Punk band “Elway” says it’s being squeezed by its namesake


As we approach the launch of Memorial Day weekend and in turn a potential wasteland of NFL news, it’s time to start getting information from unlikely sources.

Like the punk rock equivalent of PFT.

In Colorado, an obscure punk band that has named itself “Elway” apparently has landed on the radar screen of Hall of Fame quarterback and Broncos V.P. of football operations John Elway.  The band Elway claims that the quarterback Elway has, via a lawyer, asked the band to change its name.

“Last Thursday we got an email from a lawyer who represents Mr. Elway in his various legal and business excursions,” the band said in a statement provided to PunkNews.org.  “The letter basically said that John had become aware of our little punk rock band and, though we make no reference to him in our songs or artwork, he saw fit to dispatch his legal team to demand that we (again) change our band name.  It is important to note that this letter is not a cease and desist and does not imply that we are being sued, it reads more like a flexing maneuver mired in legalese.  Of course, any Coloradoan worth their salt might point out the absurdity of Mr. Elway’s insistence on legally strongarming a virtually unknown punk band rather than focusing his attention on mending the badly broken Denver Broncos, but that’s a whole different issue.”

Elway the band plans to hold firm against Elway the man.  “We love the name, regardless of what connotations are inferred by the listener,” the band said.  “Surely, if the Dead Kennedys could become one of punk’s most popular bands without incurring litigation, Elway can keep their moniker and continue making so-so music for our dozens of fans to enjoy.”

It does seem a little heavy-handed to step on the throats of a struggling punk band, but if they become the next Sex Pistols or something, it would possibly be too late for Elway to make his views known about Elway.

That said, the name really isn’t all that compelling or creative, especially since one of their songs is called, Patrick’s Scarf is So Douche.  Besides, we doubt that many football fans fall within the group’s core demographic.  But they’re getting some decent exposure because of the emerging flap, due in part to the fact that not much else is going on.

Indeed, it’s going to become so slow soon that maybe Rosenthal, MDS, Silva, and I will start an acapella rap group.

Maybe we’ll call it Favray’s Junk.

63 responses to “Punk band “Elway” says it’s being squeezed by its namesake

  1. I think the “Elways” will be a great warm up hand, I mean band for “Favray’s Junk”.

  2. Denver Broncos fans can rejoice at the fact that Elway is sitting in his office google-ing his own name & sending naming rights letters all of the small businesses and bands which contain part of his name. Looks like another long year for the ponies.

  3. He should have had the copyright on the name then he could have everybody and everything with that name change it. What a pompous ass!!! I did enjoy the “dozens of our fans” quip though. FMF.

  4. Ok fine, I get the ire of Elway..they are using just his last name straight maybe implying he is related to it in some way. They just need to add another word. How about they change it to “Elway’s di*k”? Think that will help? 😀

  5. Sorry kids, Mr. Elway is a very, very important man not want his good name tarnished by your stupid little punk band.

  6. A “little” heavy-handed? Their Dead Kennedys comparison was quite apt, and points out how absurd this is. People DO NOT OWN THEIR NAMES. I cannot believe I have to even type that phrase, but that’s where the idiocy has taken us.

  7. It’s a legitimate fair use of his name

    Unless there is a real potential for confusion among consumers of the real Elway’s products/services (middle aged men thinking they were going to an autograph session by the ex QB only to be accosted by loud music and a mosh pit for example) he has no case.

    Be smart John-don’t take a page out of the Dan Snyder playbook. Embrace the band. Hire them to do a gig for your kids.

  8. Couldn’t they just change it to El Way? The retort could be “its a spanglish name. The Way. Get it?”

  9. Favray’s Junk’s first single could be “Pants on the ground!”
    Anyway, we always referred to Elway as “Mama’s Boy.” Because of that creepy grin.

  10. later he sued toilet manufacturers because they are refered to as “the john”

  11. I hear Elway’s next (vinyl only) single is going to be titled Horse-Toothed Jackass and it’ll feature “more cowbell!”

  12. John I really doubt a punk band had a football player in mind then they decided on a name. You think a little too much of yourself.

  13. I named my band after another QB in the NFL. We call ourselves “Therapists” because we were all psyche majors at Miami University of Ohio the same time the QB was going there.

  14. My band has a song named “Kardashian” it doesn’t have anything to do with anyone in particular. We just like the word. Rock on “Elway”

  15. BTW: What if mothers in Colorado started naming their newborn babies “Elway”? Would he demand that they change the name of their child?

  16. It all boils down to confusion or dilution of his trademarks. I have been involved in a number of trademark infringment cases at our company and he may have a case. (whether he is being a DB or not is another argument).

    If he (John Elway) can show that a reasonable person would have a reasonable amount of confusion between him and the band, John probably could force the band to change its name – if the band started doing advertised gigs, making CDs, etc. If it’s just a garage band doing nothing but jamming, obviously there is no case.

    Just think of it like this, if you read an ad that said “Elway performing live tonight at Filmore Theater” would you, or the average Denver citizen (John Elways primary market) have a reasonable confusion? I would say yes. So (again, whether John Elwasy is being a DB or not notwithstanding) John Elway may have some legal standing here.

  17. Elway Research: “We will show you what people are thinking about you… and why they think as they do.”

    John Elway: “People think I’m a douche… change your name!”

  18. Man, I love the Dead Kennedys! They were awesome. Jello made that band though.

    Anyway, I did like that they were able to sneak in jabs at Elway all while joking around about their lack of reputation and musical ability. Humble, and funny.

