The Stereophonics have bowed to corporate pressure and have changed the name of their upcoming album from J.E.E.P. to the more explicit Just Enough Education to Perform.
German auto maker Daimler Chrysler, who owns the copyright on the Jeep brand of vehicles, has refused to allow the Welsh trio to use J.E.E.P. as the album’s title, according to a statement issued Monday by the U.K. branch of the band’s label, V2 Records.
“Both V2 and the band were surprised when Daimler Chrysler objected to the use of J.E.E.P. following an approach by V2 for permission to explore cross-promotional activities with the Jeep brand,” the statement read. “Daimler Chrysler has since decided to refuse permission for the album to be known as J.E.E.P., and while both V2 and the band are extremely disappointed by this decision, we have reluctantly decided to accede to their request.”
Heather May, Chrysler’s U.S. manager of Jeep platform and brand communications, said that while she was unaware of the Stereophonics conflict, this kind of action by the car maker was not uncommon.
“Jeep is a registered trademark of Daimler Chrysler and identifies a specific brand,” May said. “So, just as you couldn’t call a book or record ’Xerox,’ ’Kleenex’ or even ’Coca-Cola,’ you can’t title something ’Jeep.’ It’s a proper brand name, and anyone who wants to use the name Jeep would have to clear it through the legal department.”
The real rub for the Stereophonics is that the acronym has nothing to do with automobiles, and instead refers to a British military phrase the band’s frontman, Kelly Jones, copped from his brother.
“J.E.E.P. was a phrase that my brother wrote on his bedroom wall when he was about 18 and he’d been in the army,” Jones explained last fall. “It was taken from there, and it was written as ’Just Enough Education to Perform.’ I felt it could mean so many different things rather than, y’know, everybody learns just enough to get by in life.
“The way the music industry is at the moment, [the title] has multiple meanings for me, and I thought it was a really good title,” Jones continued. “That’s what we wrote in the board while making the record, and it never got beaten by another title.”
Regardless of the title, the new Stereophonics album is due April 17, while the first single, “Mr. Writer,” will be released to radio on April 23.