Monday, 28 April 2014

AAA Surnames And Their Meanings (News, Views and Music 242 Top Ten)

What's in a name? Well, not a lot if your name is Marjory Slopbucket for instance, but occasionally - just occasionally - the origin of names can reveal quite a lot, defining the way we always think about an artist. Just ask John Lennon, who was so proud of his Irish genealogy he printed a whole extract about his 'name' on the back cover of his album 'Walls and Bridges'. Or just ask Cross, Wiltshire tenant, Person-who-lives-near-an-Ash-tree and 'The Young One' (better known as Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young) who deliberately used their own names in order to escape the processes of being in a 'band'. We won't cover every AAA band here (in truth I'm running a bit behind this week and need a 'top ten' I could write and research quickly!) and quite a few of the AAA surnames are so unknown I can't find anything on them across the net (including, incidentally, every single one of the Monkees except Davy Jones - you'd think there's be something on 'Peter Thorkelson' wouldn't you?!) Anyway even with cuts for timing and research issues there are still ten more examples of the surnames for members of the most interesting and best known AAA bands:
1) The Beach Boys:

The Wilson brothers is an English name meaning 'son of William', Al Jardine is a French name meaning 'garden owner', Bruce Johnston gets his name from Jonis (a 'settlement in Yorkshire') and Mike Love doesn't mean what you think it does - in fact 'Love' is a 'female wolf'!

2) The Beatles:

As Lennon so proudly announced on the back cover of 'Walls and Bridges' 'Lennon' is an Irish name meaning either 'lover' or - interestingly given a song the Beatles record in 1968 - a 'blackbird'. As a footnote Lennon scrawled an 'oh yeah?' next to the comment that 'no personages with the Lennon surname was ever involved in Irish politics on either side' from the 1972 official Geneology book; later editions were modified to mention Lennon's name and 'musical acts'. McCartney is a Scottish name that means 'son of a hero', Harrison an English name that means 'son of Harry' - itself a derivative of 'Henry' - and Starkey (Ringo's real name) means 'firm and unyielding' ('No more autographs...peace and love!')

3) The Grateful Dead:

Rather sweetly 'Garcia' means 'The Bear' - the bear is the second most commonDead logo after their dancing skeletons, although it actually refers to the nickname of the band's engineer; in his later, more 'cuddly' years, Garcia was likened to a 'bear' by some of the music press too. 'Weir' means 'a North English river, possibly a dam', Hart means 'a fast runner' ('Long distance runner what you standing there for?') and McKernan (Pigpen's real surname) is an Irish name meaning 'son of a lord'. Sadly I can't find any mention of the surnames 'Kreutzmann' or 'Lesh'- perhaps one of you readers can help?!

4) The Kinks:

The Davies brothers' family name means 'son of David' in English or, alternatively, 'beloved' (ahh!) The other two founding members, meanwhile, have two of the most fascinating names on the list: 'Avory' means an 'Elf Ruler' in German (!) - he's not that tall is he?! - and 'Quaife' is an French name for a close fitting cap that was worn by archers at the Battle of Hastings. So the rhythm section of arguably the most 'English' band in history originally came from France and Germany...
5) The Moody Blues:
'Laine' (as in Denny) is a Staffordshire name meaning 'dweller of the lane' and shows Denny's Birmingham family didn't move that far. 'Hayward' means 'fence watcher' or 'guardian'. Lodge means 'a cabin or place of rest'. Pinder means 'a person who holds cattle within a pound'. Thomas means 'twin brother'. And Edge means 'a person who makes a living by working on a steep slope such as a shepherd'. So there you go.

6) Oasis:

Despite beating up every kid in the neighbourhood with an Irish accent, Mancunian Noel Gallagher (and brother Liam) are both of Irish descent where 'Gallagher' is a combination of two ancient words for 'foreigner' and 'help'. 'McCarroll' is also Irish, although for 'Viking' interestingly. 'Arthurs' (Bonehead's real surname) means 'hero'. 'White' means 'pale haired or innocent'. 'Archer' means, well, 'Archer'. And 'Bell' means either 'someone who lives under a church bell' (isn't that a church mouse?) or 'handsome'.

7) Pink Floyd:

Shockingly, 'Waters' has nothing to do with water - Roger's name actually derives from an ancient English derivative of 'Walter'. Barratt is a German word for 'bear' (which makes him a - very very distant - cousin of Jerry Garcia). Gilmour means 'a servant of the Virgin Mary'. Wright means 'a maker of machinery, usually something involving wood'. And Mason means a mason, working in stone.

