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What's up people? Since school started I've been lurking an awful lot! I hope this message finds everybody in good spirits.
Mark from db.etree emailed me a great question the other day but I told him I was the wrong guru to ask (even though I did give him my two cents worth!) I told him of this awesome sight where he could get more insight than you could shake a stick at, which was operated by this really cool dude named Clay. Mark said he had been in touch with Clay once before to nail down the date of the name change but now he has a new issue. He gave me permission to post his message:
Db.etree.org allows people to keep track of their music collections, and it's a database, so of course it's organized in a way that hopefully makes sense to people: by artist name, and then by the date of a performance.
Getting the artist name correct is rather important. For example, John Mellencamp started out as John Cougar (1976-1982), then became John Cougar Mellencamp (1982-1990), and finally John Mellencamp. Sticking a 1979 performance under John Mellencamp is just wrong (unless everyone agrees to just use John Mellencamp for everything). The result is a lot of duplicates, and a harder time finding the right entry for people's lists, and a harder time linking SHN/FLAC filesets to performances, b/c performances are misfiled. So we try to do cleanup for popular artists.
Mofro is sort of the same situation, since the band's touring name officially changed to JJ Grey & Mofro in early 2007. I'm trying to get all of the scattered Mofro material in order, so we have two choices: 1) change "Mofro" to "JJ Grey & Mofro" and merge it all together, disallowing any entries under just "Mofro" or 2) move all Mofro entries after early 2007 to JJ Grey, and vice versa, and then keep it tidy. Either way, there's potential for confusion.
I was surprised how much material from 2007 to 2009 was entered under Mofro instead of JJ Grey & Mofro. It takes a while for the new name to catch on, but it looks like people have a strong preference for just "Mofro" even today. What's the reason for that? Is it just inertia? Or something else. What do you think Mofro fans would want to do?
What do ya'll think?
---------- "This is tonight's version of this song"
Good to see you notfadeaway! Yup, I got an email from Mark not long ago and gave him some info. A big thanks to him for volunteering his time to organizing DB.etree.
The name change was the topic of much discussion when it happened (this site didn't exist then.) There were those who had issues with it--for whatever their reasons were--and those that considered it no big deal. I'll not get into all that here (it's well enuf documented) because I don't know if it's relevant to your question.
All I can offer is my opinions, and I'm sure others will vary. I think that for anyone who followed/listened to the band previous to the change will always deep down call it Mofro. It's obviously no disrespect aimed at JJ, it's...I think Mark summed it up well when he asked if it's inertia. I think in large part it is. And I think there are sentimental and emotional issues that come into play too. If you were first touched in some way back in the early days then perhaps the band will always be Mofro to you.
Some of it I think it subconscious laziness, if you will. I know for me it's just easier/quicker to say Mofro than it is to say JJ Grey & Mofro.
At shows, when JJ introduces the players, he most always ends with "...I'm JJ Grey and we are Mofro..." He has told me that the "Mofro" will ALWAYS be an integral part of the name and nothing, no way would he'd ever change that.
On the flip side though, there is some sensitivity to the name JJ Grey & Mofro. His public relations people, management, booking agent and record label are all very cognizant of it. It is THE name of the band, and everything from stickers to interviews are seen that way. The url of this site--mofrofans.com--was selected by me due to brevity (jjgreyandmofrofans.com is looonnnng; no ampersand allowed in urls). But you'll not the site is "JJ Grey & Mofro Fansite" and that is what it always has been titled and always will be.
Once again, my opinion, but I think people use the names interchangably not unlike saying Panic, or the Stones, Allman Brothers (not The Allman Brothers Band), and if you want to go back to my day Bob Seger (how often did you hear someone refer to them as Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band?) Or even Jimmy Buffet. If you're going to see Buffet you say I'm going to see Jimmy Buffet, not I'm going to see Jimmy Buffet and the Coral Reefer Band.
Shit, I could go on but at some point we'd have to have an intermission and popcorn break so I'll let the next person in line jump in.
If you'll let Mark know that it is an excellent question and I see his point for purposes of trying to clean things up at etree and for asking. (I think this will end up being a popular thread too!)
Actually milehigh I had always thought the same thing but JJ had already made the decision to change it before Alligator. He told me that himself. He also told me that it didn't have anything to do with licensing cause he owns the rights to the songs one way or another. There are a couple of items in print that explain his motivations further. I'll go back and dig up a couple of old threads on the subject that has a more full explanation from him, and links to the explanations.
I only mentioned the mgt and PR folks etc. just to try and give notfadeaway some perspective to give to Mark. Ultimately the question posed from Mark in the first thread is: "What do you think Mofro fans would want to do?" as it relates to etree.
I compiled the info from 3 sources below; one is from an article that came out in 08; another is a quote that DT but up on the board of JJ explaining the change during a concert in Oct 08 and lastly is what he told me in Sept of 08.
When his Grandfather died, his grandma had a talk with him and JJ about how JJ's songs are about her, his grandpa, his life, his friend, Trey, who lost the battle with Oxycontin. She turned to JJ and asked why the band was called Mofro since the songs were all about JJ. Sounds like the simple question of "are you embarrassed to put your name on your music?" is what hit JJ hard.
"I was always shy about putting my own name on my music. I knew that other people went by their own names with their own music but for whatever goofy reason I was too nervous to do it. All of the songs have been about personal experiences at some level in my life some good and some bad. A couple of the songs are about someone very dear to me who thought I was too embarrassed to have my own name associated with the songs I wrote about them. In the end it made me realize that my music is too damn personal to have a name I made up (Mofro) as the inspiration behind it."
