Thursday, March 11, 2010

What's in a Name? Rocket 88

What's in a name? That's a hard one to decipher sometimes. Hearing about a band from the East Coast who enjoys playing and watching baseball, who pays homage to history, and who named themselves Rocket 88, my first instincts were that perhaps they named the band after "The Rocket" Roger Clemens. Back in 1988, the Rocket was still revered and in the midst of a seven year span in which he won 17 or more games and his worst ERA in any of those seven years was 3.13, and his best was an amazing 1.93 in 1990. However finding out further that the band is from Pennsylvania, odds are against Clemens (just like his odds are now for getting into the Hall of Fame).


Pop Quiz: Where did the Band Rocket 88 get its name?

A:  "The Rocket" Roger Clemens
B:  The Seinfeld episode when Costanza's dad shouts, "He's got a rocket for an arm"
C:  A 1951 Ike Turner song that is often credited as the first rock and roll song
D:  None of the Above

Hmmmmm, they're all decent options and now that I'm thinking about it, "None of the Above" would be a great band name, but back to the quiz. When taking multiple choice tests in school, I always heard the line, "If you're unsure, go with your first instinct." But since this is Rock n' Roll we're talking about here, one should always rebel against the system. So, I'll say "C", and of course, I'll be right, because I cheated and looked at their MySpace site:

Rocket 88 consists of four high school friends (Dan Lawrence 16, and his brother, Teddy Lawrence, 17, and Andy Ellison, 18, and his brother, Gary Ellison, 15) who have a passion for rock standards from groups such as The Beatles, The Who, CCR, The Allman Brothers Band, and the Grateful Dead.  In February of this year, the band self-released 9 of their own tracks.  Check out (via MySpace) the rollicking geetars and sweet sounds of "All You Have to Say", "Trends" and the fun "Goomba Luige".

I originally found the band via the Montgomery News site and in between playing in their band (have had over 90 gigs), keeping up with school, and starting Spring baseball practice, I was able to get a few minutes of their time.

Andy Ellison was kind enough to respond to a Pop Quiz of my very own:

Q: Which baseball players did you idolize growing up?

Well we're all Phillies fans so we like the guys on the current Phillies roster (Chase Utley, Shane Victorino, Ryan Howard, Carlos Ruiz etc.) as well as past Phillies legends (Steve Carlton & Mike Schmidt) And we can't go without mentioning some of the old greats (Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Ted Williams, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner).

(editor's note: Rocket 88 sounds better than Schmidt 88, so good choice in band name)

Q: What is your favorite baseball song?

Our favorite baseball song would have to be "Centerfield" by John Fogerty. Coincidentally, it was the first real song we learned as a band and we performed it at an event for our little league.

Q: What stadium would you like to play in one day?

We once played outside of Citizen's Bank Park for an American Heart Association event, but it would be nice to play inside one day. Any stadium would be an amazing experience.

Q: If you were the manager, who of the following would you choose to pitch the 7th game of a world series: Mick Jagger (Stones), Caleb Followill (Kings of Leon), Eugene Hutz (Gogol Bordello), Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes), Jerry Garcia (Dead)?

That is a tough choice, haha. I can't speak on behalf of the whole band on this one, but I would have to pick Jerry Garcia, because he is a laid-back guy who would be able to stay cool under pressure.

So, in answer to the original question, "What's in a Name?"  In this case, its simple, its a lot of talent, desire, and good old fashioned rock and roll fun.

Rocket 88 Links:

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