List of band name etymologies

This is a list of band names with their name origins explained and referenced. CompactTOC8
name=Contents
side=yes
center=yes
right=
align=
nobreak=yes
top=
num=yes
sym=
symnum=
custom2=
custom3=
seealso=yes
notesfirst=
refs=yes
notes=
extlinks=
custom1=Bibliography

0 – 9

* 10,000 Maniacs — adapted from the title of the 1964 splatter film "Two Thousand Maniacs!" [" [http://www.rhino.com/rzine/pressrelease.lasso?PRID=208 Rhino and Elektra ignite campfire songs: The popular, obscure, and unknown recordings of 10,000 Maniacs] ". Rhino Records. Retrieved on November 18 2006.]
* 10cc — from a dream the group's producer Jonathan King had. A popular urban legend suggests that the name is an amount slightly larger than the average amount of semen a man ejaculates. King and band member Eric Stewart have refuted the rumor. [" [http://www.snopes.com/music/artists/10cc.htm 10cc] ". Snopes, May 7 2007. Retrieved on November 18 2006.]
* 12 Rods — a phrase taken from the bible verse Numbers 17:1-13." [http://www.heathenworld.com/bandname/nav1.aspx Origins of Band Names A-E] ". Heathen World. Retrieved on November 20 2007.]
* 23 Skidoo — a phrase associated with the Illuminati which has been used in the works of Aleister Crowley and William S. Burroughs. [Bush, John. " [http://wc04.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:gxfixqegld6e~T1 23 Skidoo > Biography] ". Allmusic. Retrieved on November 19 2007.]
* 30 Seconds to Mars — according to member Jared Leto, the name is a rough translation of a phrase from the manuscript "Argus Apacase" and was chosen by the band for being "imaginative and really represent [ing] the sound of our music in as unique a way as possible." [Cray, Jen. " [http://www.ink19.com/issues/november2005/interviews/30SecondsToMars.html 30 Seconds To Mars] ". "Ink 19". Retrieved on November 19 2007]
* 311 — the police code for indecent exposure in Omaha, Nebraska. The name was erroneously thought to be an allusion to the Ku Klux Klan, and band members have given various other explanations in the past. [Mikkelson, Barbara. " [http://www.snopes.com/music/artists/311.htm 311 not OKKK?] ". Snopes, May 5 2007. Retrieved on 18 November 2007.]
* 36 Crazyfists — taken from the 1977 Jackie Chan film "The 36 Crazy Fist". [Sisti, Scott. " [http://www.showandtellonline.com/_36_crazyfists/_interview_051502.html BROCK LINDOW OF 36 CRAZYFISTS] ". "Show & Tell Online", May 15 2002. Retrieved on November 19 2007.]
* 7 Year Bitch — from the 1955 film "The Seven Year Itch".
* 702 — from area code 702, the area code of the band's hometown of Las Vegas, Nevada. [" [http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1433963/19990621/702.jhtml 702 Celebrates Sophomore Album, Explains Ladies' Anthem] ". MTV, June 21 1999. Retrieved on November 19 2007.]
* 808 State — from the Roland TR-808 drum machine and the state of mind the members shared. [" [http://www.808state.com/various/bio/intro.htm bio] ". Retrieved on November 19 2007.]

