2 LIVE JEWS - Parody of the Florida rap band 2 LIVE CREW.
7 YEAR *** - A twist on movie "The 7 Year Itch".
10cc - The average man ejaculates around 9cc of sperm. The members of 10cc
they were a bit more macho than the rest of us.
60 FT. DOLLS - One night the trio was hanging out in a bar chatting with a
who collected toys from the '60s. The singer later dreamed that an alien who
to name the band 60 Ft. Dolls.
88 FINGERS LOUIE - 88 Fingers Louie was a piano thief that sold Fred a hot
an episode of The Flinstones.
311 - 311 is the police code for indecent exposure. The police arrested one
of the band
members for skinny dipping when he was 16. They cuffed him and took him
naked) to his parent's house. The other band members thought this was
the band had its name. There is a persistent that their name is derived from
being the 11th letter in the alphabet. HEATHEN WORLD prefers the police call
808 STATE - Named after the Roland TR 808 drum machine.
1000 HOMO DJ'S - Al Jourgeson and some friends were listening to an
remix of a REVOLTING COCKS song. Jim Nash of Wax Trax records reassured Al
that the only people that would hear the remix are 1000 Homo DJ's.
10,000 MANIACS - Inspired by an old horror movie called "2000 Maniacs".
A CERTAIN RATIO - A line in a Brian Eno song (On Taking Tiger Mountain by
A&M RECORDS - This huge record label was started by Herb Alpert and Jerry
Their initials made the name.
ABBA - Abba is "father" in Hebrew. It's also an acronym for the first names
band members: Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Anderson and Anni-Frid
AC/DC - A band member saw it on a vacuum cleaner and correctly figured it
something to do with power. It means "alternating current / direct current".
didn't realize it was also slang for bi-sexual, which caused a few akward
their early days. A second rumor is "Anti-Christ Devil's Children".
ACE OF BASE - Their original studio was in the basement of a car repair
leading to "base" and they were masters of their own studio, so it was "ace
AEROSMITH - It was evidently a word Joey Kramer wrote all over his notebooks
high school. Some think they were inspired by the 1925 book "Arrowsmith" by
AGENT ORANGE - Double meaning.. they were from Orange County, California and
AGENT ORANGE is a famous dioxin-based "defoilant" used by the US military in
AGGRESSION - Describes the sound of this hardcore band from the early 80's
AGGRAVATED ASSAULT - Considering that this is a skinhead band on Resistance
Records, Aggravated Assault is probably an appropriate name.
AIR SUPPLY - Thought up while sitting in an Arista Records office for no
reason.. another appropriate name.
ALICE IN CHAINS - A masochistic parody of Alice in Wonderland. Some say it
started with a joke about doing Slayer covers wearing dresses.
AMBOY DUKES - After a great 1942 pulp novel about Brooklyn street gangs
by Irving Shulman.
THE ANDRIOD SISTERS - A mutation of the Andrews Sisters. The band features
strange female vocals and electronics.
ANTIETAM - A Civil War battle.
ANTHRAX - A virulant bacteria that used to infect many cattle in Europe.
ARCHERS OF LOAF - It basically means nothing, but they make up things to
ARHOOLIE - This great archival record label took its name from "Hoolie"
slang for "field hollar" (work songs sang by field workers).
ARMY OF GOD - Named after some militant Christians responsible for
couple of abortion providors in the 80's, and now suspected in various
Atlanta. The band flirted with Satanic imagery, sucked eachother's blood on
and generally tried to shock audiences.
ART OF NOISE - Named after the 1913 manifesto called "The Art of Noises" by
Italian Futurist Luigi Russolo. Russolo made noise machines, wrote music for
and also recorded sounds from the environment for musical pleasure.
B-52's - The beehive hairstyle popular in the 1950's was called a B-52.
B52's are also a
type of US Air Force bomber.
BAADER MEINHOF - Named after the Baader-Meinhof Gang, a German terrorist
group from the 70's intertwined with the RAF and SPK.
BABES IN TOYLAND - The name of a 1934 movie starring Laural and Hardy, A
Disney musical featuring Annette Funicello, and a stage production.
BACHMAN-TURNER OVERDRIVE - A combination of band members' last names
and the trucker's magazine "Overdrive". They were originally called BRAVE
then BACHMAN-TURNER, then the final name.
BACK STREET 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
BAND OF SUSANS - Three members of the band were named Susan.
BARE NAKED LADIES - It is supposed to be sexual, but somewhat innocent, as
child seeing a bare naked lady for the first time. They thought it up while
bored at a
BAUHAUS - Named after the style of graphic design and famous school of
BAY CITY ROLLERS - They blindly stuck a pin on a map. It landed on Bay City,
BEASTIE BOYS - "Beastie" is an acronym for "Boys Entering Anarchistic States
Toward Internal Excellence".
