Jump to content

Origin Of Band Names


Recommended Posts

* 10,000 MANIACS - Their name was derived from the title of a Hershel Gordon Lewis horror film about a Confederate ghost town that takes revenge on some Yankee travelers.

* 10CC - Band member Eric Stewart has said publicly that Jonathan King, who signed the group to UK Records, had a dream that his newly signed band had made number one on the album and singles charts simultaneously in America. The band in the dream was called 10cc. The very next morning he gave his newly signed band that same name.

* 3 DOORS DOWN - The band was walking by an old building and they saw a sign with some letters that had fallen off. The remaining letters read 'doors down', and there were 3 band members at the time. It fit.

* AC/DC - A band member saw AC/DC on a vacuum cleaner and figured it has something to do with power. He was right, it means "Alternating Current / Direct Current". The band didn't realize it was also slang for bi-sexual.

* AEROSMITH – According to Joey Kramer in the band’s autobiography, the inspiration for the band name and spelling came from him and his girlfriend listening to Harry Nilsson’s “Aerial Ballet”. He liked the name and “aero” spelling before the band even existed.

* AMBOY DUKES - After a great 1942 pulp novel about Brooklyn Street gangs written by Irving Shulman.

* ...AND YOU WILL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF DEAD - Taken from a prayer to Mayan corn gods. The first four lines say: Sever for us all ties ; Between the now and what is to be ; We will act as your sword, oh Great Itzamna ; And you will know us by the trail of dead.

* ANIMALS – Named after a local gang leader who called himself, “Animal Hog”. Eric Burdon and drummer John Steel both grew up in that same area of Newcastle, England.

* ART OF NOISE - Named after the 1913 artistic manifesto called 'The Art of Noises' by Italian Futurist, Luigi Russolo. The Futurists sought to represent staples of speed, noise and progress through aggressive, dynamic art and music.

* BACKSTREET BOYS - Named after a flea market in Orlando Florida.

* BAD COMPANY - A 1972 movie by Jeff Bridges.

* BADFINGER - The working title of the BEATLES song "A Little Help From My Friends".

* BANGLES - They wanted to be the BANGS, but there was already a band using that name.

* BLACK CROWES - Originally named "Uncle Crowe's Garden" after a children’s fairy tale.

* BLACK SABBATH - Named after a 1963 horror movie starring Boris Karloff.

* BLIND MELON - "Blind Melons" is the name bassist Brad Smith’s father used to refer to his not-so-likely-to-succeed neighbors. The legend goes that one day Brad asked the rest of the band, "What’s happening, blind melons?" and the name stuck.

* BLINK 182 - They were originally called BLINK, but were forced to change their name because a techno band in Ireland was already called that. 182 are how many times Al Pacino said, "crap" in the movie Scarface.

* BLOOD, SWEAT & TEARS - Al Kooper came up with the name for his new band when he was on the phone with a promoter while gazing at a Johnny Cash album cover. The album was called, "Blood, Sweat & Tears". The inspiration for the band name did not come from a Winston Churchill quote as was previously rumoured.

* BLONDIE - Debbie Harry was in a band called the Stillettos. After the band broke up, Debbie and her boyfriend from the band decided to form their own group. They went through several names, when a passing truck driver cat-called out to her, as so many had before, "Hey, Blondie!" She decided that that had to be it!

* BLUE CHEER - 1960's nickname for high-quality LSD.

* BLUES TRAVELER - The name was inspired by Gozer the Traveler in Ghostbusters 1.

* BLUR - The band was originally called "Seymour", but a condition of their record deal was they had to pick a new name from a list that the label supplied. "Blur" was on the list.

* BOOKER T. & THE M.G.'S - Booker T. led the band and M.G. stands for Memphis Group.

* BOOMTOWN RATS - From a gang in Woody Guthrie's "Bound for Glory".

* BREEDERS - Homosexual slang for Heterosexuals.

* BUSH - Named after a neighborhood in London called "Shepherd’s Bush".

* CASSANDRA COMPLEX - Cassandra, a Greek mythological figure who had the gift of prophecy with the curse of no one ever believing her.

* RAY CHARLES - His real name is Ray Charles Robinson, but he wanted no confusion with boxer Sugar Ray Robinson.

* CHEAP TRICK - They asked an Ouiji Board what they should call their band.

