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Music

Portugal. The Man? What’s up with that band name?

  • Author: Kyle Hopkins
  • Updated: October 26
  • Published October 25

John Gourley of Portugal. The Man performed at the Egan Center in Anchorage on Friday, December 16, 2011. (Marc Lester / ADN Archive)

Originally published Jan. 21, 2012

Trying to figure out Portugal. The Man's awkwardly punctuated name?

Here's how singer-guitarist John Gourley described the orgins to an interviewer last year for The Grammys official YouTube music channel. (Prepare to remain confused):

“The name is an alter ego ... We all love David Bowie and James Brown and Elvis. Things like that. And we wanted to create this alter ego much like Ziggy Stardust or Sgt. Pepper. And in doing that, we wanted to find something that was representative of our band, and our group. And I think ... We just were talking about it at the time, we just said, ‘A country is an individual within the world that is a group of people, with it’s own voice.’ And I think it just came down to Portugal being the guy’s name.

"The period is there so you know that, that’s the name. And ‘The Man,’ just lets you know, he’s the man. Keeps it cool.”

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