While interviewing my informant, Killian, I decided to document his Band Name. He got his Band Name from the upperclassmen of his section in the Trojan Marching Band (TMB). Killian is a member, and section leader, of the Mellophone section. I asked him to perform his band name to me as if he were asked to “introduce himself” by another member of the band:
“Someone would say ‘who are you?’
And then I say, ‘Once upon a time, my name is Sexing a Bush’
Someone would say, ‘why?’
‘Because my dead dad didn’t like to shave down there.’”
My informant added after the performance that he doesn’t like to use the same joke twice, and that that’s important for me to note in my documentation.
My informant would usually perform this Band Name/Joke ritual in a social setting with other members of the TMB. Sometimes he is asked by alumni of the band who are interested in hearing the new Band Names their section has come up with. Members of the band also frequently ask each other because they are often humorous or come with humorous jokes attached. It is also used to test the band Freshmen to see if their jokes are up to par with the standard set by current band members.
According to my informant, everyone in the band has a Band Name that they have been dubbed by their older section members. The Band Names are different in each section. Some sections give their members short names that function as traditional nicknames (example: “Egg”). My informant was mostly able to give me knowledge of how the Mellophone section names its members.
My informant’s section gave him a strange name because they have to figure out how it applies to them/ what the other section members know about them. My informant informed me that he is dubbed ‘Sexing a Bush’ because it’s a reference to a song from the popular show Crazy Ex Girlfriend. The other members of the section believed that the lyrics of the song fit his personality.
I have seen my informant introduce himself on many occasions with a few different Name Jokes. The particular joke he gave me is very extreme and inappropriate (I debated even including it in the archive). The section normally uses raunchy, outrageous jokes, but I consider this joke a little too outrageous. I personally enjoy this social band tradition. Everyone has a name, so it’s fun to get to know all the members of the band just to hear them. The tradition of Band Names also further unties the band as one entity.