“What’s in a name?” Actually, Shakespeare, quite a lot if we’re talking about bands. Way back in 2008, while still a student at New York University, I often flipped through the pages of the Village Voice’s concert listings in hopes of finding a good show. Every week brought new and old acts to the city; it also brought me repeated confusion, when, without fault, I’d mistake an ad for the all-female tribute band Lez Zeppelin as one for the Led Zeppelin. I never got as far as buying Lez Zeppelin tickets or showing up to a venue, but the amount of times my eyes played a trick on me was more than enough embarrassment.
Thankfully I’m not the only one who’s botched a band name. As Australia’s Tone Deaf points out, there are plenty of fans who’ve mistaken an ensemble of Scottish bagpipers called the Red Hot Chili Pipers as the “Can’t Stop” rockers, Red Hot Chili Peppers. A number of fooled fans took to the “Today I Fucked Up” subreddit to relay their own anecdotes, many of which wavered between hilarious and cringeworthy.
One reddit user recounted the time it took him over an hour into a Pipers set to realize he wasn’t going to be seeing Flea anytime soon:
“I am a huge fan of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and I was super stoked to finally see them in Edinburgh,” wrote Reddit user kconjog, who purchased the tickets for the “bargain” price of £30. “Most bands play in Glasgow so I couldnt believe my luck when I saw they were playing in my city!”
“So we turned up full of excitement really ready to get into the music and then I heard some bagpipe music was playing,” he continued. “I thought hmm interesting…not what I expected from a warm up act but seeing as we are in Scotland and the capital city I really did not think it was anything out of the usual.”
“About an hour in I was getting a bit impatient, the music was great with good vibes but I was waiting for the Red Hot Chili Peppers to come out so I could do a bit of headbanging to some sweet guitar riffs!”
“I turned to the man next to me and asked when the Red Hot Chili Peppers were coming on he laughed and said ‘aye pal good joke eh’.”
“It was at this moment I realised I was not going to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers.”
Another commenter said he and his girlfriend once flew from England to Northern Ireland intent on seeing RHCP for Valentine’s Day, but with actual Piper tickets in hand. Oof.
Now, don’t get me wrong… the Pipers are a legitimate act, having support from the BBC and bands such as The Darkness as well as more than 15 years experience, but they’re not RHCP. And it’s not even close. That being said, judging by the anecdotes, many of those fans who ended up seeing Pipers instead of Peppers still managed to stick around and enjoy the bagpipe show, so all wasn’t totally lost.
As for me, I’m finally getting around to buying myself some glasses.