8) The Rolling Stones:

'Jagger' is a Yorkshire term for a 'pack' or 'load' (which might explain Mick's dancing). 'Richard(s)' means a person with the first name 'Richard' which itself is a combination of the words 'power' and 'strength' (or 'rich' and 'hard', if you prefer). 'Jones' comes from the English word for 'son of John/Joan'. Watts is another derivative of 'Walter' (making Charlie and Roger Waters extremely distant relatives). Wyman is a name that combines 'war' and 'protection'. Wood is a name that inevitable means 'forest'. And Taylor inevitably means 'tailor'. 

9) Simon and Garfunkel:

Or 'snub-nosed and Carbuncle' as we might have to start calling them from now on! Interestingly both names are the only ones on our list that are Jewish in origin!

10) The Who: 

A Daltrey is a French term for a 'high bank'. Townshend means - you guessed it - a person who lives at the end of a town. An Entwistle is someone who originally lives in a village of that name in Blackburn. However, you probably won't guess the origin of the surname 'Moon', which has nothing to do with astronomy but is in fact a French name for someone who lived in 'La Moyen'. No wonder John Entwistle drew his colleague as 'slightly French looking' on the 'Who By Numbers' LP!

And that's that for another week. Join us next issue when we'll be bringing you more news, views and music - whatever the name!

A NOW COMPLETE List Of Top Five/Top Ten/TOP TWENTY  Entries 2008-2019
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2) Songs For The Face Of Bo

3) Credit Crunch Songs

4) Songs For The Autumn

5) National Wombat Week

6) AAA Box Sets

7) Virus Songs

8) Worst AAA-Related DVDs

9) Self-Punctuating Superstar Classics

10) Ways To Know You Have Turned Into A Collector

11) Political Songs

12) Totally Bonkers Concept Albums

13) Celebrating 40 Years Of The Beatles' White Album

14) Still Celebrating 40 Years Of The Beatles' White Album

15) AAA Existential Questions

16) Releases Of The Year 2008

17) Top AAA Xmas Songs

18) Notable AAA Gigs

19) All things '20' related for our 20th issue

20) Romantic odes for Valentine's Day

21) Hollies B sides

22) 'Other' BBC Session Albums

23) Beach Boys Rarities Still Not Available On CD

24) Songs John, Paul and George wrote for Ringo's solo albums

25) 5 of the Best Rock 'n' Roll Tracks From The Pre-Beatles Era

26) AAA Autobiographies

27) Rolling Stones B-sides

28) Beatles B-Sides

29) The lllloooonnngggeesssttt AAA songs of all time

30) Kinks B-Sides

31) Abandoned CSNY projects 'wasted on the way'

32) Best AAA Rarities and Outtakes Sets

33) News We've Missed While We've Been Away

34) Birthday Songs for our 1st Anniversary

35) Brightest Album Covers

36) Biggest Recorded Arguments

37) Songs About Superheroes

38) AAA TV Networks That Should Exist

39) AAA Woodtsock Moments

40) Top Moments Of The Past Year As Voted For By Readers

41) Music Segues

42) AAA Foreign Language Songs

43) 'Other' Groups In Need Of Re-Mastering

44) The Kinks Preservation Rock Opera - Was It Really About The Forthcoming UK General Election?

45) Mono and Stereo Mixes - Biggest Differences

46) Weirdest Things To Do When A Band Member Leaves

47) Video Clips Exclusive To Youtube (#1)

48) Top AAA Releases Of 2009

49) Songs About Trains

50) Songs about Winter

51) Songs about astrology plus horoscopes for selected AAA members

52) The Worst Five Groups Ever!

53) The Most Over-Rated AAA Albums

54) Top AAA Rarities Exclusive To EPs

55) Random Recent Purchases (#1)

56) AAA Party Political Slogans

57) Songs To Celebrate 'Rock Sunday'

58) Strange But True (?) AAA Ghost Stories

59) AAA Artists In Song

60) Songs About Dogs

61) Sunshiney Songs

62) The AAA Staff Play Their Own Version Of Monoploy/Mornington Crescent!