THE BEATLES - A few stories floating around about this one.. Stuart
up with THE BEETLES in 1960, which was evidently a play on Buddy Holly's
CRICKETS. They went by THE QUARRYMEN and THE SILVER BEETLES awhile
later, then shortened and mutated that to THE BEATLES. Lennon and Sutcliffe
have also been influenced by the film "The Wild One", which featured a
gang called the Beetles. John Lennon is generally credited with combining
Beat to come up with THE BEATLES spelling. Lennon was also fond of saying he
a vision as a child of a flaming pie in the sky that said "You are Beatles
with an "A"...
THE BEE GEES - Their name was not derived from "Brothers Gibb". Two friends
helped them out early on were Bill Goode and Bill Gates (not THAT Bill
was some disc jockey)
BEN FOLDS FIVE - The keyboard player is Ben Fold. They are a trio, but liked
sound of BEN FOLDS FIVE. ..also, they were told they made enough noise for 5
BERSERKR - Named after the Berserkers, a feared group of ancient Norse
who wore bearskins, ate hallucinogenic mushrooms and charged into battle
BETTER THAN EZRA - Two rumors: 1- They followed a band called EZRA and
thought they were better. 2- The lead singer was mad about not getting into
University. Erza is the first name of a Cornell founder.
BETTIE SERVEERT - This Dutch band is named after Bettie Stove, a Dutch
star of the 70's. Bettie Serveert means "Bettie serves".
BIG STAR - The name of a supermarket chain in the Southern United States.
BIRTHDAY PARTY - The name of a play by Harold Pinter. Nick Cave was the
for this band until they broke up in the early 80's.
BLACK CROWES - originally named "Uncle Crowe's Garden" after a children's
BLACK FAG - Parody of the band name "Black Flag"
BLACK FLAG - The flag flown by pirates and the brand name of a bug killer.
ADAM ANT first played in California, BLACK FLAG gave out buttons that read:
"Black Flag kills Ants"
BLACK METAL - This extreme Nordic style of Heavy Metal took its name from
VENOM's second album "Black Metal" released in 1982.
BLACK SABBATH - named after a 1963 horror movie starring Boris Karloff. They
released an album as EARTH before changing their name to BLACK SABBATH.
BLACK VELVET FLAG - Parody of the band name "Black Flag"
BLACK UHURU - Uhuru is Swahili for freedom, so the name means "Black
BLINK-182 - They were originally called BLINK, but were forced to change
name because a techno band in Ireland was already called that. 182 is how
Al Pacino said "****" in the movie Scarface.
THE BLOODHOUND GANG - a skit on the "3210 Contact" TV show
BLUE CHEER - 60's nickname for high-quality LSD.
BLUE MEANIES - This Chicago band is named after characters in the BEATLES'
"Yellow Submarine" cartoon.
BLUE MOON BOYS - This Rockabilly band from Indiana named themselves after
first band Elvis put together.
BLUE OYSTER CULT - A combination of a recipe the band's manager read in a
and the band's fascination with the occult. The name is also an anagram of
BLUES TRAVELER - They were inspired by Gozer the Traveler in Ghostbusters 1.
BLUR - The band was originally called "Seymour", but a condition of their
deal was they had to pick a new name from a list that the label supplied.
on the list.
THE BOBS - Dog and Cat show jargon for "Best of Breed"
BODY COUNT - Ice T was inspired by Sunday night news broadcasts in Los
The week's tally of dead from gang activities would always be mentioned
BONGWATER - Water only fools would drink
BON JOVI - A mutation of Jon Bon Jovi's real name: John Bongiovi, Jr.
BOOKER T. & THE M.G.'S - Booker T. led the band and M.G. stands for Memphis
BOOMTOWN RATS - from a gang in Woody Guthrie's "Bound for Glory".
DAVID BOWIE - He took his last name from the Bowie Knife (which he adored as
young lad). He didn't go by his given name "David Jones" because he didn't
be confused with Davy Jones of the Monkees.
BR5-49 - This fun band out of Nashville took their name from the phone
Junior Samples always said in his used car salesman sketch on the Hee-Haw TV
BRANIAC - Superman's arch enemy.
BRATMOBILE - A twist on Batman and Robin's Batmobile.
BREAD - Slang for money.. an improvement over their first name PLEASURE
BREEDERS - Homosexual slang for heterosexuals
BURZUM - It means "More Darkness" in a fictious language JRR Tolkien made up
for the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy. This Black Metal band is inactive because
founder is in prison for killing Euronymous of the band MAYHEM.
BUSH - Named after an area in England called "Sheperd's Bush".
BUZZCOCKS - British slang for vibrators (sex toys, you know..)