A

*a-ha — the band liked the name because it means the same thing in several languages.
* ABBA — a palindromic acronym from the initials of the first names of the band members: Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. [" [http://www.abbasite.com/people/bio.php?ret=/people/bio.php&id=395&page=2&flash=yes ABBA's biography, page 2] ". Retrieved on November 19 2007.]
* AC/DC — the name was invented by Angus and Malcolm Young's sister Margaret. It comes from the letters AC/DC (alternating current/direct current) on the back of their mother’s sewing machine." [http://www.digitaldreamdoor.com/pages/music0_name.html Band Name Origins] ". Digital Dream Door. Retrieved on November 19 2007.]
* Ace of Base — the band's first studio was in the basement of a car repair shop, and they considered themselves to be the "masters" of the studio. "Ace of Base" was derived from "masters of the basement".
* AerosmithJoey Kramer wrote this word all over his notebooks in high school. It is also thought that Aerosmith were inspired by the book "Arrowsmith" by Sinclair Lewis.
* AFI — stands for "A Fire Inside". [" [http://www.afireinside.net/bio/default.aspx AFI: Official Site: Biography] ". Retrieved on November 19 2007.]
* Aiden — after a character from the 2002 film "The Ring". [Apar, Corey. " [http://wc10.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:gcfqxqualdfe~T1 Aiden > Biography] ". Allmusic. Retrieved on November 21 2007.]
* Air Supply — 5 years prior to the band's signing, Graham Russell saw the name in a dream.
* Alexisonfire — from contortionist stripper, Alexis Fire, which nearly resulted in a lawsuit from the stripper's representatives. [Fleck, Scott. " [http://www.punktv.ca/?c=105&a=1439 Alexisonfire Interview with George at Warped Tour 2006] ". PunkTV.ca. Retrieved on November 20 2007.]
* The All-American Rejects — Taken from the Green Day song "Reject". The "All-Americans" and "the Rejects," both suggested to the band as names, were merged. [Yonke, David. Ajas: named after a group of brothers Alex,Jessie, A.j, and sammy write." [http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070419/ART10/70419061 All-American Replejects felt the pressure to produce hits] ". "The Blade", April 19 2007. Retrieved on November 21 2007.]
* Alice Cooper — Alice Cooper was a band before one of its members started a solo career under the same name. Allegedly, Alice Cooper was the name of a spirit members of the band came in contact with through a ouija.
* Alice in Chains — A parody of "Alice in Wonderland", implying Crossdressing.
* Anberlin — band member Stephen Christian has offered the explanations that he planned naming his first daughter Anberlin [" [http://www.chartattack.com/damn/2006/07/1232.cfm Anberlin Aren't Christian Rock, But It's OK If You Call Them That] ". "Chart", July 12 2006.] and that the name was a modification of the phrase "and Berlin" from a list of cities Christian wanted to visit. [" [http://www.europunk.net/interviews.php?id=45 Interview With Anberlin] ". Europunk.net, June 3 2003. Retrieved on November 21 2007.] The one story that Christian asserts is true, however, is that he heard the word in the background noise of the Radiohead song "Everything in Its Right Place". [" [http://www.beatthescene.com/interviews/anberlin.html Anberlin] ". Beatthescene.com. Retrieved on November 21 2007.]
* …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead — initially claimed to be a line in a Mayan ritual chant, [" [http://web.archive.org/web/20050127062809/http://www.trailofdead.com/why/ Why is the Trail of Dead?] ". Internet Archive, January 27 2005. Retrieved on November 24 2007] though lead singer Conrad Keely has since admitted the story was a joke. [Pence, Joseph M. " [http://www.openingbands.com/printerfriendly.race?ID=629 ...Trail of Dead - Interview with Conrad Keely] ". "The Hub Weekly", April 1 2005. Retrieved on November 24 2007.]
* Arctic Monkeys — The name was made up by the guitarist, Jamie Cook, while at school. [ [http://www.prefixmag.com/features/arctic-monkeys/arent-fooling-around-part-1-of-2/12565/] prefixmag.com ]
* Art of Noise — Named after the 1913 manifesto called "The Art of Noises" by Italian Futurist Luigi Russolo. [ [http://www.rollingstone.com/artists/artofnoise Art of Noise : Rolling Stone ] ]
* Audioslave — according to lead guitarist Tom Morello the name supposedly came to singer Chris Cornell in a vision. [Anderson, Brett. " [http://music.yahoo.com/read/news/12054457 Audioslave Works Out Settlement To Share Name With U.K. Band] ". Yahoo! Music, October 24 2002. Retrieved on November 19 2007.]
* Automatic Pilot — from psychiatric testimony characterizing Dan White's state of mind while killing George Moscone and Harvey Milk. [Sugar, Jon. "Karl Brown: A Crackling Thunderbolt in the Darkest of Skies". "Bay Area Reporter", November 14 1985.]

