Oren Lyons, the soon-to-break out orchestral rock band from Los Angeles, is changing its name after hearing complaints from representatives of the real Oren Lyons, an 82-year-old Native American leader.
The Silver Lake-based septet has decided to call itself Kan Wakan, which is Lakota for “sundance.” The name comes a mutual interest in Native American lore on the part of band members Gueorgui Linev and Christianne Bautista, Linev said today.
It’s not the first time a prominent person has beefed about a rock band appropriating a name, but the L.A. musicians thought they were on solid ground after first hearing that Lyons – a longtime advocate of indigenous rights who once was a star college athlete (and teammate of football Hall of Famer Jim Brown) at Syracuse – was OK with it. Subsequent contacts with his representatives, though, proved otherwise.
Photo from Oren Lyons’ show at the El Rey Theatre by Kelsey Heng