They originally called themselves Chicago Transit Authority, but had to shorten it after the city of Chicago sued.
Lead singer Vincent Furnier claims to have gotten his stage name from a Ouija board, through which he met a spirit with that name.
An 1890s system of music instruction that emphasized physical response.
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.
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.”
While the band members are named Jack and Meg White, the band is named for Meg’s love of red-and-whitestriped peppermint candies.
Lead singer Rivers Cuomo got this nickname in grade school. He had asthma.
They wanted a generic name that wouldn’t suggest anything about the band’s kind of music.
Singer Andy Partridge saw an old movie in which Jimmy Durante said, “That’s it, I’m in ecstasy!”
From a 1963 Boris Karloff horror movie.
Singer Joe Elliot once drew a picture of a leopard with no ears—a “deaf leopard.”
They named the band in honor of one of their favorite songs—Duke Ellington’s “Mood Indigo.”
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.
It’s not what you think. It comes from the first letters of each of the group’s first names: Tionne, Lisa, and Chilli.
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.
Paul McCartney came up with it while waiting in a hospital wing as his wife Linda was giving birth to one of their children.
Named after an extremely strong (190 proof) grain alcohol.