B

* B*Witched — the band's manager considered them to be "bewitching" after being talked into managing the group.
*The Band They were originally known as The Hawks, after their original lead singer Ronnie Hawkins. While working with Bob Dylan in the 1960s, they decided to change their name, but were unable to agree on a new name. They finally decided to simply call themselves "The Band." [ [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077838/quotes The Last Waltz (1978) - Memorable quotes ] ]
* The B-52's — from the name of a beehive hairstlye.
* Bachman-Turner Overdrive — a combination of band members last names and the magazine "Overdrive". The bands name had previously been "Bachman-Turner".
* Backstreet Boys — named after a flea market in Orlando, Florida. [Kaufman, Gil. " [http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1535035/20060626/backstreet_boys.jhtml?headlines=true Kevin Richardson Quits Backstreet Boys] ". MTV, June 26 2006. Retrieved on November 19 2007.]
* Bad Company — from the 1972 film "Bad Company".
* Badfinger — originally called "The Iveys" after a street in Swansea, Wales. Once the band was signed to Apple Records by The Beatles the band took the opportunity to change their name. The name "Badfinger" was derived from "Bad Finger Boogie," the working title of The Beatles' "With a Little Help from My Friends". [Eder, Bruce. " [http://wc08.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:8e881v0jzzca~T1 Badfinger > Biography] ". Allmusic. Retrieved on November 20 2007.]
*The Band They were originally known as The Hawks, after their original lead singer Ronnie Hawkins. While working with Bob Dylan in the 1960s, they decided to change their name, but were unable to agree on a new name. They finally decided to simply call themselves "The Band." [The film "The Last Waltz" [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077838/quotes] ]
* Bauhaus — originally named "Bauhaus 1919" after the German Bauhaus art movement, and shortened to "Bauhaus" in 1979. [Hightower, Laura. " [http://www.musicianguide.com/biographies/1608002456/Bauhaus.html Bauhaus Lyrics and Biography] " Musicianguide.com. Retrieved on November 20 2007.]
* Bay City Rollers — from Bay City, Michigan, which had been randomly selected by the band from a map.
* Beastie Boys - According to Mike D, Beastie stands for Boys Entering Anarchistic Stages Towards Internal Excellence.
* Bee Gees — not a contraction of "Brothers Gibb," which is a popular assumption, but rather the initials of two men who helped the group in their early career, Bill Goode and disc jockey Bill Gates.
* Belle & Sebastian — from "Belle et Sébastien", a children's book by French writer Cécile Aubry. [Strong, Martin Charles (2004). "The Great Rock Discography: Complete Discographies Listing Every Track Recorded By More Than 1200 Artists". Canongate U.S. ISBN 1841956155. p. 122]
* Black Rebel Motorcycle Club — The Black Rebels was the name of the biker gang led by Marlon Brando's character in the film "The Wild One". Peter Hayes, guitarist, and bassist Robert Levon Been, originally named the band "The Other Gang" because Brando's gang were always beaten by the "other gang", but switched to Black Rebel Motorcycle Club when The Other Gang didn't catch on. [ [http://www.fhmonline.com/articles-152.asp Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Music Interviews - Entertainment - FHM Online - The Premier Online Mens Magazine in the US ] ]
* Black Sabbath - The band was originally called Earth but when they were playing a gig they found out there was another band of that name. So they changed the name to Black Sabbath after a 1963 horror movie starring Boris Karloff.

C

* Coheed and Cambria - The name is taken from the names of the main characters in the band's story, 'The Amory Wars.' The band was originally called Shabűtie.
* Counting Crows - Lead Singer Adam Duritz named the California based group after an old English nursery rhyme.
* Crass - A reference to the David Bowie song "Ziggy Stardust" (specifically the line "The kids was just crass" ["Shibboleth - My Revolting Life" (Penny Rimbaud, 1999, AK Press), page 99 ] ).
* Creedence Clearwater Revival - After Norvel Creedence, a friend of John Fogerty. His favorite beer was called Clearwater, after a brief absence from the marketplace it was re-introduced by another brewery - hence Creedence Clearwater Revival.
* The Cure — The band's original name was Easy Cure, which was taken from the name of one of the group's early songs. The name was later shortened to The Cure because frontman Robert Smith felt the name was too American and "too hippyish". [Apter, Jeff (2006). "Never Enough: The Story of the Cure". Omnibus Press. ISBN 1-84449-827-1, p. 38, 57]

D

*Def Leppard - Joe Elliot, lead singer, wanted to use the idea provided by the band Led Zeppelin's logo and transformed what he originally had as deaf leopard.
* Depeche Mode — inspired by a French fashion magazine of the same name. [Charles, Chris. " [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/new_music_releases/180238.stm Entertainment: New Music Releases: Depeche Mode] ". BBC News, September 28 1999. Retrieved on November 19 2007.]
* Dexy's Midnight Runners — from the stimulant Dexedrine. [Parillo, Michael. " [http://entertainment.ivillage.com/features/0,,nvvf-p,00.html '80s One-Hit Wonders] ". iVillage. Retrieved on November 19 2007.]
* Duran Duran — The band played at Birmingham's Barberella's nightclub [ [http://www.chezcomics.com/comics-resources-information-pages/online-comic-strips/duran-duran-profile/duran-duran-profile-1.htm Duran Duran Profile from Patches Magazine March 1984 ] ] so took their name from the villain of the cult Science Fiction film "Barbarella", Dr. Durand-Durand. [ [http://www.andwedanced.com/artists/duran.htm And We Danced - Duran Duran Profile ] ]

E

* E Street BandBruce Springsteen's band was named after E Street (E, not East) in Belmar, New Jersey, because the band used to practice at the E Street home of pianist David Sancious' mother. [ [http://www.ahherald.com/news/2005/0623/david_sancious.htm Original E Street Band Member David Sancious Returns to Jersey Shore for Benefit Concert - Atlantic Highlands Herald - New Jersey ] ]

