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Blur: British pop hopefuls started out under the fairly bland name Seymour, named in part from one of singer Damon Albarn's characters. One of their concerts was reviewed under the misspelled name "Feymour" in Music Week.
Seymour sent a tape to Andy Ross, the former Sounds journalist who was head of Food Records, an off-shoot of EMI. Ross and his partner Dave Balfe, ex-Teardrop Explodes, signed them for a £3,000 advance on condition they change their name. Bassist Alex James, in his 2007 autobiography, says both the record company and the group came up with a list of ten suggestions. "Blur was on both lists, so we changed our name to Blur." It was already known that the proposed lists of alternative names considered in a West End pizza restaurant also included The Shining Path, Sub, Sensitise and Whirlpool.
Blur was chosen for its multi-meanings which could refer to the effect of alcohol, drugs or the passage of time; it could relate to vision, memory or psychedelia.
Albarn has gone under the anagramic pseudonym Dan Abnormal, and wrote a song of the same name. He said it was given to him by his former girlfriend Justine Frischmann from Elastica: "I thought it was brilliant. It represents a lot of my less savoury habits." He appears as Abnormal on Elastica's 1995 album.
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