John Elway demands that Elway change its name, because, well, it was his name first

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Had to see this coming, right? I mean, it was only written on the wall in giant, ten-foot, orange letters. Just two weeks after we published our profile of Elway, the affably, ambitious punk quartet formerly known as 10-4 Eleanor, received a "hey would y'all please knock it off?" note from the iconic QB's legal eagles. Evidently, old Number 7 caught wind of the group's existence -- or, more importantly, learned of their chosen nom de tune from our piece -- and got John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt about it. Only instead of marveling, "Hey, that's my name, too!" he decided to sick his attorneys on the dudes.

As of right now, though, it's only a sternly worded email request -- not even a cease and desist -- and the outfit has absolutely no plans to cave.

"We have no intention of changing the name again," the dudes told PunkNews.org. "We love the name, regardless of what connotations are inferred by the listener. 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."

Andy Thomas followed up with Tim Brown, and according to the Elway frontman, last week, he received an email from someone in John Elway's camp advising him that he had become aware of the band by reading our feature (sorry, dudes) and was now requesting a name change. If the request was not met, evidently, further legal action might be required.

The name Elway is still a fairly new moniker for the boys, who just changed it that from their previous handle of 10-4 Eleanor less than a year ago. Brown being the smarmy punker that he is, insists that they have no intention of changing the name again and scoffs that the whole incident is "hilarious," adding that the other Elway should "maybe focus on his crappy football team that can't seem to win more than five games a year."

Not sure what, exactly, Mr. Elway hopes to accomplish with this gesture. Sure, the band, Elway, is carving out its own niche and gaining fans by the minute. But does the Comeback Kid really fear that the group has enough pull to, in some way, sully his good name? I mean, the guy has reached Godlike status around here. The only thing that can tarnish his legacy in this town is, well, losing.

If you haven't already, check out Andy Thomas's recent feature on the band, Elway, which just released Delusions, a brand new platter it recorded in Chicago with Matt Allison (Alkaline Trio, Smoking Popes, Less Than Jake), on Brendan Kelly's Red Scare Records imprint.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.