Level 42

The rock and jazz funk band Level 42 had much success in the eighties and nineties in particular.

There has been plenty of speculation during the past decade about how the islanders (the members come from the Isle of Wight off the English South Coast) came to their name.

They are said to have taken it from a sign in an elevator in a skyscraper; the number '42' supposedly referred to the highest floor of a Japanese parking garage; or to the floor where the main character of Terry Gilliams’ movie Brazil lives; or to Tower 42 (also known as the NatWest Tower, once Central London’s highest building). 

But it’s not like that at all. Before the name Level 42 was chosen, a number of other possibilities was considered, including the number '88'. When it became clear that a band called Rocket 88 already existed, that idea was abandoned (although later a song with that title was recorded). 

Level 42 band name origins - Hitchhikers Guide to the GalaxyIn the past both bassist Mark King and guitarist Rowland 'Boon' Gould have claimed that they devised the name Level 42. They both said to have used the science fiction novel The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (1979) as their source of inspiration.

The Guide started as a humorous radio program, but later it became a true multimedia phenomenon: a series of books was released (touted as a 'trilogy in five parts’), a play, a television series, an LP, a film and a computer game. Towels were even manufactured with quotes from the Guide printed on them. 

All very interesting, but what really matters here is that in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy a computer is presented with the inspiring name Deep Thought, designed to calculate the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything. The calculations led to a surprising answer: '42'.

Active: 1979-1994; 2001-present, GBR



Anonymous said...

They are from the UK

Unknown said...

Indeed they are! Changed the label. Cheers!

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