  19. I can’t blame Elway, the person.

    This is a band in, gee, Colorado. Elway, the Hall of Fame player, played for the, gee, Denver Broncos.

    If John Elway had never played football, would these a$$hats have named their band “Elway”? Of course not. They are trying to capitalize on the man’s name, and that is illegal. They’re d-bags trying to weasel out of doing the right thing.

    No surprise, after all they’re punk rockers.

    Instead of mocking the guy, they should admit they’re trying to cash in on his name, and change it, before he DOES sue their juvenile a$$es.

  20. Guess the price for all that QB talent was leaving out his humor chip. C’mon, John … don’t mess with the band!

  21. My “Grandma Alice” once sent quite the scathing letter to Alice Cooper, demanding he too change his name. True story. She was in all kinds of an uproar.

  22. He has no right to stop the band for using the name Elway…… tell him and his lawyer to hold hands and jump off the nearest cliff with their letter in hand.

  23. Classless move by Elway. They are honoring the guy by naming their band after him and he goes and does this.

    Just focus on fixing the Broncos, John.

  24. So….if they named the band “smith”, would everyone named Smith be able to tell them to change it to Jones ?
    dumb name for a band….even worse topic for
    an article or discussion .
    doh…..now i’m a part of it !
    thanks pft

  25. *yawn*

    Please, for the love of God end this lockout. Can you see what we’ve been reduced to here?

  26. As a lifelong (long suffering) Raider fan who grew up in the 1980’s I’ve despised good ol’ horseface John for years. This action just confirms to me what a true douche he is. Yes, he won the Super Bowl at the end, but he couldn’t do it on his own. He needed TD and Shanna-rat to get it done. Hey John pay less attention to the punk band using your name and try and figure out why you guys lost to my Raiders twice last year!

  27. John should read all these comments and start managing them. How about a half time gig for a few guys who proved to have more intelligence than you John?

  28. Unless the band members can eat an apple through a chain link fence, I doubt that anyone will confuse the band with the former QB.

  29. Maybe they should just call their band “estómago grande”, honoring the 200 lbs. of fat ol’ John Boy has hanging over his belt.

    Everyone wold naturally make the association, and thus be sued by his lawyers.

  30. I’m going to drop old horseface a letter and tell him that HIS band sucks! (LOL!… nothing like smacking the old bee hive you know!).

  31. Hatred towards a man is such a great form of flattery. Elway must have shattered your poor little dreams at some point. Keep up the hate!

  32. To show you what a big dummy old horseface is, he just vaulted an obscure band into the national limelight. If I’m in that band, right about now I’m doing handstands and jumping for joy!

  33. Hey, how about renaming the band from Elway to the name of his most famous owner and pal… you know…. “Wil-lllll-burrrr!” (for those of you perhaps too young to get the reference, I’m referring to the famous Mr. Elway, er ah, I mean Mr. Ed!)

  34. smacklayer says:
    May 27, 2011 10:06 AM
    Just think of it like this, if you read an ad that said “Elway performing live tonight at Filmore Theater” would you, or the average Denver citizen (John Elways primary market) have a reasonable confusion? I would say yes.

    Thats where the media paints this picture, “The Punk Band Elway performing live tonight at the Filmore Theater” that way there is no confusion.

    John Elway needs to get over himself.

  35. Elway never has gotten it.

    I guess that is what happens when you get your ass kissed 24/7 for your entire life.

  36. They could change their name to El way. They’d still get to be Elway, he couldn’t touch them, and they might inadvertently attract some of Colorado’s large Latino community 😉

  37. I always hoped that John Elway would have a baby boy with skater Nancy Kerrigan and name him: “Beaver”! Has there ever been a couple that would have had bigger teeth???

    As to the legality of Elway’s challenge of the band’s name, I seriously doubt that he has a leg to stand on (which isn’t a good thing for a horse you know), unless the band is exploiting his image or likeness. Even using his name in lyrics is irrelevant because he’s a public figure.

    I used to work for a software company that spent millions researching and trade marking a name for their new product, and less than a year after the product launch the airline industry launched a new marketing program using the exact same name as our product.

    The courts rules that because the two companies were in two completely different lines of business there was no conflict. Everyone knows that John Elway has nothing to do with a rock band; hence he’s wasting his time and providing priceless exposure for the band.

  38. Elway, Favray’s Junk, Foot Fetish and the Moronic Millens all will be the Halftime acts for SB 46.
    playlist for event include Elway “This 1 is 4 John”
    FJ “my junks picture”
    FF”tippy toes”
    MM”5 ways to destroy a franchise”

  39. I cannot believe John Elway is complaining about the band’s name. All the publicity is favoring the band and it will be a bonanza for them.

    I am surprised no one has mentioned the Dead Schembechlers from Columbus. More than once Bo commented how he was flattered by it all and not at all upset.

    John, you do not need to be so sensitive. Take it as the compliment it is and move on with your life. There are so many more important issues that need to be dealt with that take up the courts’ time. You know what, you are the only one that cares here.

  40. There was once a small band named Mookie Blaylock that chose the name becaue he was their favorite player. Flattering as it was, they were forced to change their name by the player.

    I think if Pearl Jam had not changed their name those years ago there would be some confusion and marketing issues with Mookie’s name.

  41. I guess I didn’t convey sarcasm as well as I would have liked. The typo probably didn’t help either.

  42. I hope el Way doesnt change their Spanglish name and am uncertain why Elway has a problem with.

    It could be worse they could change their name to “we think john Elway is a (fill in the blank)”

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