What's In a Name?

It’s a fair and obvious question we get often- what the hell is a Lickpenny Loafer?? I suppose even some of our most loyal fans are in the dark. That’s ok- what is in a name anyway? Maybe some put more stock into such a thing than is necessary but for what it is worth there is a small backstory. It’s nothing elaborate but there are a couple of small things that did serve to inspire the name.   So here goes.

A Lickpenny Loafer is essentially a money-driven lazy bum.

I grew up hooked on O. Henry. Not the candy bar (although it aint too bad), but the writer. O. Henry was a pen name – William Sydney Porter is his real name. I thought he wrote the most wonderful short stories (still love them) and was enamoured with his writing style and technique. One of things he wrote really well was irony. He wove it in and out of his stories the way a magician pulls elephants out his hat. But perhaps not so offensively.

One of the stories I really liked (and still do) is one called “A Lickpenny Lover”. I won’t bore you (or ruin it for you if you ever come across it) with the plot but it is another one of his best, loaded with the usual charm. I love the characters in it as is often the case with his stories. I really like how he describes the fairly brief moments in time that is their interaction.

O. Henry matured as a writer while living in New York City. Many of his stories were published in something called the New York Sunday Magazine (I think). I remember reading something about him having to submit a new one weekly for which he was paid reasonably. While he may not have been as poor as Edgar Allen Poe, he was at least partially as susceptible to the bottle. So he mostly drank away his compensation. But perhaps more interestingly, while indulging himself at New York’s various watering holes, he would observe and sometimes meet many interesting characters. This is how O. Henry got many of the ideas for his stories. After all, these were the people of the city. Of his city.

So whether he was writing about the sincere stranger and the naive department store girl, or the desperate drifter, or two old friends who’d taken very different paths, or of course the two young lovers who knew the meaning without realizing it, he had created very ‘real’ people, inspired by actual people he had seen and observed, and maybe even like people you and I might have come across and yet not been aware of. That’s the thing- O. Henry knew that EVERYONE had a story.

So I guess that covers the first part. What about loafer? A loafer is a lazy bum.

Choosing to attempt some kind of music career, in whatever capacity, is fairly a long and rocky path. You can’t be lazy. Like any venture into art, you have to constantly try and find motivation and inspiration and stick to what you think you want to say. You can’t be motivated by money, because frankly, there really isn’t much to go around. If somewhere along the way, you can get back a little bit for your hard work, then great. But if its your main motivation, then it yields a short career filled with disappointment.

So a Lickpenny Loafer is a money-driven lazy bum. The name of this band is a constant reminder to us of why we’re truly in this and what it takes to keep going. Hey… a little irony never hurt :)

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