Behind the Band Name: Strawberry Alarm Clock

Much like their name, Strawberry Alarm Clock was a product of the times – a trippy, psych-pop outfit that blossomed in the sunshine of the Summer of Love. They were best known for their 1967 hit “Incense and Peppermints,” a single that would go on to soundtrack the shifting decade. They were also well-known for their one-of-a-kind moniker, a band name that has a ring to it.

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Behind the Name

Before they were Strawberry Alarm Clock, they were two separate bands that morphed into one. Members of a band called Thee Sixpence and a group known as Waterfyrd Traene came together and formed their own outfit.

Guitarists Ed King and Lee Freeman, bassists George Bunnell and Gary Lovetro, keyboardist Mark Weitz, and drummer Randy Seol were among the original members of what would soon be known as Strawberry Alarm Clock. So where did the name come from?

“I know there’s been a lot of different stories about how we got our name, and I think I’ve heard them all,” Bunnell explained in a 2012 interview. “The most popular one is, we were all sitting around, looking at Billboard, put a finger on a song, and picked ‘Strawberry Fields Forever.'”

It has been a common misconception that the outfit borrowed its moniker from the 1967 Beatles hit. “But that record wasn’t even released at the time we started calling ourselves the Strawberry Alarm Clock,” the bassist recalled. “Our record company kind of picked our name for us. They wanted to use ‘strawberry,’ because I guess it was just a sign of the times. Peace, love and strawberries! So, that was already picked out.”

The “alarm clock” part came later, he said. Members began to throw around names that would fit with “strawberry” until a fateful incident chose the name for them. “We were over at Mark Weitz’s house one day, and his alarm clock suddenly fell down and broke,” Bunnell said. “And we looked at that, and decided ‘alarm clock.’ So, we called up our record company, and told them we were going to use the name the Strawberry Alarm Clock.” And they did.

Strawberry Alarm Clock Today

After various lineup changes, a breakup, and brief reunions here and there, Strawberry Alarm Clock still exists. Their last album was Wake Up Where You Are which was released in 2012. They perform sporadically, carrying on the name with past members Weitz, Bunnell, Gene Gunnels, Randy Seol, Howie Anderson, and Steve Bartek keeping the music alive.

(Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

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