* CHICAGO - Their first album was released as "Chicago Transit Authority", and then the city of Chicago sued them. Chicago Transit Authority is the name of Chicago's public transportation department.

* CHUBBY CHECKER - Dick Clark's wife thought up the name as a take off on Fats Domino.

* CHUMBAWAMBA - Based on a band member's dream. He didn't know which door to use in a public toilet because the signs said "Chumba" and "Wamba" instead of "Men" and "Women".

* THE CLASH - Shortly after recruiting Joe Strummer, Mick Jones and Paul Simonon were trying to think of a band name. Mick came across the word 'Clash' in a newspaper headline.

* COLDPLAY - In an interview, bassist Guy said: "There's no real reason behind it, really. Johnny and Chris lived in a flat with two other people who were in a band. They changed the name of their band every other week, and for about a week they were called Coldplay. But they discarded it; so we thought we like the way it looked and sounded, so we used the stolen name." By the way: this stolen name comes from a collection of poetry.

* COLLECTIVE SOUL - The band took their name from a passage in Ayn Rand's book 'The Fountainhead'.

* COUNTING CROWS - Took their name from the 1989 movie 'Signs of Life'. Member Adam Duritz was dating Mary Louise Parker at the time. She was one of the stars.

* CRANBERRIES - The name started as Cranberries Saw Us (a play on 'Cranberry Sauce'). When Dolores O'Riordan joined, she recommended shortening the name.

* CREAM - These three good, but egotistic musicians considered themselves the "Cream of the crop".

* CREED - Original bassist, Brain Marshall came from a band named MADDOX'S CREED and his new bandmates were playing around with the word "creed" and their names. They finally settled on just Creed.

* CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL - Name inspired by a logo on Olympia beer cans.

* DAFT PUNK – Taken from a highly critical magazine review of their former band, Darling.

* CYPRESS HILL - Named after a street that runs through the South Central L.A. hood they call home.

* DEEP PURPLE - Ritchie Blackmore's grandmother liked the BING CROSBY's song "Deep Purple".

* DEPECHE MODE - The name is French for "fast fashion" and was chosen by Dave from the cover of a French fashion magazine.

* DESTINY’S CHILD - One day when band member Beyonce Knowles's mother was reading the Bible, a page bearing the name 'destiny' fell out of it. Mamma Knowles looked at it as a “sign” and named her daughters band Destiny's Children. The name was later shortened to a snappier Destiny's Child.

* DIXIE CHICKS – From the title of an album by “Little Feat”.

* THE DOORS - From a William Blake quote 'If the doors of perception were to be cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite'. The Doors were originally called the Psychedelic Rangers.

* DURAN DURAN - A villain in the 1967 movie "Barbarella".

* BOB DYLAN - His real name Robert Zimmerman was too long and he was a big fan of Dylan Thomas.

* EMINEM - Taken from the initials of his real name, Marshal Mathers ~ M&M. He decided to spell it EMINEM.

* EURYTHMICS - A system of music instruction from the 1890s that emphasizes physical response.

* EVERCLEAR - Got their name from a brand of 190 proof (95-percent pure grain) alcohol.

* FAITH NO MORE - The band members were in a band called "Faith No Man" and when they got rid of their lead singer, Mike "The Man" Morris, they changed it to "Faith No More" as a joke.

* FASTER PUSSYCAT - Took their name from a 1966 Russ Myer 'B' Movie titled 'Faster Pussycat, Kill, Kill!'

* FOLK IMPLOSION – An “at first misunderstood” tribute to the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion who, like the members of Folk Implosion, had also attended Brown University. The name was meant to represent an opposite type of music styling from the Blues Explosion.

* FOO FIGHTERS - World War II slang for UFOs.

* GENESIS – The first book in the Bible. The name was part of their first album's title "From Genesis to Revelation". Their producer Jonathan King suggested the name since it was his first production project and their first album.

* GODSMACK – Named after a song by Alice in Chains on 1992’s "Dirt". AND According to Sully in a 1999 interview, he was making fun of the drummer one day during rehearsal because of a cold sore he had... the next day Sully came in with a cold sore. The guitar player said "See, God just smacked you for making fun of him."

* GOLDEN EARRING - Took their name from a 1947 Marlene Dietrich movie.

* GOO GOO DOLLS - The name was derived from an ad in 'True Detective' magazine for a doll head that you put your finger in to change its expression.

