Where did the name “The Godzilla Attacks Tokyo Kamikaze Blues Band” come from? I’ll tell you. I wish I could say I came up with it, but the name came from a very short get together when I was in the 5th grade. That was a long time ago.
I had been playing guitar for about a year. My best friend Erik Pearson also played. In fact, Erik’s father hired a nice hippie girl from Lafayette College, where he was a professor, to teach us guitar. Her name was Zelda. Along with my older brother Kris, Erik and I sat on his living room floor in a circle and learned to play Beatles songs. It was clear very quickly that Erik had an amazing natural ability to play music. He is a successful professional musician to this day. So, that’s a little backstory.
My brother eventually quit guitar but Erik and I marched on. We kept trying to form bands with our local friends but, only knowing a few songs, we didn’t get far.
The next part of the story is a little fuzzy in my memory but I believe Erik met another kid our age on vacation who allegedly played the drums. Erik invited him to visit and stay for a few days so we could jam. He took up the offer and showed up with a sleeping bag and drum sticks but no drums.
We all slept at Erik’s house that night, talked a lot about bands, but I don’t believe we ever really played any music.
In the morning before our new drummer friend was picked up he said he had the perfect name for the band. We asked, well, what is it? He blurted our The Godzilla Attacks Tokyo Kamikaze Blues Band! Erik and I looked at each other and burst out laughing. Now, again, this was a long time ago. I believe the name has changed and evolved over the years in my mind, but that is the gist of this great band name. That nice kid got picked up by his mom and we never saw him again. To this day I have no idea what his name was. I’ll have to reach out to Erik to see if he recalls. UPDATE: I spoke with Erik and neither of us can remember his name, but we both have an image in our heads of what he looked like.
Since that time, in every band I’ve ever been in, when we start to talk about the band name, I blurt out that name. Laughs are had, sometimes a bit of background is shared and then we move on.
When COVID-19 hit and we all got stuck at home, I decided that I would write and record 10 original blues songs. And, most importantly, I would record them as the world famous Godzilla Attacks Tokyo Kamikaze Blues Band.
After about 6 months now, the pandemic raging on, I have written and recorded 28 songs. Mostly blues and early rock but also a handful of more straight up rock songs. I’ve released two albums with this material – Godzilla’s Got The Blues and Godzilla’s Gotta Rock. You can probably guess how I broke up the material. If the pandemic lasts much longer, I may have another album to add to this fine collection.
So now you know where the name came from. The band is just me, Mike Smull, guitarist, song writer and let’s face it, a struggling singer. I record my music on my 16” fully loaded MacBook Pro, one of my many kit guitars, a cheap condenser mic and GarageBand. I do have some musical training. More guitar lessons from teachers not named Zelda, and after high school I graduated from the Musicians Institute, Guitar Institute of Technology. That was a fantastic time in my life. However, I’ve probably forgotten more than I learned. These days I enjoy playing simple bluesy songs, simple guitar riffs and solos and really just playing the guitar. The music I write and record is really for me, but I hope that if you hear any of it, you enjoy it.
Thanks for reading a little bit about how this name and project was born.