BYRDS - They were originally called the BEEFEATERS. A British group called
BIRDS emerged at the same time, but faded away.
CABARET VOLTAIRE - Named after the famous dada cafe/performance space in
CAFE TACUBA - This fun band from the suburbs of Mexico City named themselves
after a restaurant called CAFE TACUBA open in downtown Mexico City since the
early 1900's. HEATHEN WORLD likes these guys and recommends their "Re" cd on
CAPTAIN BEEFHEART - Inspired by a strange Uncle of Don Van Vliet's who would
expose himself, squeeze his dick until the head turned purple, then comment
looking "like a big ole' beef heart"
WENDY / WALTER CARLOS - Walter Carlos had a huge hit with "Switched on
Bach", then switched to Wendy Carlos after getting a sex change operation.
CASSANDRA COMPLEX - Is a reference to Greek mythology; Cassandra had the
of prophecy with the curse of no one ever believing her
CBGB'S - "Country, Bluegrass, Blues" (the bar was there long before punk)
RAY CHARLES - His real name is Ray Charles Robinson, but he wanted no
confusion with boxer Sugar Ray Robinson. Ray Charles didn't go blind until 7
old, and would ride his bicycle around his home town AFTER going blind.
CES JACUZZI AND THE SLUMLORDS - In reference to a crappy Los Angeles
apartment complex the band used to live in. The advertised jacuzzi was
like a cess pool.
CHAKA KHAN - Yvette Stevens' African name, Chaka, means "fire".
CHEAP TRICK - They asked a Ouiji Board what they should call their band.
CHEETAH CHROME MOTHER****ERS - Inspired by Cheetah Chrome of the
CHEMICAL BROTHERS - They were originally named "The Dust Brothers" after the
famous American producers until the real Dust Brothers caught wind of this.
"Chemical Brothers" was derived from a song of theirs called "Chemical
was allegedly inspired by all the drugs in the clubs they played.
CHICAGO - Their first album was released as "Chicago Transit Authority",
city of Chicago sued them. Chicago Transit Authority is the name of
CHUBBY CHECKER - Dick Clark's wife thought up the name as a take off on Fats
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"
"Men" and "Women"
CINDERELLA - Named after a porn movie and deliberately chosen for its utter
of heavy-metal connotations.
CIRCLE JERKS - A group of losers in a circle masturbating. Their "Wild in
Streets" album was named after a classic 1960's movie.
THE CLASH - Taken from a newspaper headline describing "A Clash With Police"
CMX - A mutated abbreviation from Cloaca MaXima (the great arsehole) which
the main sewer system in ancient Rome. Band members have also claimed that
stood for "Cosmic Mental Xplosion" or "CliMaX" just to have some fun with
issue. CMX is a Finnish band with a great reputation.
COCTEAU TWINS - They were named after an old Simple Minds song first called
"Cocteau Twins", then renamed to "No Cure".
*** ROBIN - From Disney's Who Killed *** Robin?
COLLECTIVE SOUL - A phrase in "The Fountainhead", by Ayn Rand
COMMODORES - chosen at random from a dictionary. It's an old US Navy rank
referred to as Commodore Admiral.
COMSAT ANGELS - Named after a communications satellite. They went by CS
Angels in the US for legal reasons.
CONCRETE BLONDE - suggested by REM's Michael Stipe.
ALICE COOPER - The band was originally called Nazz, but they were inspired
talking to a spirit named Alice Cooper using their Ouija Board. The singer
name, and is ironically a Christian family man living in Arizona now.
ELVIS COSTELLO - He combined ELVIS PRESLEY and LOU COSTELLO.
WAYNE / JAYNE COUNTY - WAYNE COUNTY and his band THE ELECTRIC
CHAIRS were a hit in the New York punk scene in the late 70's. After a sex
operation he/she emerged as JAYNE COUNTY.
COVEN - A coven is a group of witches. Their first album was called
Destroys Minds and Reaps Souls". One side was a dramatization of a black
"One Tin Soldier" has somewhat eerie lyrics when you pay attention to them
CRACKER - Derogatory slang for white people.
CRACK THE SKY - They noticed a crack in the sky while driving through a rain
storm outside New York.
CRASH WORSHIP - Evel Knieval evidently coined the phrase to explain the
of people who love to watch daredevils crash.
CRANBERRIES - The name started as "Cranberries Saw Us" (a stupid play off of
"Cranberry Sauce"). When Dolores O'Riordan joined, she recommended
CRASS - Summed up their opinion of the culture and governments around them.
"A" looked nifty turned into an anarchy sign as well.
CREAM - These three good, but egotistic musicians considered themselves the
"Cream of the crop".
CREEDANCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL - Name inspired by a logo on Olympia beer
cans. Their first label called them the GOLLIWOGS (without the band's
THE CURE - They were originally called THE EASY CURE.
CURRENT 93 - A term used by Aliester Crowley, who was a powerful psychic
explorer, magician and prolific author. Crowley's philosophy has influenced
musicians including Jimmy Page (who owns one of Crowley's former homes),
Osbourne and Daryl Hall of Hall and Oats.
DADA - Named after the wacky and brilliant Dada art movement.
DANZIG - Glenn Danzig
DEATH IN JUNE - Named after a night in June when Hitler ordered the
Ernst Roehm, leader of the Nazi Brown Shirts. Roehm was one of Hitler's
supporters, but Hitler became annoyed by his open homosexuality and demands
more money for the Brown Shirts.
DEEP BLUE SOMETHING - Their original name LEPER MESSIAH attracted a heavy
metal crowd, and the new name came out of a suggestion of a name "Deep
DEEP PURPLE - Ritchie Blackmore's grandmother liked the BING CROSBY's song
DEF LEPPARD - Inspired by a drawing Joe Elliot made of a Leapard with no
DEICIDE - The name means "death of God"
DEPECHE MODE - Two rumors.. Either named after a fashion magazine, which
translates to "fast fashion" or is French for "top gear" (as in fastest gear
in a car)
DEVO - Short for "de-evolution",which the bands thinks the human race is
DICKIES - Named after the luckily now obsolete fashion item.
DIG DUG - named after the underground smash arcade hit, they were almost
DIE KREUZEN - Slight modification of "Die Kreuze", which is "TheCrosses" in
DIE TOTEN HOSEN - German for "dead trousers". This is German slang for
lazy bastard, out of style or VERY bad in bed.
DIMMU BORGIR - This Norwegian black metal band's name means "dark castle" in
Icelandic. There is a mountain in Iceland called DIMMU BORGIR.
DINOSAUR JR. - They were DINOSAUR, but Robert Hunter, the lyricist for the
GRATEFUL DEAD, already had a band called DINOSAUR.
DION AND THE BELMONTS - The BELMONTS named themselves after a street in
their hometown, the Bronx.
DIRE STRAITS - It describes the financial situation they were in when
DISHWALLA - East Indian word for satellites.
DJUR DJURA - This amazing singer and group of musicians are named after
Djurdjura near the singer's birthplace in Algeria.
DOA - Dead On Arrival.
DOOBIE BROTHERS - Doobie is slang for marijuana joint. Their first name was
DOORS - From a William Blake quote "If the doors of perception were to be
evry thing would appear to man as it is, infinite". Aldus Huxley's novel
"The Doors of
Perception" was probably also inspired by the same quote. THE DOORS were
originally the PSYCHEDELIC RANGERS.
DREAM THEATER - They had to drop their original name "Majesty" due to
copyright problems and named themselves after a theater in their LA
DREAM SYNDICATE - named indirectly after an avant garde combo which include
Lamonte Young and John Cale.
DURAN DURAN - A villan in the 1967 movie "Barbarella".
DURUTTI COLUMN - A Spanish Civil War brigade led by libertarian anarchist
BOB DYLAN - His real name Robert Zimmerman was too long and he was a big fan
of Dylan Thomas.
THE EAGLES - Inspired by the Byrds, who were a big influence on the Eagles.
first name was TEEN KING AND THE EMERGENCIES.
ED GEIN'S CAR - Named after the famous serial killer/cannibal farmer from
Wisconsin. Ed Gein's car was on display at Wisconsin State Fairs for a few
years in the
50's after he was caught.
EINSTURZENDE NEUBAUTEN - Translates to "collapsing new buildings".
EL DUCE - This lovably offensive wino drummer for THE MENTORS borrowed
Mussolini's nickname. Both EL DUCEs are now dead.
ELECTRIC HELLFIRE CLUB - There were a few "Electric Hellfire Clubs"
throughout history. They were decadent, blasphemous social clubs intent on
themselves and scandalizing everyone else.
ELTON JOHN - His real name is Reginald Dwight. He took the stage name from
other British musicians, Elton Dean and John Baldry.
ELVEZ - He claims to be the Mexican Elvis. He steals Elvis songs and changes
lyrics into Latino topics, dresses like Elvis, etc. ELVEZ is very
ELVIS AND THE ****HEADS - I don't know how this name came about. Their
music sucks, but the website is kind of funny - click their name to check it
ELVIS HITLER - Same idea as Marylin Manson.. combine two famous people with
very different reputations for shock value.
EPMD - acronym for "Eric and Parish Making Dollars"
ERNIE'S RUBBER DUCKIE - Inspired by the Sesame Street character Ernie.
