What’s In a Name – Kaminowitz or Kane

Over the years I’ve directed many fans to Amazon or to some of our fan sites or even Wikipedia (it’s mind boggling that we’re on Wilipedia) to get information about the band. Invariably I get the same question over and over. Are you Marvin Kaminowitz,  the guitarist? Yes I am. Let me explain.

What’s the Name of the Band?

Sometime in the mid 70’s I was leading a trio playing 5 nights a week at a hotel lounge in the Boston suburb of Newton. Our agent approached me and said he needed to know the name of the band so he could do some promotion.  Without thinking I said The Marvin Kane Trio. That was the first time I used Kane instead of Kaminowitz. But I didn’t just pull the name Kane out of thin air. Both my father’s brothers changed their names from Kaminowitz to Kane. In fact, my father was the only Kaminowitz left, except for me of course. So when I was put on the spot I just blurted out Kane. And that’s been my name ever since.

Making it Legal

Things got a little sticky when I had a son. He was always known as Kane too except for the inconvenient fact that it wasn’t legal. So somewhere around 1984 I made it official by legally changing my name. And that’s the story. So if you ever have the occasion to look at some of Sweet Smoke’s early reviews and see the skinny long haired guy with the cherry red Gibson ES350 stereo guitar, it’s me, Marvin Kane, formerly Kaminowitz.


  1. says

    LOVE the new website and your “name change” explanation. I was once a Kaminowitz too!! I found another way to change my name, and it liked it so much I changed it yet again. So I’m Susan Beth Kaminowitz Isakoff Berlin, your big sister, and I listen to Sweet Smoke’s Just a Poke, often!! The band was great and continues to give me musical pleasure. Has the band thought about a reunion? I’d LOVE to see and hear you all again, in person! It’s not just that you’re my brother….honestly, it’snot!! Your music is genuinely GREAT!!!! Let me know if a reunion is in the works and thanks for the memories!!

  2. Susan Berlin says

    I had a similar problem with the name “Kaminowitz,” but unlike you, little brother, I found another way to change my name….twice!! And so I went from Susan Beth Kaminowitz, to Susan Beth Kaminowitz Isakoff, to (and lastly…please!!!) Susan Beth Kaminowitz Isakoff Berlin! So my last name, Berlin, in an interesting twist of fate, refers back to the country in which you and Sweet Smoke had your best days with the wonderful Waldemar Kuhn!! Talent, by any name and at any age, is talent!! I long for a Sweet Smoke Reunion Album or tour!!! I still listen to Sweet Smoke Just a Poke, Darkness to Light ALL of the time. It’s an incredible album, and the time is right!! PLEASE reunite!!!!

    • says

      Thanks for the comments big sis. Alas, no more Kaminowitz’s left. A reunion is not out of the question. It is being discussed at the highest levels (smile). I’ll keep you posted.

  3. Mathieu Boudrias says

    Hi, I am currently working on music from the 60’s and 70’s and you mentioned they were early reviews on Sweet Smoke, do you know where I could see them? Thanks a lot, I REALLY appreciate all of Sweet Smoke work. Peace!

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