Barenaked Ladies has always been one of the more attention-getting band names. Ed Robertson and Steven Page came up with it as a pair of bored teenagers at a Bob Dylan concert. What isn't generally explained is whether they were bored because it was Dylan, or because the show wasn't so great, as Dylan shows sometimes are. Mr. Robertson was kind enough to elaborate:
"No, I mean, slap the person who says he's not a Dylan fan. It was a tour in 1988, and G.E. Smith was the band leader with all the extended long blues jams. It was a nightmare for a Dylan fan. It was awful.
"We were at the CNE Grandstand, which is a notoriously bad-sounding venue, and we were in the second to the last row, and it just sounded terrible. At that point, Steven and I hadn't played together. We were just kind of getting to know each other, and we started to try to make each other laugh by pretending we were rock critics and making up all these fake band names and trying to keep a straight face. Like: 'Oh, do you remember that band the Canned Soup Orchestra? Uh, they were deadly, they were so good. Wasn't the drummer in that band the same guy from the Dog's Laundry? Was that the same guy?' 'Yeah, that's the guy. Nobody knows that.'
"It was all [b.s.] and the name Barenaked Ladies came up."
First Published October 16, 2013 8:00 PM