Samui Wining & Dining
Chocolate, Cream and Honey
There’ve been dozens of bands and singers with culinary names,
but it’s not always been about food!


Chocolate, Cream and HoneyWhy would a band name itself after a food? It doesn’t seem to make sense. Jam, marmalade, chilies? What’s that all about? Laziness, lack of creativity or just simplicity, it’s hard to tell – until you dig around a little. So here’s a peak at 20 famous groups and artistes that on the face of it have a connection to the culinary world.


Bananarama is a British female group that enjoyed their most successful period in the 1980s. They’re listed in the Guinness World Records book as the female group having the most chart entries. Best known for the song ‘Venus’, their name is a mixture of their favourite TV show The Banana Splits and the Roxy Music song ‘Pyjamarama’.


The Black Eyed Peas is an American hip-hop group formed in Los Angeles in 1995. They’ve had five UK number one singles and individual members, such as Fergie and, have also enjoyed considerable solo success. They chose the name because it’s said that black-eyed peas are food for the soul, just like their music. Not pretentious at all then!


Blue Öyster Cult is an American rock band, most of whose members first came together in New York in 1967 as the band Soft White Underbelly. The name Blue Öyster Cult came from a 1960s poem written by their manager Sandy Pearlman. His ‘Blue Oyster Cult’ was a group of aliens who had assembled to secretly guide Earth’s history. The band’s hit single ‘(Don’t Fear) The Reaper’ has become a classic of the genre.


Bread was another rock band from Los Angeles. They placed 13 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart between 1970 and 1977 and were a primary example of what later was labelled ‘soft rock’. It’s said that the band was at lunch one day trying to decide on a name when they saw a bread truck drive by, they all looked at each other at once, and that became their name. 

The Cranberries were an Irish rock band formed in Limerick in 1989 under the name The Cranberry Saw Us, a joke, apparently, on ‘cranberry sauce’ (try saying it with an Irish accent). Lead vocalist Dolores O’Riordan later shortened the name as she didn’t like it. ‘Linger’ (1993) and ‘Zombie’ (1994) were their biggest hits.


Cream was a 1960s British rock supergroup consisting of bassist/vocalist Jack Bruce, guitarist/vocalist Eric Clapton and drummer Ginger Baker. Their sound was characterised by a hybrid of blues rock, hard rock and psychedelic rock. The band was named Cream as Clapton, Bruce and Baker were considered (by themselves?) the ‘cream of the crop’ amongst blues and jazz musicians in the exploding British music scene.


The Honeydrippers was a rock band of the 1980s. Former Led Zeppelin lead singer Robert Plant formed the group in 1981 to satisfy his long-time goal of having a rock band with a heavy R&B basis. The group took its name from blues pianist Roosevelt Sykes’ nickname ‘The Honeydripper’ for his way with women. Please, don’t ask.


Hot Chocolate was a British pop band popular during the 1970s and 1980s formed by Errol Brown. The act had at least one hit every year between 1970 and 1984 and their song ‘You Sexy Thing’ made the Top 10 in three different decades. They were originally named The Hot Chocolate Band by Mavis Smith who worked for the Apple Corps press office. This was quickly shortened to Hot Chocolate by their manager and producer, Mickie Most. All of the members were of Afro-Caribbean descent. I suspect they wouldn’t be given that name today.


Humble Pie was a rock band from England formed in 1968 that found success both in the UK and the US. The original band line-up featured Steve Marriott from Small Faces and vocalist and guitarist Peter Frampton from The Herd. They chose the name Humble Pie because they didn’t want the press to call them a supergroup – which they didn’t.


The Lemonheads were an American alternative rock band formed in 1983 by Evan Dando. Their cover version of Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘Mrs Robinson’ was their most successful single. The band was originally called The Whelps until inspiration came from a brand of candy, which Dando noted was “sweet on the inside and sour on the outside, just like us.” Oh dear.