F

* Faith No More - Named after a race horse they saw listed on a racing form.
* Five Iron Frenzy - According to bassist Keith Hoerig: "We got the name Five Iron Frenzy from a roommate of most of ours. He was kind of paranoid, and afraid that if he went outside on this particular night he was going to get jumped by some people. He had a golf club to defend himself and he said something to the effect of it being like "putter mayhem". Scott looked at the golf club he was holding, and noting that it was a five iron said, "No, more like a Five Iron Frenzy." The name stuck." [Interview with Keith Hoerig- http://www.jesusfreakhideout.com/interviews/FiveIron.asp]
* Fleetwood Mac - They just took the last name of drummer Mick Fleetwood and a form of the last name of bassist John McVie.
*Foo Fighters - A term used by World War II pilots to describe strange flying fireballs they sometimes saw.

G

* Garbage - A friend of Butch Vig (the drummer of Garbage) said "This stuff sounds like garbage!" when he played him some of their tracks.
* Gin Blossoms - Slang for the "blossoms" (burst blood capillaries) on the face particularly the nose from drinking too much alcohol - in the late 1800's gin was a popular cheap alcoholic drink.
* Godsmack - The metal band "Godsmack" is named after the Alice in Chains song of the same name. But according to the band the name gained another meaning after one band member made a particularly inappropriate comment and another remarked "God will smack you for that one". Hence forth one would receive a "Godsmack" for bad behavior.
* Goldfinger - Named after one of the original James Bond Films
* The Grateful Dead - Originally called The Warlocks, Jerry Garcia found out that another band had the same name. Supposedly, he looked in a reference book at random and found a folk tale about a troubled soul who is put to rest by a traveler. The spirit then helps the traveler with his own quest.
* Green Day — "green day" is a slang term for spending a day smoking marajuana. Billie Joe Armstrong wrote a song called "Green Day" about his first experience with the drug, and it soon replaced "Sweet Children" as the band's name. [" [http://www.ukcia.org/potculture/references/records.html Pot Culture | Select Discography] ". United Kingdom Cannabis Internet Activists. Retrieved on November 19 2007.]
* Guns 'N' Roses - originally two bands L.A. Gunns and Hollywood Roses. Hollywood Roses was headed by Axl Rose, Tracii Guns headed the other band which also featured Slash. The two frequented clubs and played there and were friends.

H

* Hüsker Dü — is the name of a Scandinavian memory-based board game that means "Do you remember?" [ [http://www.musicianguide.com/biographies/1608003877/H-uuml-sker-D-uuml.html Hüsker Dü lyrics, music, biography, records, band, album, videos, CD, and the discography including Hüsker Dü famous works ] ]

*Harvey Danger - According to frontman, Sean Nelson, the name came from grafitti found at the University of Washington

* Hootie and The Blowfish - from the nicknames of two friends of singer/guitarist Darius Rucker - one with owl-like eyes (Hootie), another with the puffy "Blowfish" cheeks.

I

* Iggy Pop — real name James Jewel Osterberg. [ [http://observer.guardian.co.uk/review/story/0,6903,1334513,00.html 'I'm the old git with the chick, the Roller and the rock band' | | guardian.co.uk Arts ] ] His stage name derives from his first band The Iguanas, where he got the nickname - Iggy of the Iguanas. [ [http://www.nndb.com/people/520/000024448/ Iggy Pop ] ]
* Iron Maiden — Steve Harris named the band after the iron maiden torture device as shown in the film, The Man in the Iron Mask. [ [http://observer.guardian.co.uk/omm/story/0,,2059273,00.html Maiden India | Rock | guardian.co.uk Music ] ]

J

* Jane's Addiction - The band got its name from a girl (Jane) that Perry Farrell knew back in L.A who was a prostitute and called it her addiction.

* Jefferson Airplane — according to Jorma Kaukonen the name was coined by a friend as a satire of blues pseudonyms such as "Blind Lemon" Jefferson. [ [http://www.mp3.com/artist/jefferson-airplane/summary/ Jefferson Airplane MP3 Downloads - Jefferson Airplane Music Downloads - Jefferson Airplane Music Videos - Jefferson Airplane Pictures - MP3.com ] ]

K

* Kaiser Chiefs — Named after the South African Kaizer Chiefs Football Club, the former team of long-serving former Leeds captain Lucas Radebe. [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/leeds/music/leeds_festival/festival_2004/kaiser_chiefs.shtml BBC - Leeds Music - Kaiser Chiefs ] ]

* KISS - According to Paul Stanley, Kiss just sounded dangerous (kiss of death) and sexy at the same time. Kiss denies the rumors that the name stands for "Knights In Satan's Service" or the saying "Keep It Simple Stupid".

