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The Origin of "Mickey Torpedo"


Like Jethro Tull and Lynyrd Skynyrd - or hey... even Tommy Bahama - Mickey Torpedo was not a real person.

So, where did the name come from?

From here. Yes... the August, 1978 issue of National Lampoon.

Hard to imagine, but there was a time when National Lampoon was - like Saturday Night Live - a counter-cultural attitude, rather than a 'brand'.

The content was driven by some of my favorite wise-asses like P.J. O'Rourke, John Hughes, and Gahan Wilson, so I read it regularly.

One day, in August or September of 1978, I was sitting in my room with a couple of my Starfire bandmates. I have a vivid memory of guitarist Mike Flavin being there, and the laws of probability suggest that the third person was our drummer, Russ Randall, because, well...he was always there! That said, I could be wrong about both...

Anyway... I was flipping through the magazine, sharing some of the articles and jokes.

At the back of the magazine, in the humor section (it strikes me as incredibly odd that a humor magazine had a humor section in the back, but let's continue) was a parody called, "National Lampoon Condensed Books Presents The Book of Lots More Lists".

This parody mocked the massive sales of a 1977 book titled, "The Book of Lists". Lampoon said that their "The Book of Lots More Lists" would be a 'further collection of lists of things listed by people who like to list things and presented for the enjoyment of people who like to see things listed'.

If you don't find that immediately funny, well... we did.

We read the lists of "The Four Most Difficult Pets to Housebreak" (#3 - a chocolate bunny rabbit), "Ten Inventions Denied a Patent" (#8 - Chirpstick - lip balm for birds), and "Ten Occupations Not Covered by Workman's Compensation" (#1 - curse remover), laughing all the while.

Near the end of the feature, we found this list.

I read the list aloud to the guys, giggling until we reached #5, "Mickey Torpedo". At that point, we stopped laughing and one of us - I don't remember which one - said, "That would be a great name for a band".

And two years later, it became the name of our next band.

Ladies & Gentlemen, "Mickey Torpedo"

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