JJ said it did not have to do with song ownership, copyrights or anything like that. He said said he owns the Mofro name. He said that the official line (what DT posted) is absolutely fact.
He went on to add a few more things. As the band has gone on to become more known, his family felt his name should be a part of it. I do hope I'm paraphrasing JJ correctly there, because that's not exactly what he said, but it's the sentiment.
He said that since so many of his songs are about his family life, and members of his family, and the life experiences of his family, that his family wondered why his name wasn't part of the band's name. He said one of the reasons why he did it was because of his Granny. That as she has aged he felt like she wanted that too--especially since many songs involve her and his late Granddaddy, or stories they would tell, etc. And he wanted it as something of an honor toward her.
He said that he finished playing a solo acoustic set a couple years back--I can't remember the details but it was something where leaders of bands did their own work--and someone came up to him and said "...hey when are you going to cut a solo record of your own...?"
JJ was like, man these ARE MY songs. These are the stories of my life, I wrote all these songs, about people and places and things that I know.
He said he felt it to be more real. He said that doesn't mean necessarily making everyone in his family happy, it just means real. He cited "Higher You Climb" as a song that some people in his family "...are not going to be very happy about. But they're real things happening to real people and I'm just telling the stories."
Even though many of us out there "grew up" on Mofro and then the name change came along, yeah it will still be Mofro to some. But in reality, JJ Grey & Mofro is now the name and I would think that is how they should be identified.
Thanks for the stories Clay!! ---------- "If you've never seen us before, don't be bashful - sing along from start to finish........and dance & feel good.....there's enough shit in the world, let it all out...........Brighter Daaaaays...."
I don't really see it as an name change but rather as an add-on. don't think it to be a big deal, not as dramatic as prince with his 'the artist called whatever' or 'puff pimp daddy' ---------- "Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." -Nietzsche
Since, db.etree's first email stated that they were thinking of merging all early 2007 shows to the present to JJ Grey & Mofro, this leaves me to believe that all pre-2007 shows would still be under Mofro.
They ought to just merge them ALL to JJ Grey & Mofro. To me Mofro and JJ Grey & Mofro are synonymous, even pre-2007 shows.
Why do people still overwhelmingly use just Mofro? Because that's what they've always been. Is it inertia? Yea, but from the band, particularly JJ (and Daryl since he's been there all along too.) To me, it's the same kick-ass-funk band I remember seeing back in '02 at Jake's Roadhouse in Decatur, GA . . . with ? ? was it Fabrice? Craig? Nathan? or all of them? I know is wasn't George or Adam. Or Anthony, AC, Trube, Dennis, or Art. I do remember JJ and Daryl however. So yea, the band members have changed, but the music is still the same. So to me, that's inertia.
Merge them all.
PS Thanks for those Papa Mali updates swkelley. The last two shows are incredible! Love 'em!!
---------- "This is tonight's version of this song"
I think you summed it up wonderfully notfadeaway, as did all of above. I'd vote for telling Mark to make them all JJ Grey & Mofro. I agree that it's interchangable amongst fans of the band. I don't wanna speak for JJ, but I don't think he'd see it any different.
Last Edited by on Nov 17, 2009 7:43 PM
notfadeaway......saw many a good shows at the Roadhouse (and also after the name was changed to Toadhouse....do you happen to know why?).....Smith's Olde Bar and the Georgia Theatre.....great times......even when I got kicked out of Smiths for using the women's bathroom.....long story. I only saw the band with Nathan once...after that (all the shows I saw in Georgia until Adam and George joined...actually saw the first two shows Adam played) Fabgrease on bass, Mike Shapiro on keys, Craig Barnette on drums and of course JJ and Daryl.
So well, I've been out of touch for a while, and from what I make of all of this - - - I have this to say: (which is worth next to nothing) - we have a good friend here in Greenvul who is a HUGE fan - says "MOFRO is his favorite band ever", even tho he's not on this board (far as I know) and he and his lovely new wife are going to Suwannee next spring - and I asked him "is JJ going to be there?" - - - - so I think it is just simply interchangable. We all, they all, know what we're talkin about - what's it matter? or, as my father in law says - "what's in a name?"
so what's this stuff about about Daryl out on his own????? It's just too much for me to absorb this late at night......
"We all, they all, know what we're talkin about - what's it matter?"
Well put KG, well put.
Yes KG you read that correctly: Daryl's got him a side band. He is NOT leaving Mofro. It's a 3 pc band with AC as his drummer and a kick ass bass player from Jax named Shane. Daryl has written the songs, sings main vocals, and stands!
I AM ALIVE. Sorry I've been gone so long - work is killing me. Any ideas how I can make a living without the killing would be great.....
I changed all my stuff on the iPod to "Mofro". That's how they started out, that's how I found out about them, and that's how I still refer to them. It seems silly to say "JJ Grey & Mofro" anyway because to me that would be like saying "Me, Myself, and some other guys". It would be like saying "Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5", though Michael was also one of the Five. It could also be like saying "Swamp Cracka and all the crazy Alabama football fans at the Dome on Saturday", even though you know I'm crazy too.
holy crap DT, that is one BIG picture!! don't get me wrong, I love to see the actual fibers of his shirt and his cuticles :o)
---------- "If you've never seen us before, don't be bashful - sing along from start to finish........and dance & feel good.....there's enough shit in the world, let it all out...........Brighter Daaaaays...."