Before James became known as James in 1982, they had a number of what can only be described as “interesting” names.
Venereal and The Diseases
Quite what the obsession with the sexually transmitted ailment was is not clear, but this was the name under which Paul and Jim played their first gig together at Eccles British Legion. The name lasted one gig.
Keeping the initials VD and with Gavan now on board, this name change was probably more to do with the quest for gigs and the problems the old name might cause. Or maybe it was Paul’s insistence on regular changes to the name.
Model Team International
Paul’s girlfriend worked for a model agency in Manchester called Model Team International and they had t-shirts which the band took and named the band after. A swift change ensued when the manager of the agency threatened legal action. At this point, Tim had joined the band as dancer / backing vocalist.
A shortening of the name to appease the model agency boss. Didn’t last long as the band felt the name didn’t have the same ring to it .. and they couldn’t get free t-shirts anymore.
Only in use for a short period of time as Paul decided the band needed a single simple name and quite frankly, it’s not a very good name is it?.
There are various stories about the James name:
- Paul decided the band needed a simple name and decided it should be named after one of the band. Out of modesty and not wanting to make it sound like it has his band, Tim declined to use his name. Paul didn’t want to use his name. Gavan sounded like a heavy metal band. So James it was, after Jim
- Tim had a passion for the writings of James Joyce and insisted on James as a tribute to the writer.
- Jim : “It was named after me because I was the most talented and good-looking” (Come Home video 1990)
- Paul was obsessed with Orange Juice, who had taken the fledgling Model Team International out on tour with them, and in particular guitarist James Kirk and the band was named after him. The band reasserted this was the reason for the name during TV promotion for the Girl At The End Of The World tour.
The official biography suggests that the reason was somewhere between explanations 1 and 4.