A collection of the crazy names used by the Butthole Surfers

The 1980s saw an explosion of alternative rock. With a host of acts emerging from the underground, artists began making music more individualistic than it had ever sounded before. In doing so, new bands left the door open for others – such as Nirvana and Ween – to take their blueprint and run off into the sunset with the rewards. Whether it be Hüsker Dü, Dinosaur Jr., Pixies or Meat Puppets, some of the most coveted groups in rock music history materialized during this decade of major change. While each remains eminent in their own right, none are as rambunctious as San Antonio’s Butthole Surfers.

Emerging from the hardcore scene of the 1980s, the band created a form of music that was as punishing as it was surreal, developing a cult fanbase in the process. Their music draws on a range of far-out genres and is augmented by frontman Gibby Haynes’ tempestuous form of vocal delivery and comedic lyrics.

Adding to the mystique of their early days, the Butthole Surfers became notorious for their borderline insane live show. At different points, concerts included everything from projections of auto accidents and sex-change operations to crude pyrotechnics and androgynous nude dancers, with one thing always guaranteed: Haynes would deliver a myriad of “gross-out” antics.

The band were so impactful that a young John Frusciante, the future guitarist of Red Hot Chili Peppers, once recalled: “I saw them live and had a similar experience to when I first saw Jane’s Addiction where I was scared”. Frusciante was particularly bowled over by the aptitude and ferocity of guitarist Paul Leary, and it was here that the young musician realized that he needed to conceive a unique sound in order to stand out. Explaining the significance of this formative moment, Frusciante added: “Before that, I was just lost.”

When the band honored their madcap style in the early days, it was clear that they needed a suitable name. They would eventually find what they were looking for, but not by any fault of their own, instead of pure chance, thanks to a forgetful announcer.

Haynes and the group did not start life as Butthole Surfers, but they did have an early song of the same name, which some commentators have named as a rudimentary version of 1984’s ‘Butthole Surfer’. Date specifics aside, during their first paid concert, the group finally acquired the name that was the final piece in the puzzle. The show’s announcer forgot the name they were using at the time, so he used the song title instead, and it stuck.

Before that happy accident, the Butthole Surfers had performed under a range of wild aliases, as Haynes revealed during a 1966 chat with Jim Jarmusch for huH. From The Right to Eat Fred Astaire’s Asshole to The Dick Clark Five, these names were more incomprehensible than the one they’d settle on.

Despite Butthole Surfers eventually becoming the perfect name, from the moment they adopted the words, it has provided challenges. Many venues, newspapers, radio and TV stations refuse to print or even mention it, preferring to use “BH Surfers” and other abbreviations. However, this has never phased the band themselves. When asked if he would go back and change the name to something more palatable, when speaking to rolling stones in 1996, Haynes responded: “I would name the band: I’m Going to Shit in Your Mother’s Vagina.”

Check out a list of the crazy names Butthole Surfers used below.

The crazy Butthole Surfers names:

  • The Dick Clark Five
  • Dick Gas Five
  • The Ashtray Babyheads
  • Nine cm Worm Makes Own Food
  • The Vodka Family Winstons
  • Ed Asner Is Gay
  • Fred Astaire’s Asshole
  • The Right to Eat Fred Astaire’s Asshole
  • The Inalienable Right to Eat Fred Astaire’s Asshole
  • Abe Lincoln’s Bush
  • zipgun

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