EMF - acronym for Epsom Mad Funkers. Ectasy Mother ****ers is funny, but
EPITAPH RECORDS - Epitaph fit the tombstone logo used on the first BAD
EPPU NORMAALI - This Finnish band was inspired by a scene in Mel Brooks'
Frankenstein. Igor steals a brain for Frankenstein's creature labelled
Igor thought the guy's name was "Abbey Normal". "Eppu Normaali" is Abbey
Normal translated into Finnish.
EURYTHMICS - a system of music instruction from the 1890s that emphasizes
EVERCLEAR - Named afterthe "Everclear" brand of 190 proof grain alcohol.
EVERYTHING BUT THE GIRL - Inspired by an advertisement for a British
store that would sell you "Everything but the Girl". The implication was
everything was for sale except the sales girl.
EVE'S PLUMB - One of the band members was friends with Eve Plumb, who played
Jan on THE BRADY BUNCH.
EYELESS IN GAZA - An Aldous Huxley Novel. Also, Samson's eyes were burned
when he was held captive in Gaza in the legend of Samson and Delhia.
FAITH NO MORE - The band was originally called SHARP YOUNG MEN, but
changed to FAITH NO MAN when their front man was Mike "The Man" Morris.
After he leftThe Man" was no more, so they switched to FAITH NO MORE.
FALCO - named after East German ski jumper Falko Weissflogg.
THE FALL - A novel by Albert Camus.
FANNY - The band claims the name referred to a woman's spirit, but their
usually showed the women in butt accentuating tight bell bottom pants.
PERRY FARREL - A play on the word peripheral (he's the front man for Jane's
Addiction and Porno For Pyros)
FASTBALL - The name of their favorite porn flick.
FASTER *****CAT - After the Russ Meyer movie of the same name.
FAT TUESDAY - The day before Ash Wednesday, which is the last day of Mardi
It's usually a paid holiday for workers in New Orleans.
FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM - A mythological Hell (aren't they all?) Or is Hell
oooh... maybe the X-files or Discovery Channel will tell us this season.
FIG DISH - This New York band was inspired by the German phrase Fich Dich,
basically means **** You.
FLAMING LIPS - Hot peppermint candy lips.
FLEETWOOD MAC - Slight modification of Mick Fleetwood's name with the "Mac"
coming from John McVie.
FLIPPER - After the happytelevision dolphin
FOO FIGHTERS - World War II slang for UFOs. "Foo" is a mutation of the
word "feu", which means "fire". Some say it was a hush-hush group of
who tried to shoot down UFOs.
FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE - The name of a store in Wayne, New Jersey that sells
FREE BEER - Fliers for their shows were sure to grab people's attention.
FUDGE TUNNEL - Slang for anal cavity
FUGAZI - A term used in Vietnam meaning "****ed up". Alternate rumor says
Italian for "fake".
FUGEES - Three band members' parents were refugees. Their label is called
THE FUGS - Polite for "The ****s". They were a great goofball hippie band
GALAXY 500 - The cool car from the 1960's
GANG OF FOUR - Group of old-style Chinese rulers who all ended up dead or in
GARBAGE - Band members once claimed "You have to send away and the music
company gives you a choice of names. There were only two names left Hootie
Blowfish and Garbage and we choose the better one" ..total bull**** but
anyway.. Evidently the real story is their first songs came from scraps of
Butch had been working on. GARBAGE seemed natural.
GEGGY TAH - Band member Greg Kurstin's little sister used call him "Geggy"
Tommy Jordan's little sister used to call him "Tah". They later learned that
means "mouth thanks" in Scottish.
GENESIS - The first book in the Bible. The name was part of their first
"From Genesis to Revelation" which was suggested by their original manager
GEORGE CLINTON AND THE P-FUNK ALL STARS - A combination of George
Clinton's two earlier bands Parliament and Funkadelic.
GHOUL SQUAD - A Chinese friend told the band they were an "army of ghosts".
GIN BLOSSOMS - Late 1800's slang for burst capillaries on the face from
for many years (WC Fields nose). Gin was a popular drink of the downtrodden
GO BETWEENS - Named after a 1971 film by Joseph Losey.
GODSNATAS - The guitar player saw the word in a footnote while reading
"Divine Comedy". Someone pointed out months later that the name was "Satan's
Dog" backwards. So Dante used backmasking! And those preachers thought Led
Zeppelin started that silliness.
GOLDEN EARRING - They were originally the Tornadoes, but there was a British
band with that name. A movie called GOLDEN EARRINGS was the inspiration.
GOLDFINGER - named after the James Bond movie.
GOTHIC - BAUHAUS is generally considered the first Gothic band, but the
the term are more vague. Evidently a British journalist first called BAUHAUS
in a negative review.
