SIDE STORY: Name Games
Coming up with a band name was a bit harder. Thought about Lorry Doll and the something or others, but my ego wouldn’t let that fly and again, should we fall flat on our faces didn’t want her name so blatantly associated with it. We knew we wanted something that sounded hard, almost guttural, lots of consonants. Something German. Sort of like Blitzkrieg, but maybe a little less obvious. More than a decade later, a bunch of speed metal and hardcore bands would come up with the types of names we were looking for, but at the time we knew we couldn’t go too far over the edge – this was 1970s Boston, after all. Something with a possible drug reference wouldn’t be bad. Well, you know where this is going. Tracks had a lot of different meanings and connotations: music tracks, drug tracks, traveling tracks, track down, wrong side of the tracks, tracks of my tears, and so on. It seemed to fit the bill. Incidentally, it’s Tracks, not THE Tracks as it has been written far too many times (ya know, like Pink Floyd, Rush, Spinal Tap?). Richard Nolan liked the connection to his own Third Rail. We hadn’t considered that.
In the past I’ve always declined to explain or identify song lyrics and such believing they should be interpreted by the observer as anything you might want them to be. I’ve always had an inclination to play with the multiple meanings and ambiguity of language to a point where I’ve followed the lead of traditional blues in coming up with lyrics that can sound innocent or even inane, but if followed are really saying something very different beneath the surface. So what is “Brakes On You” really about? It’s up to the listener to read it on any level they want, and I’m still not telling. But, what I will tell you is how we came up with our band and individual names. So our manager, Richard Nolan, was about to book us at the Rat and we needed to call ourselves something. I remember sitting with Lorry outside the church rehearsal hall, sharing a few beers on the back steps and trying to come up with something. Our stage names had been easy. We figured not only were our given names far too ethnic and boring for punk rock, but should we really embarrass ourselves we could pin the blame on a couple of other characters. For me it was just splitting my first name in two to Jeff Rey (I thought it had kind of that Link Wray, guitar slinger sound to it). Lorry, though born Lorraine, had been called Lorry by family and friends since she could remember. The Doll part came from Pat O’Neil who would became Tracks’ third drummer in 1978, but who Lorry had met while hanging out in Harvard Square when she first moved to Boston. Two of Lorry’s girlfriends from New York used to visit her and eventually moved north, too. Pat used to call them collectively the New York Dolls and individually Susie Doll, Frannie Doll and … Lorry Doll (what could be cooler that that?).
jeff rey's
became Jeff Rey and New York Doll Lorraine became
Lorry Doll in the summer of 1976 ... their band became TRACKS
Photos - Frank Gerace