Why did they choose the name Gogol Bordello?

Ever wonder where some bands come up with their band names?  Well, we do, and we’re sick of sitting around scratching our heads about it.  We’re hitting the streets (aka. “Internet”) to find the origins behind some of the more bizarre, intriguing or just plain random band names in the scene.  Every Wednesday we’ll be pulling the curtain back on a different musician and this week it’s legendary gypsy punk act Gogol Bordello.

According to legend (aka – Wikipedia) the band was originally called Hütz and the Béla Bartóks, but lead singer Eugene Hütz decided to change the name because he didn’t think anybody in the United States would know who Béla Bartóks was (he’s a famous Hungarian composer – and yeah, we ain’t that cultured over here!).  The band then decided to go with Gogol Bordello.  “Gogol” comes from the name Nikolai Gogol who is one of the most influential writers in Russian and Ukrainian literature. He also serves as an ideological influence for the band because he “smuggled” Ukrainian culture into Russian society, which Gogol Bordello intends to do with Gypsy/ East-European music in the English-speaking world. “Bordello”, in Italian, refers to a brothel or a “gentleman’s club” and I’m guessing they added that because it’s cool sounding and kinda funny.


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