Musicians who appeared regularly in the first series of the British children’s TV show Rainbow in 1972. They wrote and performed the surprisingly cool theme song.
“That’s some tenacious D!” was basketball commentator Marv Albert’s description of a good defensive play, inspiring Jack Black and Kyle Gass to adopt the name for their comedy rock band. Here they are stealing the scene in their first screen appearance together, as Bud & Doyle trying to “save the friggin’ trees”, in Bio-Dome (1996). They’ve made a TV series, a film, Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny (2006), and three albums featuring Dave Grohl on drums. Tribute, their attempt to produce “the best song in the world”, was inspired by Metallica’s One. In 2015 Tenacious D won the Best Metal Performance Grammy for their cover of Dio’s The Last in Line.
Terry and Gerry
Skiffle revivalists from Birmingham, England, championed in the 1980s by John Peel, according to the writer Giles Smith, because he had “an aunt and uncle called Terry and Gerry” (Wikipedia’s version is that they were the names of Peel’s wife’s best friends). Terry and Gerry have made one album, From Lubbock to Clintwood East, released a Peel commemorative EP in 2014, and in 2015 supported Status Quo on tour. Here they are in 1985 playing Clothes Shop on Channel 4’s The Tube.
“Crispy Ambulance was the worst band name on the label, until he [Tony Wilson] signed Thick Pigeon” (Shadowplayers: The Rise and Fall of Factory Records, by James Nice). This New York art-pop duo were, however, much more interesting than their name might lead you to believe, as you can hear on the fine track Subway.
Fictional proggers featured in The Life of Rock with Brian Pern, a 2014 BBC TV comedy series in the tradition of This is Spinal Tap. The line-up was: Brian Pern, lead vocals; Pat Quid, guitar; Tony Pebblé, keyboards; “John”, bass; and Michael Philips, drums. Later incarnations of the band were Thotch II, Thotch III, Thotch IV, and Thotch 5.0. Guitarist Quid had a festive hit, Christmas in Me Car, with his side-project Pat and The Patios. Nigel Havers, as Pebblé (actually “Pebble” but he added the accent), and Michael Kitchen, as the band’s cynical manager, gave the stand-out performances. The character of Pern (Simon Day) was a parody of Peter Gabriel (who described himself as “flattered”). You can enjoy a selection of Thotch music videos here.
Thoughts and Words
Folk-pop duo, former members of the cult 60s psychedelic group Pandamonium. The name comes from a superb David Crosby/Chris Hillman song on The Byrds’ album Younger Than Yesterday. Thoughts and Words sounded like this. If you Google them, you will be given hundreds of links to Franz Ferdinand’s fourth album, Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action.
Three Dog Night
Initially Redwood, they changed their name after Danny Hutton’s girlfriend read in a magazine that Indigenous Australians slept with their dingos in a hole in the ground for warmth, and a bitterly cold night was a “three dog night”. The group’s considerable success in the late 60s and early 70s was built on three good lead singers (Hutton, Chuck Negron and Cory Wells) and shrewd choice of material by such great songwriters as Harry Nilsson, Laura Nyro and Randy Newman. Led by Hutton, in his seventies, they still play live.
Tony! Toni! Toné! Tonee!
Harry (Tim Meadows), manager of the fictional rap trio Style Boyz in the 2016 mockumentary Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, had been “Tonee!” in the “Four Tonys” but left the vocal quartet after a dispute about punctuation: he wanted to change his exclamation mark to a question mark, and his bandmates disagreed.