Printers Row Publishing Group:

Blog

The Who? Origins of Band Names

April 18, 2016

Ever wonder how rock bands get their names? So do we. After some digging around, we found these origins.
Origins of Band Names

CHICAGO

They originally called themselves Chicago Transit Authority, but had to shorten it after the city of Chicago sued.

ALICE COOPER

Lead singer Vincent Furnier claims to have gotten his stage name from a Ouija board, through which he met a spirit with that name.

EURYTHMICS

An 1890s system of music instruction that emphasized physical response.

METALLICA

Drummer Lars Ulrich was helping a friend name a heavy metal magazine. Ulrich’s two suggestions: 1) Metal Mania (which the friend used), and 2) Metallica.

THE REPLACEMENTS

They were filling in for another band at the last minute. When the MC asked who the band was, singer Paul Westerberg replied, “The replacements.”

WHITE STRIPES

While the band members are named Jack and Meg White, the band is named for Meg’s love of red-and-whitestriped peppermint candies.

WEEZER

Lead singer Rivers Cuomo got this nickname in grade school. He had asthma.

THE SMITHS

They wanted a generic name that wouldn’t suggest anything about the band’s kind of music.

XTC

Singer Andy Partridge saw an old movie in which Jimmy Durante said, “That’s it, I’m in ecstasy!”

BLACK SABBATH

From a 1963 Boris Karloff horror movie.

DEF LEPPARD

Singer Joe Elliot once drew a picture of a leopard with no ears—a “deaf leopard.”

MOODY BLUES

They named the band in honor of one of their favorite songs—Duke Ellington’s “Mood Indigo.”

BADFINGER

They were originally called the Iveys. When they signed with the Beatles’ Apple Records label, Paul McCartney gave them this name. It was the original title of the Beatles song “A Little Help from My Friends.”

FALL OUT BOY

In their early years, they asked an audience what their name should be. Somebody yelled “Fall Out Boy.” They liked it and took it, unaware that it was the name of a character on The Simpsons. When they found out, they feared they’d be sued. But The Simpsons’ producers thought the band had the name first, and that they were going to be sued. (Neither was.)

DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE

Named after a song written by Monty Python collaborator Neil Innes for his 1960s psychedelic group, the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band.

TLC

It’s not what you think. It comes from the first letters of each of the group’s first names: Tionne, Lisa, and Chilli.

EMINEM

The rapper gave himself this stage name using his initials— M and M (for Marshall Mathers)—spelled out phonetically.

NINE INCH NAILS

Nine-inch nails are used in coffins. Singer Trent Reznor made a list of potential band names and settled on this one because “it still sounded good after two weeks” and could be easily abbreviated.

WINGS

Paul McCartney came up with it while waiting in a hospital wing as his wife Linda was giving birth to one of their children.

EVERCLEAR

Named after an extremely strong (190 proof) grain alcohol.

COLDPLAY

They stole it from another band that broke up. The original band got the name from a book by poet Philip Horky, entitled Child’s Reflections, Cold Play.
Uncle John's Curiously Compelling Bathroom Reader

Facebook
Twitter
Google+
LinkedIn
Pinterest
Follow by Email
RSS

Leave a Reply

avatar
1 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
1 Comment authors
Craig Crofoot Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Craig Crofoot
Guest

Metallica is a combination of metal & vodka

Subscribe to our Mailing List