NEW ORLEANS — Jerry Nichols, the enthusiastic and supportive father of drummer Chris Nichols, is incessantly emailing his son band name suggestions as they come to him, the younger Nichols confirmed after the 27th borderline-incoherent email from his father.
“The most recent email had no subject line and only said ‘Great Barrier Riff,’” said Chris, who silenced his phone notifications. “Yesterday, he texted me at 5:30 a.m. and asked, ‘Get it? Like a guitar riff?’ I love my dad, but I think I’m going to lie and say the band broke up.”
The drummer casually mentioned his as-of-yet unnamed band to his father several weeks ago, completely unaware that his excitable dad would take it upon himself to “help” with a relentless torrent of terrible band names.
“Sometimes it’s puns like ‘The Treble with Angels.’ Other times, it’s weird word combinations, like ‘Malicious Phoenix.’ One morning, he sent me ‘Engine,’ ‘Traffic Jam,’ and ‘Excel…’ which he clearly sent at the end of his workday,” said Chris. “I shut my phone off when he sent me the name ‘Sexy Moms’ later that night.”
Although the drummer was already mortified by his father’s “overwhelming” love and pride, his embarrassment peaked when Jerry began pestering his new bandmates.
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“Chris’s dad friended me on Facebook,” said guitarist Maria Lopez. “He means well. Yesterday, he sent me a link for an upcoming sale at Musician’s Friend, and then later, a YouTube video of the song ‘China Grove’ with the comment, ‘You should write something like this!’ I suppose that’s helpful.”
Now worried his dad may jeopardize the future of his burgeoning band, a desperate Chris resorted to what he described as a “morally ambiguous” tactic for diverting his father’s attention.
“I’m not proud of this, but I told my dad about my sister’s podcast,” the conflicted drummer said. “I hate that I threw her under the bus, but I needed to get a little breathing room if this band is ever going to work.”
At press time, the elder Nichols was asking his daughter what channel her show is on and if he can “call-in live” to her podcast.
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Article by Patrick Coyne.