMON SMITHSON is an Australian writer and editor. He is currently based in Melbourne, Australia, but frequently finds himself in Los Angeles and San Francisco. His work has appeared on both sides of the globe in print and online in publications such as BLIP, Every Day Fiction, Beat, The Loop, My Sinking Boat, and more. He has a tumblr at www.simonsmithson.com and he runs a lifestyle experiment at www.selfhelpless.net.

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