* The Killers - Named after a fictional band in the New Order music video entitled "Crystal".

L

* Lasgo — from the Scottish city Glasgow with the first and last letters removed. [Bervoets, Wim. " [http://www.dancevibes.be/interviews/lasgo.jsp Lasgo interview: lots of questions and answers from Evy, Peter, Dave !] ". Dancevibes.be. Retrieved on November 20 2007.]
* Led Zeppelin - Jimmy Page was drinking with Keith Moon and John Entwhistle of The Who, the two were bitching about their band mates Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend. They joked about the two of them starting a band with Jimmy, and one of them said "Yeah, that will go over like a lead balloon". When Jimmy formed his own band, he remembered this and thought "Lead Zeppelin" would be good, both from that conversation and the heavy/light contradiction similar to the band named IRON BUTTERFLY. They decided to drop the "a" so Americans wouldn't mispronounce it.
* Lindisfarne — After the tidal island off the Northumberland coast of the same name.
* Lothar and the Hand People — Band member Richard Willis had a dream in which an enslaved race called the Hand People was saved by a hero named Lothar. Later, well after the name had been chosen, they decided that Lothar was the name of the theremin used by member John Emelin. [Roberts, Michael " [http://www.westword.com/2000-03-16/music/give-the-people-a-hand/ Give the People a Hand: A new generation is rediscovering one of Denver's strangest bands] ". Denver Westword. Retrieved on December 10 2007.]
*The Libertines - Taken from Marquis de Sade's book 'Lust Of The Libertines'
*Lynyrd Skynyrd - Named after Leonard Skinner, an annoying gym teacher/coach some of the members had in high school. Leonard is said to have moved on to sell real estate in Jacksonville, Florida.

M

* Marilyn Manson - Taken from the frontman's stage name, a combination of Marilyn Monroe and Charles Manson.
* Matchbox Twenty — originally titled "Matchbox 20," the band took its name from a softball jersey with a "20" on it and a patch that had "Matchbox" written on it. The band altered its name to "Matchbox Twenty" after the release of its debut album "Yourself or Someone Like You". [" [http://www.mmguide.musicmatch.com/whatsup/whatsup.cgi?s=namelyspeaking&a=0101_MatchboxTwenty&type= The Science of Matchbox Numerology] ". Musicmatch Jukebox Guide. Retrieved on November 19 2007]
* Metallica - Lars Ulrich was helping a friend think of a name for a metal fanzine. The choices were Metal Mania and Metallica. Metal Mania was chosen for the magazine & he used Metallica for his band.
* Modest Mouse — Their name derives from a passage from the Virginia Woolf story "The Mark on the Wall" which reads "...and very frequent even in the minds of modest, mouse-coloured people..." [ [http://www.isound.com/modest_mouse Modest Mouse : iSOUND.COM™] ]
* Mötley Crüe - A friend said "What a Motley looking Crew" - motley meaning "of great variety" and once describing the appearance of a court jester. The re-spelling was their own invention using the umlauts (those funny dots over letters) came to them while they were partying & drinking Lowenbrau beer.
* Motorhead - British slang for a drug user who uses a lot of speed
* Mr. Bungle — Named after a "Lunchroom manners" classroom film from 1950. [cite web|url=http://youtube.com/watch?v=KnTGulIZZTE|title="Beginning Responsibility - Lunchroom Manners", Coronet Films (1950)]

N

* Nine Inch Nails — sole constant member Trent Reznor chose the name because it "could be abbreviated easily" and denied any "literal meaning" to the name. [(1994) "Talking about Nothing with Trent Reznor". "Axcess" 2.]
* Nirvana - guitarist Kurt Cobain heard it while watching a late night special on Buddhism. Nirvana means to describe the perfect peace of the mind that is free from craving, anger and other afflictive states. [Cobain, Kurt.]
* NOFX — guitarist Eric Melvin says that he came up with the name, inspired by the broken up punk band "Negative FX". The name is also meant to symbolize the band's rejection of gimmickry that the band was seeing in music at the time. [Melvin, Eric. " [http://www.nofxofficialwebsite.com/history/history.html History // NOFX] ". Retrieved on November 19 2007.]

