Over the past week soccer player Gabriel Zakuani named his son Trendy and actor Dylan Walsh welcomed a daughter called Amelie Belle. Both were newsworthy. Trendy has already grabbed a few headlines, and seems likely to appear on year-end lists of the wackiest baby names of 2011, while the French Amelie has met with applause.
November also marks the nationwide opening of rockumentary The Other F Word, a tale of punk rock parenting told from the perspectives of the dads. All of the fathers started out as young and rebellious. A few of them, including former Pennywise frontman and movie developer Jim Lindberg decline to share their kids’ names, but most do reveal what an anarchist names his baby.
For the most part, the names are stylish but far from outlandish – more Amelie than Trendy. None of them are as outrageous as, say, Frank Zappa’s Moon Unit and Dweezil. Some of the names might feel almost ordinary by today’s standards, but half of these kids are in their teens and twenties, putting them ahead of the curve.
Nine of the most intriguing picks from the flick are:
Darla – NOFX frontman Fat Mike gave his only child this spunky, retro Little Rascals name. Darla was also a villainous vampire on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Today the name feels gently antique – and not so different than popular choices like Clara and Ruby.
Nico – One rocker gave the name to a boy, brother to Mia and Dario. Another has a daughter called Nico Moon Celeste. Nico is catching on for boys, a few hundred spots behind Leo, but comfortably ahead of Arlo. The name was also worn by 1960s German chanteuse Nico, a friend of Andy Warhol, known for her work with The Velvet Underground. Her legacy makes the name an option for girls, too.
Chess and Chessa – Skateboarder turned U.S. Bombs singer Duane Peters named his son Chelsea, but called him Chess. Another dad from the documentary is Joe Sib, father to Chessa. It could be a short form of the lovely Francesca, or maybe it is her creative parents’ invention.
Clash – Duane Peters is also dad to a much younger son named Clash. It must be a nod to British punk band The Clash and their legendary frontman Joe Strummer. The equally musical and rebellious Cash has gone mainstream for boys in recent years, but Clash still feels awfully antagonistic.
Margaret – From the extreme to the impeccably classic, Devo co-founder Mark Mothersbaugh has a daughter called Margaret, and another named Hope. Mothersbaugh also has a segment on Yo Gabba Gabba, proof that not only do rockers grow up, they can sometimes channel their creativity in ways that appeal to all ages. A similar, but slightly edgier sibset is Blythe and Scarlet, daughters of Tim McIlrath of Rise Against.
Kenter – Did Rick Thorne and his wife pick this name from the German automobile? Or from the canyon outside of L.A.? Either way, Kenter could be one of those names that a few future parents hear in the film and embrace. He’s surprising enough to be a punk rock pick, but wouldn’t be out of place on a suburban schoolyard.
Soren – He’s a Scandinavian heritage choice with a philosophical edge. Soren was also a heroic owlet in Kathryn Lasky’s Guardians of Ga’Hoole series, adapted for the big screen in 2010. He ranked #728 in theUS last year.
Annabella – Everclear’s Art Alexakis named his daughter Annabella Rose more than twenty years ago. Today her sound is lacy and ladylike – somewhere between #1 favorite Isabella and Ivanka Trump’s Arabella. But twenty years ago, Annabella would have been rare, and probably felt almost Goth. Alexakis is also dad to a much younger daughter named Arizona.
Sunny – As upbeat and optimistic a name can get, the almost hippy-chic nature name is worn by the younger daughter of the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea. Flea and wife Frankie Rayder gave Sunny the jazzy middle name Bebop.