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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Myth: 1980s English rock band, Killing Joke, took their name from the Alan Moore Batman graphic novel of the same name

While that would be totally cool from an 80s pop culture perspective, it’s actually false since Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland was published in 1988, and Killing Joke (the rock band) was formed about a decade prior (1978).

When asked about the origin of the band name, Jaz Coleman (Killing Joke’s vocalist and keyboardist) once explained:
“the killing joke is like when people watch something like Monty Python on the television and laugh, when really they’re laughing at themselves. It’s like a soldier in the first world war. He’s in the trench, he knows his life is gone and that within the next ten minutes he’s gonna be dead … and then suddenly he realises that some c*nt back in Westminster’s got him sussed - ‘What am I doing this for? I don’t want to kill anyone, I’m just being controlled’. (Laugh At Your Peril With Killing Joke. Allied Propaganda. May 1979.)

The band itself is still kickin’. Check their Facebook page:

1 comment:

  1. One story has it that Moore enjoyed the band KILLING JOKE and hence in 1985 (published in 1988 as the B. Bolland artwork took time to complete!) named the book THE KILLING JOKE - as a Joker Graphic novel.

    SB - Alan Moore/Bauhaus and literature fanatic