by Michael D Walker on April 21, 2012


Yes, you read that correctly.

Today I am going to reveal to you the mysterious fun of Blotto.  No, I am not referring to the unofficial non-Olympic sport of inebriation. I am referring to the Blotto band from Albany, New York who got their name from the 1931 Thorne Smith novel  “Night Life of the Gods”.

Blotto made a name for themselves playing a variety of rock songs with clever funny lyrics.  They often spoofed whatever trend was popular, be it spy movies (“Goodbye, Mr Bond”) or heavy metal music in their song “Metal Head”, complete with blazing guitar riffs from Blue Oyster Cult lead guitarist Buck Dharma.  They achieved their greatest success in the 80’s and earned the distinction of being one of the first bands to ever have their video played on MTV.  If I’m not mistaken their video was the 34th video played on day one when MTV made it’s world premiere.

Here’s their video “Metal Head” for your enjoyment. Pay particular attention to the lyrics.  I get a chuckle out of “I wanna customize my van and I don’t even own one”

YouTube Preview Image


So, now that you’ve experienced just a touch of Blotto, you may be wondering exactly how they got the name from Thorne Smith’s “Night Life of the Gods” novel.

Well, according to an article by Tom Keyser that was published just this week in the Albany Times-Union, guitarist Broadway Blotto was in the middle of reading the second chapter of “Night Life of the Gods”.  The chapter is titled “Blotto’s Tail Astounds”, which is referring to what happens to Hunter Hawk’s dog, Blotto, after an explosion in Hawk’s laboratory produces some unusual results.  I prefer to say no more lest I spoil the novel for you.

But according to the article, the band did not have a name yet and the owner of the club they were going to play in was rightfully adamant that the guys come up with a name right then. So, Broadway Blotto looked down at his copy of “Night Life of the Gods” and offered up Blotto. The name stuck and the guys each came up with a stage name; Broadway Blotto, Bowtie Blotto, Cheese Blotto, Sergeant Blotto, and F. Lee Harvey Blotto.  You gotta love that!

You can read the rest of the entertaining article on how Blotto and several other bands came up with their names by going here:

I’m hoping to get in touch with the members of Blotto and see if we can do an interview with them.

I’d love to find out if Broadway Blotto is the only Thorne Smith fan in the group.



{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Have You Had Your Vitamin D Today April 21, 2012 at 1:06 AM

I’m going to look for “Blotto” right now on iTunes.

Yours In Health!

G.E. Moon II
How Important Is Vitamin D


Clare Delaney April 21, 2012 at 7:53 AM

What a delightful story about the name Blotto! Thanks for sharing it!



Eva Palmer April 21, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Hi Michael,
I enjoyed watching the looks of that video. It brought me funny memories!


Margarita @ Body Language Decoding April 21, 2012 at 5:02 PM

Fascinating story. It feels like I am learning a secret about something I never knew before. It is a new world to me – the world of Thorne Smith and his books. The video is cool. A little different from my culture. Thanks.


Cherie Miranda April 21, 2012 at 9:28 PM

Very cool story. I had never heard of Blotto, but it sounds like a fun band comprised of some very cool musicians.

Cherie Miranda


Kevin Hogan April 22, 2012 at 5:11 AM

Never heard of Blotto before. Adding even more to Mr. Thorne Smith’s history and those affected by his work.

Mark Hogan

Have you ever wanted to learn how to read body language?


Read micro expressions April 22, 2012 at 1:15 PM

Michael, I would have never imagined that a thorne Smith book gave a band a name. Cool article.
Scott Sylvan Bell


Discover A Happy New You April 22, 2012 at 8:56 PM

I look forward to reading your blog. I love learning about Thorne Smith, you bring him and his books to life. Funny video. Thanks for sharing.

Yours In Health!

Dr. Wendy


Personal Coaching April 22, 2012 at 10:03 PM

Hi Michael,

I think I have a some vague memory of the that 80s music group Blotto!

Happy Dating and Relationships,

April Braswell


Lyle R. Johnson: The Sales Wizard & Mentor April 24, 2012 at 6:59 PM

Your in-depth knowledge of Thorne Smith continues to astound me. Great information.


Tony "TJ" Jones (PKB Bassist) June 12, 2012 at 4:58 AM

USELESS MINUTIAE FOLLOWS: I am here to tell you that “Blotto” is real and, like us, is a living, breathing and still sporadically performing entity. We, like them, and a cache of other Albany NY area bands, are on the roster of “Blotto Records”. Broadway Blotto, exhibiting a rare monumental lapse in good judgment, produced our 1984 Blotto Records LP “Title Shot”.

We’ve done 2 “recent” shows with the Blotto gang … last summer’s (2011) Blotto Records Reunion Show and last month’s (May 2012) “JB Scott’s 33 yr Reunion Show”.

I am here to testify that Blotto is STILL a vital group of great guys, creative minds and talented musicians. I hope we all continue to keep playing until the cumulative membership of both bands attain our goal of receiving a group rate on colonoscopies.

Some links of interest:


B'way Blotto February 15, 2014 at 8:45 AM

Re: Tony (TJ) Jones suggestion of “…monumental lapse of judgment…” To set the record straight (also the CD, the MP3 & iTune), helping to create an album with the Penny Knight Band (PKB) was a gratifying, satisfying, edifying blast of a great time. Great people, solid/creative musicianship & extraordinary performances. 30 years on, “Title Shot” continues to be an electrifying gallery of sound paintings rivaled only by the energy & precision of PKB’s live shows. It’s as if time stood still because these guys & gal rock as mightily as they did when Ronald Reagan & Max Headroom reigned on TV, each often mistaken for the other. This band is timeless!


seth kantrowitz February 15, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Blotto was our favorite band. One of their last shows we saw, in New Haven, my wife was pregnant with our daughter. We just celebrated her 30th birthday. Best wishes to Broadway, Lee Harvey, Bowtie, and Sarge. RIP Cheese, we miss you. Thanks to all the Blottos for those great shows.


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