O

* Oasis evolved from an earlier band called The Rain, comprised of Paul "Guigsy" McGuigan (bass guitar), Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs (guitar), Tony McCarroll (drums) and Chris Hutton (vocals). Unsatisfied with Hutton, Arthurs auditioned acquaintance Liam Gallagher as a replacement. After Gallagher joined the group, the band's name was changed to Oasis, which was inspired by an Inspiral Carpets tour poster which was in his and his brother Noel's bedroom. One of the venues on it was the Oasis Leisure Centre in Swindon. [Harris, John. "Britpop!: Cool Britannia and the Spectacular Demise of English Rock". Da Capo Press, 2004. ISBN 0-306-81367-X, pg. 124-25]

P

* Pearl Jam's first name was "Mookie Blaylock" after the All-Star basketball player, but the name was changed to "Pearl Jam" due to trademark concerns. Vocalist Eddie Vedder claimed in an early interview that the name was a reference to his great-grandmother Pearl. [Neely, Kim. "Right Here, Right Now". "Rolling Stone", October 31 1991.] In 2006 guitarist Mike McCready said that bass player Jeff Ament came up with "Pearl" and that "Jam" was added after seeing Neil Young live. [Hiatt, Brian. " [http://www.rollingstone.com/news/coverstory/pearl_jam_the_second_coming The Second Coming of Pearl Jam] ". "Rolling Stone", June 16 2006. Retrieved on November 19 2007.]
* Phish - A play on drummer John Fishman's last name... altered spelling as in The Beatles.
* Pink Floyd - Playing under multiple names, including "Tea Set", when the band found themselves on the same bill as another band with the same name, Syd Barrett came up with the alternative name The Pink Floyd Sound, after two blues musicians, Pink Anderson and Floyd Council. [Mason, p. 30] [ [http://www.uncut.co.uk Uncut, September 2006, p. 54] ] For a time after this they oscillated between "The Tea Set" and "The Pink Floyd Sound", with the latter name eventually winning out. The "Sound" was dropped fairly quickly, but the definite article was still used regularly until 1970. The group's UK releases during the Syd Barrett era credited them as "The" Pink Floyd as did their first two U.S. singles. 1969's "More" and "Ummagumma" albums credit the band as Pink Floyd, produced by The Pink Floyd, while 1970's "Atom Heart Mother" credits the band as The Pink Floyd, produced by Pink Floyd. David Gilmour is known to have referred to the group as "The" Pink Floyd as late as 1984. [Schaffner, p. 276]
* Pixies — selected randomly from a dictionary by guitarist Joey Santiago. The band took a liking to the word's definition, "mischievous little elves". [" [http://www.4ad.com/pixies/profile/ Pixies Profile] ". 4AD Records. Retrieved on November 19 2007.] The name was shortened from the original, "Pixies In Panoply". [Biel, Jean-Michel; Gourraud, Christophe. " [http://aleceiffel.free.fr/titles.html Pixies Titles/Names] ". Alec Eiffel. Retrieved on November 19 2007.]
* +44 — pronounced "plus forty four," a reference to the international dialing code of the United Kingdom, where band members Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker first discussed the project. [Montgomery, James. " [http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1499838/20050408/blink_182.jhtml Blink-182's Hoppus, Barker Form Electronic Side Project] ". MTV, April 8 2005. Retrieved on November 20 2007.]
* The Pogues — Originally called Pogue Mahone - Gaelic for "Kiss my ass." Shortened to The Pogues after complaints received by the BBC. [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/r2music/documentaries/pogues.shtml BBC - Radio 2 - Documentaries - Pogue Mahone: The Story of the Pogues ] ]
* Porno for Pyros — inspired by the Los Angeles riots of 1992. [Mullen, Brendan (2005). "Whores: An Oral Biography of Perry Farrell and Jane's Addiction". Da Capo Press. ISBN 0306814781. p. 266]
* Procol Harum — The band was named after the pedigree name of a Siamese cat that belonged to a friend of Guy Stevens, the band's manager. [ [http://www.procolharum.com/guystevens2.htm Guy Stevens: uniter of Brooker and Reid ] ] The name was Procul Harun, which is Latin for "Beyond these things", but was written down incorrectly by Keith Reid. [ [http://www.classicbands.com/procol.html Procol Harum] ] The band would say in interviews that the cat was a Burmese Blue, though all cats with the name are the Devon Rex breed. [ [http://www.procolharum.com/young_cat3.htm 'You'll see me there,' said the Cat, and vanished ] ]

Q

* Queen - Were originally called Smile. Singer Freddie Mercury came up with the new name for the band, later saying: "Years ago I thought up the name “Queen” … It’s just a name, but it’s very regal obviously, and it sounds splendid … It’s a strong name, very universal and immediate. It had a lot of visual potential and was open to all sorts of interpretations. I was certainly aware of gay connotations, but that was just one face of it." [http://www.mercury-and-queen.com/queen.htm]

