This is topic How did that band get its name? in forum « 80s Music at iRewind Talk.

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Posted by jlp937 (Member # 1877) on :
I just saw on the 80s music channel this morning that UB40 got its name off of a British unemployment form.

I also know that Duran Duran got its name from the movie Barberella.

Are there any other bands that you know of how they got their name? I think that this is a very interesting topic, so feel free to talk about any era of bands! ;)
Posted by Sam Hain 666 (Member # 3150) on :
Guns N Roses--two bands LA Guns(an early edition) and Hollywood Rose merged.

Bay City Rollers--stuck a stick pin in a map of the USA and it landed on bay City, Michigan and then added the word Rollers at the end.

Lynyrd Skynyrd--from the gym teacher at the school who used to harass them for their long hair Leonard Skinner.
Posted by jlp937 (Member # 1877) on :
Hey this is very cool! I love the Lynyrd Skynyrd thing! I can't wait to see more!
Posted by GoldTransAM (Member # 2973) on :
Jethro Tull got their name from a 18th century agriculturalist. Pink Floyd was named after two blues musicians Pink Anderson and Floyd Council. Go to this site for misunderstood lyrics and origins of band names.
Posted by Bionic Bigfoot (Member # 2490) on :
I don't know if it's true or not, but I heard that Led Zepplin got their name when they were thinking about forming a band and they were all sitting around discussing it and one of the members said something like "this band has aboout as much of a chance of taking off as a lead zepplin."
Posted by StevenHW (Member # 509) on :
JLP asked:
Are there any other bands that you know of how they got their name?
Here are some examples. More to come, though, for a later post:

The Pretenders: From the 1956 hit song by The Platters, "The Great Pretender". The group had flirted with the idea of calling themselves The Great Pretenders, but then thought it sounded too egotistical, especially for such a new band. So, they settled on The Pretenders.

R.E.M.: For the term "Rapid Eye Movement". It refers to how your eyes move when you sleep, and when dreaming occurs.

Toad The Wet Sprocket: From a Monty Python skit called "Record Notes", which appears on their 1980 album Monty Python's Contractual Obligation album. It had Eric Idle doing news stories involving fictional rock singers and bands. The skit used a lot of made-up names, and a "group" called Toad The Wet Sprocket was among the ones listed in the sketch. The band decided to name themselves after one of the "made-up" groups.

The Power Station: From the recording studio of the same name, located in New York.

REO Speedwagon: From an old turn-of-the-20th Century fire truck.

Steely Dan: Named themselves after a dildo in William Burrough's novel, "The Naked Lunch".

The B-52s: They are *NOT* named after the warplane, but instead for the style of the "beehive" hairdos that group members Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson used.

The Rolling Stones: From Muddy Waters' blues song.

Iron Maiden: Named after the medieval torture instrument in Alexandre Dumas' (pere) novel "The Man In The Iron Mask".

Chicago: Originally, they were known as The Chicago Transit Authority, until the *REAL* CTA threatened them with a lawsuit over the use of the name. So, the band simply became Chicago.

The Doors: From Aldous Huxley's book on his mescaline experience, entitled "The Doors Of Perception".

The [English] Beat: Originally called The Beat, but there was an American group with the same name and at the same time, led by a guy named Paul Collins. To avoid confusion, both bands were renamed The English Beat and Paul Collins' Beat.

Toto: They were NOT named after the dog in "The Wizard of Oz". Instead, they named themselves after a Japanese manufacturer of bathroom fixtures and toilet bowls! Seems appropriate to me! [Smile]

Berlin: When asked the question why this Los Angeles group called themselves Berlin, the group's singer Terri Nunn reportedly once said, "Because none of us ever been there before."

There's a lot more, but that's all I can think of right now! Maybe I'll come up with some additional ones later on! [Smile]

[ 28. December 2004, 22:36: Message edited by: StevenHW ]
Posted by StevenHW (Member # 509) on :
Part of Bionic Bigfoot's post:
...they were all sitting around discussing it and one of the members said something like "this band has aboout as much of a chance of taking off as a lead zepplin."
It was my understanding that Keith Moon, the drummer for The Who, was the person who actually said that to the newly-formed Led Zeppelin group, as a joke.

Another bit of trivia: When Led Zep was just starting, there were a few critics and naysayers who felt that the group had received too much publicity, and called it "superhype". So, the band named their own song publishing company, "Superhype"!

And the lesson for the day: It's amazing that you can take someone else's negative energy and channel it to a positive! Success is the best revenge! [Cool]
Posted by StevenHW (Member # 509) on :
Oh, several more that I just thought of:

T'Pau: From a "Star Trek" character.

Faster Pussycat: From a low-budget nudie movie from the 1960's, called "Faster Pussycat, Kill! Kill!", directed by Russ Meyer (R.I.P.)

Velvet Underground: Named after a kinky S&M pornographic paperback book.

Stryper: This Christian rock band got its name (where else?) from the Bible. Book of Isaiah 53:5.

Level 42: A reference from Douglas Adams' book "The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy", which later became a TV show.

Veruca Salt: Named after a character from the story "Charlie & The Chocolate Factory", which later became the early 70's movie "Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory", and another upcoming remake.

The Pet Shop Boys: The members had friends who worked in pet shops.


[ 30. December 2004, 00:41: Message edited by: StevenHW ]
Posted by StevenHW (Member # 509) on :
To JLP (and anyone else who is interested):

Here is a website devoted to the origins of band names. Check it out!
Posted by HipsterMom27 (Member # 2161) on :
Jeezus, Steven, and I thought I knew a lot of useless information...those stats are awesome!

Of course, I thought everyone knew the Skynyrd story but maybe that depth of knowledge is reserved for us rewind oldsters.

~Lead electric triangle for Toad the Wet Sprocket

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