GRAND FUNK RAILROAD - A mutation of "The Grand Trunk Railroad", which is a
Michigan landmark. They were originally called "The Pack".
GRATEFUL DEAD - Refers to a series of Old English folk tales with the same
theme. A traveler enters a village and finds the villagers desecrating, or
bury the body of a dead man because he died owing creditors money. The
pays the dead man's debts and sees to a decent burial. Later in his travels
the man is
saved by a mysterious event, which is credited to the dead man's grateful
The Grateful Dead. The band was originally the Warlocks, and picked Grateful
out of a dictionary after realizing there was another band called the
GREAT BIG SEA - The name came from a Newfoundland folk song called "Great
Sea Hove In Long Beach."
GREEN DAY - A bunch of stories 1- If you smoked pot and goofed off all day,
just had a "Green Day". They used to skip high school and do this. 2- When
members dropped out of high school to work on the band, their principal said
a green day in hell before you make anything of yourselves". 3- A sign in
"Soilent Green" contained GREEN DAY. The band's first name was SWEET
GREEN RIVER - This Seattle area band was named after the Green River Killer,
terrorized that region and was never caught.
GREEN JELLY - They were originally called "Green Jello", but makers of Jello
gelatin sued the band for using their brand name.
GTO'S - Girls Together Outrageously.. Frank Zappa produced one album by this
goofy bunch of hippie band groupies.
GUNS AND ROSES - From Axyl Rose and Tracii Guns' names.. Some think it's a
combination of LA Guns and Hollywood Roses.
GUTTERMOUTH - Someone who swears alot.
GWAR - Some rumors: "God What an Awful Racket"Gods of War"Gay Women
Against Rape" (or make up your own)
NINA HAGEN - Hagen is her real last name. Hagen is also a murderous
character in a
13th Century poem called the Nibelungenlied.
HAGFISH - a small eel-like fish with no jaw, a round sucking mouth and horny
THE HAPPY MONDAYS - A response to New Order's "Blue Monday"
HARDCORE - Not sure of the origin, but bands such as the DEAD KENNEDYS and
BLACK FLAG were called "hardcore" in the early 80's. They played much faster
harder than the slower, more slovenly punk rock bands of the late 70's.
HARRY CREWS - This shortlived band featuring Kim Gordon of SONIC YOUTH
and Lydia Lunch was named after the beatnik author Harry Crews.
HEATHEN WORLD - Inspired by THROBBING GRISTLE's amazing album
HEAVEN 17 - A fictitiousband mentioned in the movie "Clockwork Orange"
HEAVY METAL - A term coined by William Burroughs in the 1960's. It
had nothing to do with music. Steppenwolf mentioned "Heavy Metal Thunder" in
"Born to be Wild", which is an early reference to it in the context of loud
HEDNINGARNA - Means "The Heathens" in Swedish
(HED)PE - "Hed" means "of the mind" and "pe" means "planetary evolution" or
HELDON - The name of a city in Norman Spinrad's novel Iron Dream, which
to be written by a parallel universe Adolph Hitler who joined Sci-Fi fan
of armies. Heldon was a great experimental French band in the 70's.
HELIOS CREED - Helios was an ancient sun god. The Collosus of Rodan (one of
Seven Wonders of the Ancient World) was a huge statue depicting Helios.
HELMET - They were originally called "Purple Helmet" and decided to tone
HER MAJESTY'S SECRET CERVIX - This North Carolina band was inspired by the
James Bond movie "Her Majesty's Secret Service"
HOLLYHOTCHERS - The bass player heard about a game called Hollyhotch
(pronounced Hi-ho-che) while on vacation in Spain. The directions are to see
pee the farthest.
HONEYMOON KILLERS - This great New York band was named after a piece of
1970 film noir.
HOOTIE AND THE BLOWFISH - There was a kid in Darius Rucker's high school
who looked like and owl. They called him Hootie. There was another kid with
up cheeks that they called Blowfish. Hootie is also the nickname of the
Kansas City jazz pianist Jay McShann.
HOT TUNA - This band from the 60's was originally called HOT ****, but their
made them tone the name down.
HOT WATER MUSIC - Named after a Charles Bukowski book. Bukowski was a wino
who wrote incredible stuff.
HP LOVECRAFT - Named after the reclusive horror writer by the same name
HUFFAMOOSE - Canadian slang for blowjob. The band is from Philadelphia.
HUGGY BEAR - The black informant on "Starsky and Hutch".
ENGELBERT HUMPERDINCK - Named himself after the composer of "Hansel and
HUSKER DU - An old boardgame.. it's Swedish for "Do you Remember?". There
also a TV show called Husker Du in Norway, which a band member might have
ICE T - Inspired by a legendary pimp from decades past called Iceberg Slim.