R

* Radiohead — originally known as "On a Friday," the band was given two weeks after signing to Parlophone to change their name. The band renamed themselves after the 1986 Talking Heads song "Radio Head" on the album "True Stories", claiming it as the "least annoying song" from the album. [Randall, Mac (2000). "Exit Music: The Radiohead Story". Delta Trade Paperbacks. ISBN 0385333935. p. 55]
* Rage Against the Machine - when the band formed in 1991, they chose the name of a song Zack de la Rocha had written for his old band, Inside Out. [ [http://www.musicfanclubs.org/rage/articles/kerrang1099.htm the complete RATM site ] ]
* R.E.M. — vocalist Michael Stipe drew the acronym randomly out of the dictionary. The term refers to the rapid eye movement phase of sleep. [Buckley, David (2002). "R.E.M.: Fiction: An Alternative Biography". Virgin. ISBN 1-85227-927-3. p. 39]
* The Residents - In 1971 the group sent a reel-to-reel tape to Hal Halverstadt at Warner Brothers. Because the band had not included any name in the return address, the rejection slip was simply addressed to "The Residents". The members of the group then decided that this would be the name they would use, first becoming Residents Unincorporated, then shortening it to the current name. [ [http://wm05.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:0ifrxqw5ld6e allmusic ((( The Residents > Overview )))]
* The Rolling Stones — from the Muddy Waters song, "Rollin' Stone". [" [http://www.rockhall.com/hof/inductee.asp?id=182 The Rolling Stones] ". The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Retrieved November 20 2007.]

* Sepultura - Their name means "Grave" in Portuguese. The name was chosen after co-founder Max Cavalera translated the lyrics to the Motörhead song "Dancing on Your Grave". [Max tells this story in the video "Third World Chaos".]

* Shai Hulud — Named after the gigantic Sandworms of Arrakis from the 1984 sci-fi film Dune, based on the Frank Herbert sci-fi novel of the same name. [cite web|title= Interview with Matt Fox, Chad Gilbert and Dave Silber of Shai Hulud, Obese Zine 1998|publisher= Obese Zine|url= http://www.ruleeverymoment.com/media/interviews/interview.php?id=17|date=1998|accessdate= 2008-03-21]

* Sloan — According to band member Jay Ferguson, the band's name refers to a friend's nickname. Their friend Jason Larsen was called "slow one" by his French-speaking boss, which with the French accent sounded more like "Sloan." The original agreement was that they could name the band after their friend's nickname as long as he was on the cover of their first album. As a result, it is Larsen who appears on the cover of Sloan's "Peppermint EP". [Ferguson, Jay; Murphy, Chris. " [http://www.sloanmusic.com/a/about/faq/fanfaqtop10 Fan F.A.Q. - Top 10 Questions (Aug 2000)] ". Retrieved on November 20 2007.]
* Steely Dan — Named after a dildo in the novel "Naked Lunch" by William S. Burroughs. [ [http://www.steelydan.com/faq.html Official Steely Dan | FAQ ] ]

* Smash Mouth - Football players use this slang term in any game with a lot of blocking or tackling.

* Spinal Tap - Another name for the lumbar puncture, a medical test for meningitis. The band's were originally called "The Originals", but discovered there was another band with the same name, so changed theirs to "The New Originals", only to change it back to "The Originals" when the other band decided to become "The Regulars".

* Spoon - After the 1970s German avant-garde band Can's song "Spoon" (the theme song to the movie Das Messer)

T

* Taking Back Sunday — The band is named after a song by Long Island band The Waiting Process who were inspired by their grandmother, Tina, that they should take back Sunday from the Christian people in Long Island. [cite news
first=Jason C.
last=Jones
title= Taking Back Sunday
url=http://www.in-your-ear.net/features/interviews/takingbacksunday/
publisher=In Your Ear
accessdate=2007-03-02
]
* Talking Heads - Probably from the video jargon for a camera shot showing only the head & shoulders of a person. Newscasters are usually shown this way and it makes for boring TV. Another story says they were inspired by a military experiment involving talking mannequin heads.
*Third Eye Blind - Our third eye is the imagined one that gives us a kind of sixth sense (telepathy, ESP, etc.) and the band felt that most of us are blind in that sense. There is also a symbolic third eye (all knowing eye) that appears on the back of a U.S. dollar bill.