* GRAND FUNK RAILROAD - A mutation of "The Grand Trunk Railroad", which is a Michigan landmark.

* GRATEFUL DEAD – Inspired by an English folk tale. The story is about a traveler who reaches a village where they refuse to bury a dead man’s body because of his debts. The man pays off the debt and the man is buried, along the way he’s mysteriously saved in an event that is credited to the grateful spirit. The band was originally called The Warlocks.

* THE GUESS WHO - Originally named “Chad Allan And The Expressions”, (pre-Burton Cummings) the Canadian group released their version of “Shakin’ All Over” on a single as "Guess Who?" to fool pre-Canadian content radio programmers into thinking it was a British band performing under an alias. It worked so well the band had to change its name and the rest is history.

* GUNS N’ ROSES - took their name from original guitarist Tracii Guns and vocalist Axl Rose. Guns went on to form “LA Guns”, Rose kept the band name.

* HELMET - They were originally called "Purple Helmet" and decided to tone down the penis reference.

* HOT TUNA – Original band name was “Hot .”. The record company made them change it.

* HUSKER DU - A board game that was popular in the fifties, which was Swedish for "Do You Remember?"

* ICE T - Inspired by a legendary pimp from decades past called ICEBERG SLIM. ICEBERG SLIM switched to writing "gangsta" books to stay out of prison in his later years.

* INCUBUS - An Incubus was a mythological creature that would come into villages at night and impregnate the women without anybody knowing.

* IRON BUTTERFLY - The band wanted a name that sounded heavy and beautiful at the same time. Trivia: Their biggest hit was "In A Gadda Da Vida", which was originally called "In The Garden of Eden". The singer was so trashed on LSD one rehearsal that it came out "In A Gadda Da Vida", and the band decided that was a better name for the song.

* IRON MAIDEN - The band was named after a medieval torture instrument. The actual iron maiden was a coffin which had metal spikes on the inside. The prisoner was placed inside it and skewered to death when the iron maiden was closed

* JAMIROQUAI - A wordplay with "Jam" and "Iroquai" (the Native American tribe which is of course spelled "Iroquois".

* JANE’S ADDICTION - A prostitute the band members had all met through.

* JARS OF CLAY - The bands favorite Bible Verse, 2 Corinthians, 4:16.

* JESUS AND MARY CHAIN - The band has said it was taken from an offer on a breakfast cereal packet, to send away for a gold Jesus and Mary chain.

* JETHRO TULL - Jethro Tull was a British inventor/farmer in the 1800's who invented the precursor to the modern plow.

* JIMMY EAT WORLD - Two of guitarist Tom Linton's brothers, Jimmy and Ed, had a fight way back in their childhood. The brawl came to an end when Jimmy locked his smaller brother out of his room. Ed got pissed, got his crayons and drew a picture of his brother shoving what appeared to be the earth into his gaping mouth. The angry caption at the bottom of the picture read, "Jimmy eat world".

* JOHNNY ROTTEN - Named after his rotten teeth.

* JUDAS PRIEST - from the BOB DYLAN tune "The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest".

* BB KING - "Blues Boy King".

* KING CRIMSON - Their original lyricist, Peter Sinfield, thought of it as a synonym for Beelzebub, which is Hebrew for 'Lord of the Flies'. Beelzebub was Satan's chief lieutenant among the fallen angels.

* KINKS - In an early publicity photo, all members posed with whips. Leaving little doubt that their name was derived from the word “kinky”.

* KORN - Jonathan Davis and the rest of the band got drunk one night while trying to come up with a good name. One member made a suggestion and Davis remarked, “Yeah that sounds about as intelligent as calling it ‘Korn’.” It stuck.

* KRAFTWERK - German for "power plant".

* LEVEL 42 - From the fact that 42 is given as "the ultimate answer to the

* ultimate question of life, the universe and everything" in Douglas Adams' book “HitchHiker's Guide To the Galaxy”.

* LITTLE FEAT - When Lowell George was a member of the Mothers of Invention, their drummer Jimmy Carl Black (an Indian) used to refer to him as Little Feet, an ironic reference to the size of his pedal extremities.

* LITTLE TEXAS - Named after a small community just south of Nashville.

* LL COOL J - Acronym for "Ladies Love Cool James".

* LOVIN' SPOONFUL - From the lyrics of John Hurt's "Coffee Blues". It's also slang for sperm.

