How We Got Our Band Name

At the end of this week (Saturday) it will be Bree's 26th birthday. Sigh....Sure do miss that girl! And even though she is an absentee member of the band..... In honor of her birthday I thought I would tell you the story about how we got our name - you know - "Bongo and the Point." Yeah...THAT name. Now some of you have asked to hear this story so you'll have to bear with me, but for those that still want to know - read on.

It all started a few years back when we were doing rehearsals 3 mornings a week for our live performances of "The Selfish Giant". I'll tell you about that some other time, but if you're curious just follow the link. For more than 30 years Jim & Dee (aka Mom & Dad & now Grandma & Grandpa) had been known to the musical world as just that - "Jim & Dee". Since almost before the Ice Age it had been so...Just "Jim & Dee." And so we thought it would be forever. But then two of our three lovely daughters, Bree and her older sister, Elfin, started singing with us. We were excited about that. Those extra harmonies were Fun, Fun, Fun and it was nice to have younger and cuter faces to put in the middle and just a little out front. We knew it couldn't last forever. Kids have a way of 'getting on with their lives' eventually - but we were sure having a blast with it while it lasted. One day we were sitting around the table, just finishing up our rehearsal, when the girls mentioned that we needed a new group name. "Jim & Dee" just wouldn't do any longer - not now that there were, not only Jim and Dee, but Elfin & Bree as well. We told the girls THEY could pick the name - we just had to sign off on it and it had to be something we could secure a domain name for. So began a quest that lasted about three weeks. Lists of possible names grew longer and longer and one by one there were reasons why each one wouldn't work. We got it down to just a few, but each name idea had one dissenting vote and it had to be unanimous. We were, it seemed, at an impasse. Then, in a meeting where we intended to decide the name or die trying we were all sitting around spinning our mental wheels when Elfin said.

"You probably won't like this one. That's why I haven't mentioned it before, but what about 'Bongo and the Point?'" We all shouted "Yes!" (in unison....or maybe it was harmonies) because we all knew exactly what it meant. And so, in a moment, the name was settled. I see you scratching your head. I'm not exactly finished.

You see, years and years ago (not so many years ago actually) when the girls were little, before we moved to Texas, we were (how do you say) Bus Nuts. To try to survive as musicians in California we lived in a motor home (a converted school bus) for several years. Bree's first memories are of that bus and when she was very small, visiting Grandma & Grandpa, she would get homesick and cry "I WANT MY BUS!!!"

After we bought the bus and before we moved into it and out of our too expensive house in San Diego County, we taped just about every kid show and TV special we could find on our soon to be non-existent cable service. There were at least two things on every long play VHS tape and there were literally hundreds of tapes. We put all the videos along with our library of REAL books in a special storage unit/library and the girls would pick up new titles and return the ones they had been watching (and reading) every few weeks. There were MANY of those they dearly loved, but there was one special video tape that had two things, both very musical animations, on it. The first thing on the tape was about a circus bear named BONGO. It was a Disney short...well not so short really...about 20 minutes long. Bongo was a show biz, unicyle riding bear who longed to be free. One day he fell off the circus train as it rambled through wilderness and had to learn to live in the wild with the other bears. The other thing on the tape was a WAY OUT musical called "The Point". Written by Harry Nillson, it was a full length animated feature about a boy named Oblio, who was born with a round head into a world of people with pointed ones. To hide his lack of pointedness, he wore a pointy cap....and had a dog named "Arrow." The neatly printed label on the VHS tape (which was tape #32) said "Bongo & the Point." So that's the story of our name - It's a memory really, of the girls childhood, growing up mobile and home schooled with musical gypsy parents in Southern California.

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