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The band were previously called "The Bottlegarden" and featured all of the guys except for Eds.
The lads used to say they were previously in a band called "Vietnam" when interviewed by some mags...but this was complete bollocks!
Eds himself was in a number of bands in the past, including
There are a number of different reasons given for this by the band at various times. So here I'll list the ones I've heard:
In an interview with Ed for "In A Blue Vein" the band said "The Bluetones" was picked as it was "Just our thing, ambiguous, colour associated with music" and "all we were after was sort of a classic name".
In another interview, this time with Nathalie for "Driftwood", Eds said, "Adam had had a dream about the greatest band in the world, whose name was The Bluetones. When he woke up, he told the others and they adopted it."
This explanation is given again by Eds in an Australian interview: "It came to Adam in a dream. I think he’d been watching Bill and Ted’s Big, um, Excellent Adventure before he went to bed, you know, the Wild Stallions! He had a dream about the best band in the world and they were called The Bluetones, so the next day we called ourselves The Bluetones"
In yet another interview (Melody Maker '95) they mentioned that the name was chosen as it was an anagram of "The Subtle One". And in an interview with a Berlin paper the lads claimed that they used to be known as "The Subtle One" but changed the name to "The Bluetones" as they thought they were being a bit too pretentious.
Another idea came from Jamie (firstname.lastname@example.org):
From the Stone Roses web page: "On January 13th 1991, The Stone Roses book into Bluestone rehearsal studio in Pembrokeshire, South Wales" Bluestone re-arranged gives Bluetones. Or am I reading into this too deeply?! From listening to the Bluetones, there is a very strong Roses influence there....
Yet another comment came to me from Claire (email@example.com):
It's worth noting that the Stone Roses, a major influence, were on Silvertone Records. Also, Neil Young's backing band at one point were The Bluenotes. Neil Young was once in Buffalo Springfield - a band Mark cites as having a big effect on their music.