* LYNYRD SKYNRD - Named for band members' high-school PE teacher, Leonard Skinner.

* MANHATTAN TRANSFER - Taken from a novel by John Dos Passos about New York City in the 1920s.

* MARCY PLAYGROUND - The singer used to go to a hippie grade school called Marcy Open School.

* MARSHALL TUCKER BAND - Marshall Tucker was the owner of the band's rehearsal hall.

* MARTHA AND THE VANDELLAS - A combination of Della Reese, who Martha Reeves had just been inspired by and a nearby major street in Detroit called Van Dyke. Martha combined “Van” with “Della” to come up with a name that Berry Gordy liked immediately.

* MC5 - "Motor City Five"

* MEGADETH - Inspired by a government pamphlet. A Mega death is a military term for one million dead people.

* MFSB - Stands for Mother, Father, Sister, Brother.

* MIGHTY, MIGHTY BOSSTONES - Originally the BOSSTONES in tribute to their hometown (Boston). After they realized there was a 1950's Harvard acappella group with the same name, a bartender friend recommended the MIGHTY, MIGHTY part.

* MOBY - his real name is Richard Melville Hall. That's why he took his pseudonym from a Herman Melville novel - "Moby Dick".

* MOLLY HATCHET - Named after a famous 17th Century axe murderess nicknamed “Hatchet Molly”, who had a habit of beheading her lovers.

* MOODY BLUES - They were originally “M&B 5” because they wanted to perform in a Birmingham brewery called 'Mitchell's Bottlery.' The building had a big 'MB' on it. It didn't work out so they changed names. Duke Ellington's 'Mood Indigo' was one member's favorite song.

* MOTLEY CRUE - An observant friend remarked, "What a motley looking crew".

* MOTORHEAD - British slang for a speed freak (which Lemmy evidently was).

* MOTT THE HOOPLE - From a novel of the same name by Willard Manus. The book is about an eccentric that works in a circus freak show.

* MR. MISTER - From a T-Rex song on the Tanx album.

* MUDHONEY – From a Russ Meyer movie.

* MUNGO JERRY – The band took their name from a cat in T.S. Eliot’s book from 1939 called, “Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats”.

* NASHVILLE seafood - On Ted Nugent's "Double Live Gonzo" album he dedicates his song "Wang Dang Sweet Poontang" to "All that Nashville seafood"

* NEW ORDER - Signified "fresh start" for Joy Division after death of their old singer Ian Curtis. The term was also used by Hitler, but the band denies any connotations.

* NINE INCH NAILS - Named after the stakes used to nail Jesus to the cross.

* NIRVANA - In Buddhism it means the state of perfect blessedness attained through the annihilation of the self.

* NO DOUBT - The group took its name from member John Spence’s favorite phrase.

* NRBQ - New Rhythm and Blues Quintet

* N SYNC - From the last letter of every band members name.

* O’JAYS - Named after Cleveland disc jockey, Eddie O’Jay who took the band under his wing after they had failed as the “Mascots”.

* PANTERA - Portuguese for panther.

* PEARL JAM - From a homemade jam that Eddie Vedders grandmother used to make that contained amounts of peyote.

* PHISH - A play on drummer John Fishman's last name.

* PINK FLOYD - Named after Georgia blues musicians Pink Anderson and Floyd Council.

* PIXIES – The band's guitar player, Joey Santiago was learning English and noticed the word in a dictionary. They thought it would be funny to have a big guy like Black Francis fronting a band called "The Pixies".

* P.O.D. – Abbreviation for “Payable On Death”, which is a banking term which means that an amount of money is payable upon that person's death.

* POGUES - Shortened from 'Pogue Mahone', which is a distorted version of P

Edited by sdy284

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Replies 31
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Iron Maiden?

my favorite metal band from the 80's

The band was named after a medieval torture instrument. The actual iron maiden was a coffin which had metal spikes on the inside. The prisoner was placed inside it and skewered to death when the iron maiden was closed


thats what i found on the web

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

A quote by Maynard J. Keenan-

Well, there are many layers to the name. The most obvious is a timing issue. We were going to play a show and we didn't have a name. We were reading some of the lyrics and perfect circle is in a line in one of our songs. But it does go beyond that. It's a whole idea of a group of people that have come together and completed each in some meaningful way. And there are other interpretations of the names but I'll let you explore the possibilities on your own..

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in

Sign In Now

  • Create New...