Bland On Bland – Names

image from Scott Kim
image from Scott Kim

The theme for this week’s JVG Radio Method is “Names”, somehow I knew I was going to regret my remarks about easy ones.

You would think to your self
How hard can it be?
Shakespeare got a fair whack of mileage agonising over names. So did Getrude Stein.
Seriously, how hard can it be.

Click here to find out…



What’s in a name? I’ve often wondered what difference it actually makes
Does it serve to highlight your talents and strengths – or expose your parent’s mistakes

Can a name be an anchor or a sail – or of little or no consequence
When name and personality match – is it destined or co-incidence?

Take the master chef who’s name was Cook, or the thug who’s name was Hood
The Victorian Woodworker of the Year who with foresight was named Vic Wood

Numerologists claim you can influence fate by altering a single letter
But can changing your name really change your life – for worse as well as for better?

Faroukh Bulsara once ruled Wembley – fans packed the stands like sardines
Not to salute a football champion – but Freddie Mercury of “Queen”

Frederick Austerlitz sounds like a banker – but as Fred Astaire he could dance
Volodymyr Palahniuk didn’t sound like a cowboy till he saddled up as Jack Palance

Bernard Schwartz became an actor but Tony Curtis became the star
Instead of Les Paul imagine playing a Gibson Lester Polfuss guitar

If Natalie Portman had stayed a Hershlag would agents have shown interest in her?
Would the young Cherilyn Sarkasian have made the same impact as Cher?

Alphonso D’Abruzzo became Alan Alda – Maurice Micklewhite, Michael Caine
Was the writing of Samuel Langhorne Clemens any better when he changed to Mark Twain?

Michael Crawford dumped Dumbell – Smith, hoping his chances would improve
Michael A. Fox became Michael J. Fox – in a really extreme career move

Joaquin Phoenix was once a “Bottom” – Tim Allen was once a “Dick”
Prince, for a while, no more than a symbol – a symbol that didn’t stick

Yusuf Islam was Stephen Demetre Georgio and in between he was “Cat”
Boris Karloff sounds a lot more evil than William Henry Pratt

Declan McManus, the data entry clerk, became Elvis Costello on stage
Clara Ann Fowler sold millions of records – but the credit went to one Patti Page

Would Marlilyn Monroe have stayed Norma Jeane Baker if she knew of the troubles to come?
Would Judy Garland have been more content had she remained Frances Gumm?

Was Cilla Black any the better for deserting Priscilla White?
To the world he may be Sir Elton John – but he still looks like Reginald Dwight

They confused Elias Bates with our own dear Ed – so Bo Didley became the man
Brian Warner morphed into Marilyn Manson – to crawl out of the shadow of Dan

Keith Fuller’s better known as “Fuller shit” – but he doesn’t seem to care
And as everyone knows, Jon Von Goes – but no-one seems to know where

The millions of times some comic’s sniggered – “Bland? You must be a bore”
Then chuckled with pride at their perception of wit – like no-one’s ever said it before

“True friends stab you in the front” according to Oscar Wilde
In the word’s of Bob Starkie – or is it still “Bongo” Starr? – I guess I was “Born to be mild”

There are more pressing issues than the name on my passport – but if I was inclined to explore
I’d change my name to Chaim Witz – Gene Simmons doesn’t want it anymore

© Copyright 2009 Ian Bland

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