Naming the band can be fun. I’ve performed in rock and roll bands since high school. I’ve primarily been the front person and lead singer. I have a good rock voice and connect with the audience. I have fun. In the mid-1990s, Dave E., with whom I’d played on and off (more on than off) since 1977, invited me to jam at a gig in Spencer, Indiana, with a band he’d recently joined. Southern Star was a legacy band that played southern rock. It had been the drummer’s father’s band since the 60s. I told Dave E. sure, but what did they know that wasn’t southern rock? It wasn’t my thing. It wasn’t his either, and he’d been leading them in a new classic rock and blues direction.
Naming the Band
I went to the club, sang a set, the crowd got into it, and the band asked me to join. We played around central and mid-south Indiana just about every weekend. The longer I was in the band, the more we moved away from southern rock to the classic rock Dave E. and I had been doing since the 70s.
Eventually, I broached the topic of changing the name. However, the original members weren’t ready. I understood. The name had a following in that part of the state, and club owners were familiar with the band as Southern Star.
It Was a Great Group of Players
I was lucky that it was an understanding group of musicians who accepted my warped sense of humor because I began introducing the band on stage by different names nearly every set. “Clown Attack will be right back, thank you!” “Are you ready to rock with the Bland Faith Band!?” “Okay, let’s all give a hand to the band Raw Sewage – What smells sells!” Let me introduce the band “Pretty Awful and Off the Wall.” Like I said, they were an accepting group of players.
My Favorite Name
My favorite name for the band almost stuck, but only because no one else in the band knew what it meant. It was 1995 or 96. Today this name would be understood, but nearly 30 years ago, it was an obscure reference. Well, at least in that part of Indiana, it was. I had so much fun with this that I kept using it. “Ladies and gentlemen, are you ready for Manscape?! It’s gonna be a party down there y’all!”
Dave E finally asked where I got the idea for the name Manscape. When I told him, he broke out laughing. I didn’t use it again. Not long after, Dave E. came up with the name Under the Radar or UTR, and it stuck. To this day, we do a few gigs a year as Under the Radar. I still like Manscape. Maybe someday.