U

* U2 - Three possibilities: 1) A type of spy plane used by the United States in the 1960s - made famous when Gary Powers' U2 plane was shot down over Russia and he was taken as a prisoner during the Cold War. 2) U2 as in "you too" referring to the audience and its role in the musical experience. 3) A U2 is an unemployment form in Ireland (see UB40)

V

*Van Halen - After Alex and Eddie Van Halen - suggested by David Lee Roth as being better than their original name "Mammoth."
* The Velvet Underground were named after a book about sadomasochism by Michael Leigh. [ [http://www.amazon.com/Velvet-Underground-Michael-Leigh/dp/1871592283 Amazon.com: The Velvet Underground: Michael Leigh: Books ] ]
* The Villebillies - The word "Villebillies" " [Vill-bill-eez] " came from a lyric written by vocalist Derek "Child" Monyhan shortly after joining the group. It is a combination of the words Louisville, the band's hometown and largest urban center in Kentucky, and Hillbilly in reference to Kentucky's rural mountain culture. The name references the cross genre nature of the band's music. [http://www.musiqtone.com/interviews/major/villebilllies_032607.php Interview, explains origin and meaning of the band's name]

W

* Weezer - Band member Rivers Cuomo had the nickname Weezer in school because of a breathing problem.
*White Snake - From a white albino ball python snake owned by David Coverdale while in Deep Purple.
* The Who were originally called The Detours, then changed their name to The Who after a suggestion by Townsend's friend Richard Barnes. Their first manager, Pete Meaden, renamed them The High Numbers, and they released one unsuccessful single, Zoot Suit, under that name. When EMI dropped them the band sacked Pete Meaden and went back to being called The Who. [ [http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Stage/1918/hinumber.htm The High Numbers Page ] ]

X

* Xiu Xiu — from the 1998 Chinese film "". [Ashlock, Jesse. " [http://www.epitonic.com/index.jsp?refer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.epitonic.com%2Fartists%2Fxiuxiu.html Xiu Xiu] ". Epitonic.com, October 10 2002. Retrieved on November 20 2007.]

Y

* The Yardbirds grew out of Keith Relf's The Metropolitan Blues Quartet. When the band changed members in 1963 Relf changed the name to Yardbirds partly from the nickname of jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker, "Bird", and partly from the American slang for prisoner. [ [http://www.angelfire.com/rock3/yardbird_sect/Ybhistory1.html Yardbirds ] ]

Z

*ZZ Top - Taken from the name of a Texas Blues man ZZ Hill. Though a rumor is that they got their name by combining Zig Zag and Top, two well known brands of "cigarette" rolling papers.

See also

* Lists of etymologies
* List of bands named after other bands' songs

References

Bibliography

* Dolgins, Adam (1998). "Rock Names: From Abba to ZZ Top: How Rock Bands Got Their Names". Cidermill Books. ISBN 0806520469.
* Wilson, Dave (2005). "Rock Formations: Categorical Answers to How Band Names Were Formed". Carol Pub. Group. ISBN 0974848352.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • List of company name etymologies — This is a list of company names with their name origins explained. Some origins are disputed. NOTOC #*20th Century Fox – Film studio; formed in 1935 through the merger of William Fox s Fox Film, and Twentieth Century Pictures. [… …   Wikipedia

  • List of river name etymologies — This page lists the various etymologies (origins) of the names of rivers around the world.Africa*Apies: from Afrikaans meaning little apes *Berg: from Afrikaans meaning mountain *Breede: from Afrikaans meaning wide *Escravos: from Portuguese… …   Wikipedia

  • List of computer term etymologies — This is a list of the origins of computer related terms or terms used in the computing world (i.e., a list of computer term etymologies). It relates to both computer hardware and computer software. Names of many computer terms, especially… …   Wikipedia

  • List of Oregon county name etymologies — This is a list of county name etymologies for the U.S. state of Oregon. More details on the etymologies of Oregon county names and place names in general are documented in Oregon Geographic Names . *Baker County, Oregon Named in honor of Edward… …   Wikipedia

  • List of Arizona county name etymologies — This is a list of Arizona county name etymologies:*Apache County, Arizona: Apache is named after the Apache Native American people. *Cochise County, Arizona: Cochise is named after Cochise, the Apache Native American leader. *Coconino County,… …   Wikipedia

  • List of bands named after other performers' songs — This is a list of bands whose names are taken from songs by other artists where both artists in question have articles on the English Wikipedia. Exact matches* A Day in the Life (now known as Hawthorne Heights), after the Beatles song A Day in… …   Wikipedia

  • List of eponyms — An eponym is a person (real or fictitious) from whom something is said to take its name. The word is back formed from eponymous , from the Greek eponymos meaning giving name . NOTOC Here is a list of eponyms:A B C D E F G H I–J K L–ZA* Achilles,… …   Wikipedia

  • List of Spanish words of Germanic origin — This is an initial list of many Spanish words that come from Germanic languages. It is further divided into words that come from Visigothic, Frankish, Langobardic, Middle Dutch, Middle High German, Middle Low German, Old English, Old High German …   Wikipedia

  • List of Middle-earth animals — Contents 1 Species 1.1 Crebain 1.2 Fell beasts 1.3 …   Wikipedia

  • List of counties in Oregon — MH BK WL UN UM …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.