Slim switched to writing "gangsta" books to stay out of prison in his later
HEATHEN WORLD highly recommends "Pimp", which is his best known book.
ICICLE WORKS - From Frederick Pohl's short story "The Day the Icicle Works
IMPOTENT SEA SNAKES - strange little creatures that live in fish tanks. This
a theatrical transvestite punk band somwhere between a low budget JIM ROSE
GWAR in a horny mood. Their live shows are very fun and probably illegal in
states. Click on the band name to see their website.
INDUSTRIAL MUSIC - Peter Christopherson of the assaultive electronic band
THROBBING GRISTLE coined the term. Monte Cazazza, a collaborator with the
band, started promoting the phrase "Industrial Music for Industrial People".
THROBBING GRISTLE released albums on their label INDUSTRIAL RECORDS
from the mid 1970's to 1981. Members split up to start COIL, CHRIS & COSEY,
INSANE CLOWN POSSE - A spin off of INNER CITY POSSE, which is a band
Shaggy and Violent J used to be in. That band didn't like the evil clown
IRON BUTTERFLY - The band wanted a name that sounded heavy and beautiful at
the same time. Their biggest hit was "In A Gadda Da Vida", which was
called "In The Garden of Eden". The singer was so trashed on LSD one
it came out "In A Gadda Da Vida", and the band decided that was a better
IRON MAIDEN - Nasty Midevil torture device.
IT'S A BEAUTIFUL DAY - They were hippies from San Francisco.. what do you
JAMES - Named after James Joyce.
JAMIROQUAI - Two rumours: 1) Singer Jay Kay has a big interest in IROQUAI
Indians and wanted his band to JAM. 2) An Australian term for "one hit
JANE'S ADDICTION - A bit of debate here. First story: they are named after a
addicted manager they worked with named Jane. Second story: the name comes
a hooker named Jane who was a huge fan in their early days. She loved them
they were "Jane's Addiction".
JEFFERSON AIRPLANE - Inspired by the blues player Blind Lemon Jefferson and
the name of a friend's dog. Some say JEFFERSON AIRPLANE was slang for a
match split to hold a joint.
JESUS CHRYSLER SUPERCAR - Parody of the musical "Jesus Christ Superstar".
JESUS JONES - While on a vacation in Spain, the band noticed they were
(Brits) surrounded by people named Jesus.
JETHRO TULL - Jethro Tull was a British inventor/farmer in the 1800's who
the precurser to the modern plow. The band used to change their name to get
Jethro Tull proved to be a lucky one.
JIMMIE'S CHICKEN SHACK - A shady blues restaurant in Harlem where young
Charlie Parker and Malcom X hung out. There are a lot of "Jims" in the band,
JOHN COUGAR CONCENTRATION CAMP - A parody of the pretentious Indiana
rock star John Cougar Mellencamp.
AL JOLSON - Al and his brother were singing waitersThe Singing Yoelson
Brothers", in a rough New York bar called Callahan's Dancehall Saloon. He
to the "Jolson" spelling when going solo.
TOM JONES - Inspired by the Henry Fielding novel called "Tom Jones"
JOY DIVISION - From a sadomasochistic novel "The House of Dolls" by Karol
Cetinsky.. Joy Divisions were lines of huts in which deported women were
prostitute themselves to Nazi officers on leave.
JUDAS PRIEST - from the Bob Dylan tune "The ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas
Priest". Also a mild curse.
KENTUCKY HEADHUNTERS - from a band led by Muddy Waters in the 50's called
KILLDOZER - The name of a 1974 TV movie about a killer bulldozer.
BB KING - "Blues Boy King"
KING CRIMSON - Their original lyricist, Peter Sinfield, thought of it as a
for BEELZEBUB, which is Hebrew for "Lord of the Flies". BEELZEBUB was
chief lieutenant among the fallen angels.
KING MISSILE - A Japanese Comic book character.
KISS - According to Paul Stanley, Kiss was a momentary inspiration that
dangerous and sexy at the same time. Kiss denies the silly fundamentalist
the name stands for "Knights In Satan's Service".
KLF - Kopyright Liberation Front - which sums up their attitude towards
samples from other artists.
KMFDM - "Kein Mitleid Fuer Die Mehrheit" translates to "No sympathy for the
majority". The following acronyms are fun, but wrong: "Kill Mother****ing
Mode".Krispy Melted Fish Dealing Mescaline"Kyle Minogue Fans Don't
Masturbate". Follow the link to the band's official website.
KONSTRUCTIVISTS - Named after the Russian Constructivists art movement,
stressed engineering and structural elements.
KORN - Various rumors half propogated by the band themselves: 1- It stands
"kiddy porn." 2- A twisted story wherein a local party, analingus and
in some guy getting undigested corn in his mouth. 3- It doesn't really mean
and they liked the way "Toys R Us" reversed the R.