Marmalade was a successful Scottish pop rock group from the east end of Glasgow, originally formed in 1961 as The Gaylords. In 1966 they changed the group name to Marmalade, their manager’s idea, and they are best remembered for their 1968 number one song ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’ written by Lennon and McCartney. It was also their manager’s idea to have the Robertson’s jam ‘Golly’ trademark on the bass drum. Once again, times have changed and that wouldn’t happen now. I wonder what would have been on the drum if they hadn’t changed their name.


Meat Loaf was born Marvin Lee Aday in 1947. He’s noted for his Bat Out of Hell album trilogy, the first album in it has sold more than 43 million copies. He has told many stories to explain his name but the most widespread is when his coach at school yelled at him, “Get off my football team you hunk of meatloaf!” However, according to his autobiography, ‘To Hell and Back’, all the stories are true, but his father was the first to call him Meat Loaf.


Neneh Cherry is a Swedish singer-songwriter and rapper of mixed Black African-European descent. She was born Neneh Mariann Karlsson in 1964 however her jazz musician step-father Don Cherry helped raise her from birth and she took his surname. Her single ‘Buffalo Stance’ was an international hit in 1988 and 1989.


Peaches & Herb is an American vocalist duo that once comprised Herb Fame and Francine ‘Peaches’ Hurd Barker. She got the childhood nickname because of her genteel manner. Since its formation in 1966, six different women have filled the role of ‘Peaches’. The song ‘Reunited’ was a number one hit in 1978 in the US and a number four in the UK.


Pearl Jam is an American rock band from Seattle formed in 1990. They’ve sold over 30 million records in the US alone. In a 2006, a Rolling Stone magazine cover story they explained that one of them had come up with the name Pearl for the band. After attending a concert by Neil Young, in which he extended his songs as improvisations of 15-20 minutes in length, a practice known as jamming, they settled on the name Pearl Jam.


Red Hot Chili Peppers is an American rock band that formed in Los Angeles in 1983. They originally formed as Tony Flow and the Miraculously Majestic Masters of Mayhem and did what was supposed to be a one-time gig at the Rhythm Lounge. However, due to their lively performance, they were asked to return. Upon receiving news of this success they changed their name to the Red Hot Chili Peppers.


Salt-N-Pepa was an American hip-hop trio from Queens, New York, that was formed in 1985. Originally calling themselves Super Nature, their name change came from a line in their first modest hit ‘The Showstopper’ where they referred to themselves in rap as Salt-N-Pepa. I don’t really understand it either.


The Smashing Pumpkins is an American band that formed in Chicago, Illinois in 1988. Their discography includes eight studio albums, four live albums, one digital live album series, seven compilation albums, five extended plays, 41 singles, four video albums, 23 music videos and contributions to five soundtrack albums. Their name comes from one of the band who said that when he was younger he heard a friend say during Halloween that he was going out and would be ‘smashing pumpkins’ (breaking them). He liked the name and used it later when he formed a band. After they became famous however they realised that their fans were bringing pumpkins to the shows and were literally smashing them everywhere. They then decided to add ‘The’ to the band’s name so that ‘smashing’ would read like the English adjective as they had intended it to be.


Strawberry Switchblade was a female pop rock band formed in Scotland in 1981 by Jill Bryson and Rose McDowall. They’re best known for their song ‘Since Yesterday’ from 1985. Strawberry Switchblade took their name from a short-lived music fanzine in Glasgow in the late 1970s.


Sugar Ray was a group of five musicians from California. They came up with a name that suited their joint interest in boxing and named the band after Sugar Ray Leonard. The band gained fame in 1998 with the hit single ‘Every Morning’. Their debut album was called ‘Lemonade and Brownies’ though it failed to produce a major hit.


So there’s a little insight for all you music fans and quiz buffs out there. Now you can bore all your friends with your new-found culinary music knowledge. Mmm, there must be songs related to food, I wonder …


Johnny Paterson

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