And now for a bit of Two Man Gentlemen Band history!
Early adopters of our cause might recall that we began our quest for two-man musical perfection under a different name. In our earliest years, we peddled our amateurish fumblings under the moniker: The New Original Country Gentlemen.
A nice name, don’t you think? And descriptive, too, as we spent a good deal of time in our performances emphasizing a new kind of young man’s gentlemanliness (i.e. taking breaks, drinking in public, adjusting our neckties, etc). We were indeed behaving as a new, and yet original, brand of country gentleman. The notion that some other supposed “gentlemen” might have claimed the title of “Country Gentlemen” as their own and wished not to share it was not a consideration.
Not a consideration until we received an angry letter from an indignant member of the bluegrass community. (Note: Indignation is common amongst members of the bluegrass community, though it more typically occurs when they are presented with something that “ain’t bluegrass.”) We reprint the letter for you below, lightly edited for clarity and anonymity. And we’ve added some notes, too. Other than that, this is how it was delivered to us.
To: The New Original Country Gentlemen
From: [Name Withheld]
Subject: Surprised by your Name
As a member of the bluegrass community, I have had the pleasure of working with Charlie Waller and the Country Gentlemen for decades [Note: This was a bluegrass band that, at the time, we’d never heard of]. He recently passed away, and I’m curious if you have purchased the rights to his brand name from his estate. [Note: A silly question to ask two guys who perform exclusively in subways and city parks.]
If not, I would suggest considering re-naming your act. I seriously doubt that the many talented and tenacious lawyers in the bluegrass community will take very kindly to the misappropriation of a legally registered trade name. [Note: In the longer, unedited version of this letter, the author uses the phrase “bluegrass community” eight more times.]
There are plenty of names out there. Pick one of your own.
Geez, we thought. What a dick. But, having no knowledge of any lawyers (not to mention talented or tenacious ones) then working within our nascent two man music community, we relented and began considering new names.
And that search for a new name, friends, is the bit of Two Man Gentlemen Band history we’d like to share with you today. From deep with in our archives, we present the list of band-name finalists we held before ourselves seven years ago this month. You’ll notice, that our current appellation is the only one of the choices to emphasize our two-man-itude. And good thing, too! Had we chosen differently, unrestrained by a “two” in the title, we might be an octet by now. And who likes octets? Anyone? Really? But, I digress. The list!
The Gentlemen Man Band
The Young Gentlemen’s Antique Music Revue
The Two Man Gentlemen Band
The Gentle Man String Band
The Brothers Gentlemen
The Gentlemen Friends
The Almighty Gentlemen
The Constant Gentlemen
Holy Crap! It’s The Gentlemen
Is it me, or do most of these sound like names for a gay men’s choir? That aside, I think we chose wisely. Please let yourself be heard if you disagree.
Onward as ever.