While interviewing my informant, Peter, I decided to document his Band Name. He got his Band Name from the upperclassmen of his section in the Trojan Marching Band (TMB). Peter is a member 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:
“Once upon a time my name is Venti Four Logo.
Someone then asks me ‘why?…’
Because I’m a Marshal Snake.”
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 long, complicated name because they have to figure out how it applies to them/ what the other section members know about them. My informant is dubbed ‘Venti Four Logo’ because of a few reasons: 1. He’s tall, hence the ‘Venti’ part. 2. He has a history of getting coffee at Starbucks, hence the ‘Venti’ part. 3. He’s obsessed with Apple, hence the ‘Logo’ part. He does not yet know how the ‘Four’ part fits into his name, although he recognizes that “Four Logo” is a play on the drink “Four Loko.”
I have seen my informant introduce himself on many occasions with a few different Name Jokes. The particular joke he gave me is a little tame compared to the usual raunchy, outrageous jokes the section normally uses. 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.