When a Hootie Isn’t a Hootie

July 22, 2014

Band names can be very misleading. Here are some bands in which many people thought that the name of the band referred to the lead singer…but didn’t.


BlondieThis influential New Wave band was fronted by former model Debbie Harry, who happened to have dyed, blond hair. The public and many members of the music press thought that the act who performed “One Way or Another” and “Heart of Glass” was a solo artist, Harry, who went by the stage name “Blondie.” But that’s the name of the group. Early in its career in the late ‘70s, the band’s management handed out cards bearing an image of the whole band with the caption “Blondie is a band,” while Harry sometimes wore a T-shirt on stage with the same message.

Hootie and the Blowfish

Lead singer Darius Rucker is not Hootie, nor are the other three guys in the band “the Blowfish.” The band formed at the University of South Carolina in the mid-1980s. The group were friends with two other guys, one of whom had big, owl-like eyes. His nickname was Hootie. Another had big, puffy cheeks, whose nickname was Blowfish. (College!) In tribute to the friends, the band combined their nicknames.

J. Geils Band

This group scored its biggest hits in the early ‘80s with the pop songs “Centerfold” and “Freeze Frame,” but started off in the ‘70s as a bluesy rock band built around Boston guitarist J. Geils. Geils was not the singer of the band—Peter Wolf was.

Marshall Tucker Band

Unlike the J. Geils Band, and very confusingly, there was never anyone in this long-running Southern rock band named Marshall Tucker. In trying to come up with a name, a band member suggested “Marshall Tucker,” a name etched into the key to the rehearsal space the band was using at the time. (Tucker was at least musically inclined: He was also a piano tuner.)