63) What 'Other' British Invasion DVDs We'd Like To See

64) What We Want To Place In Our AAA Time Capsule

65) AAA Conspiracy Theroies

66) Weirdest Things To Do Before - And After - Becoming A Star

67) Songs To Tweet To

68) Greatest Ever AAA Solos

69) John Lennon Musical Tributes

70) Songs For Halloween

71) Earliest Examples Of Psychedelia

72) Purely Instrumental Albums

73) AAA Utopias

74) AAA Imaginary Bands

75) Unexpected AAA Cover Versions

76) Top Releases of 2010

77) Songs About Snow

78) Predictions For 2011

79) AAA Fugitives

80) AAA Home Towns

81) The Biggest Non-Musical Influences On The 1960s

82) AAA Groups Covering Other AAA Groups

83) Strange Censorship Decisions

84) AAA Albums Still Unreleased on CD

85) Random Recent Purchases (#2)

86) Top AAA Music Videos

87) 30 Day Facebook Music Challenge

88) AAA Documentaries

89) Unfinished and 'Lost' AAA Albums

90) Strangest AAA Album Covers

91) AAA Performers Live From Mars (!)

92) Songs Including The Number '100' for our 100th Issue

93) Most Songs Recorded In A Single Day

94) Most Revealing AAA Interviews

95) Top 10 Pre-Fame Recordings

96) The Shortest And Longest AAA Albums

97) The AAA Allstars Ultimate Band Line-Up

98) Top Songs About Sports

99) AAA Conversations With God

100) AAA Managers: The Good, The Bad and the Financially Ugly

101) Unexpected AAA Cameos

102) AAA Words You can Type Into A Caluclator

103) AAA Court Cases

104) Postmodern Songs About Songwriting

105) Biggest Stylistic Leaps Between Albums

106) 20 Reasons Why Cameron Should Go!

107) The AAA Pun-Filled Cookbook

108) Classic Debut Releases

109) Five Uses Of Bird Sound Effects

110) AAA Classic Youtube Clips Part #1

111) Part #2

112) Part #3

113) AAA Facts You Might Not Know

114) The 20 Rarest AAA Records

115) AAA Instrumental Songs

116) Musical Tarot

117) Christmas Carols

118) Top AAA Releases Of 2011

119) AAA Bands In The Beano/The Dandy

120) Top 20 Guitarists #1

121) #2

122) 'Shorty' Nomination Award Questionairre

123) Top Best-Selling AAA Albums

124) AAA Songs Featuring Bagpipes

125) A (Hopefully) Complete List Of AAA Musicians On Twitter

126) Beatles Albums That Might Have Been 1970-74 and 1980

127) DVD/Computer Games We've Just Invented

128) The AAA Albums With The Most Weeks At #1 in the UK

129) The AAA Singles With The Most Weeks At #1 in the UK

130) Lyric Competition (Questions)

131) Top Crooning Classics

132) Funeral Songs

133) AAA Songs For When Your Phone Is On Hold

134) Random Recent Purchases (#3)

135) Lyric Competition (Answers)

136) Bee Gees Songs/AAA Goes Disco!

137) The Best AAA Sleevenotes (And Worst)

138) A Short Precise Of The Years 1962-70

139) More Wacky AAA-Related Films And Their Soundtracks

140) AAA Appearances On Desert Island Discs

141) Songs Exclusive To Live Albums

142) More AAA Songs About Armageddon

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180) First Recordings By Future AAA Stars

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188) Surprise! Celebrating 300 Album Reviews With The Biggest 'Surprises' Of The Past Five Years Of Alan's Album Archives!

190) Comparatively Obscure First Compositions By AAA Stars

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230) AAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!! The Best Ten AAA Screams

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234) 20 Erroneous AAA Album Titles

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239) The Ten MusicianS Who've Played On The Most AAA Albums

240) Thoughts on #CameronMustGo

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242) AAA Christmas Number Ones 

243) AAA Review Of The Year 2014 (Top Releases/Re-issues/Documentaries/DVDs/Books/Songs/ Articles  plus worst releases of the year)

244) Me/CFS Awareness Week 2015

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246) A Plea For Peace and Tolerance After The Attacks on Paris - and Syria

247) AAA Review Of The Year 2015

248) The Fifty Most Read AAA Articles (as of December 31st 2015)

249) The Revised AAA Crossword!

251) Half-A-Dozen Berries Plus One (An AAA Tribute To Chuck Berry)

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255) AAA Review Of The Year 2018

256) AAA Review Of The Year 2019 plus Review Of The Decade 2010-2019

257) Tiermaker

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