Those of you who have downloaded my solo EP (you haven't? It's rather good and available here), or hit like on my solo facebook page may have noticed that I'm now working under 'Pistol Pete Wearn' for my solo material. I've been thinking for a while that plain old 'Pete Wearn' is not as memorable as it could be and toying with what I could do to make it less forgettable, without getting into the obviously fake and cheesy (Alvin Stardust, Engelbert Humperdink et al...).
Initialising my name was my first thought, after all it worked for P.T. Barnum, and when (Australian blues artist) Chris Stoneking decided to start going by C.W. Stoneking instead it gave him a definite helping hand in the old-time-blues authenticity stakes. Alas, that would have involved making up a middle name, and even then 'P.D. Wearn' sounds like a detective writer rather than a blues performer.
A lot of the acts I admire currently working seem to go for the all out ridiculous in terms of their names, and it often works. Honkyfinger, Son of Dave & Bob Log III all have very memorable names to go with their rather good performances, but I suppose I'm not really too at home with that level of artifice, and as little good will as I may have as a result of my years in .44 Pistol and as a regular on the local scene, my wife cautioned me against making myself unrecognisable to those who had already begun to follow my activities.
So I was thinking about how just adding a word in front of your real name works pretty well, about how Mississippi Fred McDowell, Blind Willie Johnson, or even (Leeds based folksinger) Serious Sam Barrett had managed to come up with awesome stage names with that trick, when I walked into my local pub, and found myself being introduced to a friend of a friend. " Oh, is this Pete the bass?" she asked, alluding to some previous conversation, "no this is Pistol Pete", came the response, and there it was. Not too silly, but memorable, and I can even keep using all the gun graphics I've come up with over the years....