KRAFTWERK - German for "power plant"
KRS-ONE - A couple stories: acronym for"Knowledge Reigns Supreme Over Nearly
Everyone", or his old graffiti tag KRS, which is short for his name Chris.
KULA SHAKER - The name of an Indian guru the band knows
L7 - Old slang for "square"
LAIBACH - The band is from Ljubljnana in Slovenia. The town is "Laibach" in
German, which is the second language in that country.
LEAD INTO GOLD - Reference to something Alchemists kept trying to do
LED ZEPPELIN - Stories vary, but evidently Keith Moon told Jimmy Page and
Paul Jones that their new project would go over like a lead balloon, hence,
Zeppelin. Another story is that Page stole the name from a band "Lead
Moon and Entwistle almost started in the early 60's. The "Led" spelling was
sure people pronounced the name right.
LEMONHEADS - a type of candy.
LESS THAN JAKE - The drummer Vinnie had a dog named "Jake" which was treated
better than he was, so he was "Less Than Jake". "Jake" is old slang for
LESS THAN JAKE wouldn't be so good.
LEVEL 42 - A supercomputer in "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" spit
answer to basically everything.. it was "42". There were copyright problems
actually calling the band "42", so they tacked on "Level". The rumor that
named after a sign in the movie "Brazil" is wrong.
LIMP BIZKIT - They asked a friend what they should call their band. He was
speed and just said "My brain feels like a Limp Biscuit"
LIPPS, INC. - pronunced 'lip-sync'.
THE LITTLE RIVER BAND - This Australian band was named after a signpost on
road from Melbourne to Geelong.
LL COOL J - acronym for "Ladies Love Cool James".
LOVE AND ROCKETS - Anexcellent comic by the Hernandez Brothers
LOVIN' SPOONFUL - from the lyrics of JOHN HURT's "Coffee Blues". It's also
slang for sperm.
LOS LOBOS - Spanish for "The Wolves"
LUCIFER - Named after Lucifer (duh).
LUZIFER SAM - This German "gothic groove dark metal wave" band was inspired
the song "Lucifer Sam" on the classic early PINK FLOYD album "The Piper At
Gates of Dawn".
LUSCIOUS JACKSON - A slight mispelling of "Lucious Jackson", an old
LYNYRD SKYNYRD - Named after Leonard Skinerd, who was an annoying gym
coach some band members had in high school
MADONNA - A not very slutty Christian icon
MAN OR ASTROMAN? - The 60's movie SPACE ZOMBIES featured aliens that were
hard to tell from real men. They were called Astromen.
MAN WILL SURRENDER - A twist on the song "Man Should Surrender" by
MANIC STREET PREACHERS - James Dean Bradfield was inspired by a manic street
preaching tramp one day.
MANSUN - From an early song by The VerveA Man Called Sun". The similarity
famous hippie mind control expert Charlie Manson was no doubt taken into
consideration as well.
MARCY PLAYGROUND - The singer used to go to a hippie grade school called
Marcy Open School. He was afraid of bullies on the playground.
MARILLION - Inspired by JRR Tolkein's "Silmarillion".
MARY PRANKSTER - Inspired by Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters, who were those
hippies known for hosting many Acid Tests in San Francisco.
MARYLIN MANSON - Marylin Monroe meets Charles Manson.
MASTER/SLAVE RELATIONSHIP - Inspired by her personal interest in S&M.
MC5 - The band liked the name for some reason before thinking up the acronym
"Motor City Five" (they were 5 loud hippies from Detriot).
MC 900 FT. JESUS - Inspired by the 900 foot tall Jesus Oral Roberts claims
he saw in
Oklahoma. The 900 foot Jesus told Oral Roberts he needed a few million
continue his ministry and some rich sucker gave it to him.
McCOYS - Named after the VENTURES song McCOY.
MDC - "Millions of Dead Cops"Multi-Death Corporation"Millions of Dead
Chickens", etc.. depending on which of their albums you look at.
MEGADETH - Dave Mustane was inspired by a government pamphlet after getting
kicked out of Metallica. A Megadeath is a military term for one million dead
so World War II was responsible for 80 Megadeath. MEGADETH is the phonetic
spelling for Megadeath.
MEKONS - Sci-fi villans in the "Dan Dare" cartoon strip in a British
called the Eagle Comic.
MELVINS - You give someone a melvin by approaching from behind, and yanking
on the waistband of their underwear as hard as you can. Melvin was also a
character in Washington State arrested for stealing a Christmas tree.
MENTORS - They were into fusion music while growing up, and would "mentor"
other people by playing it for them and convincing them that it was great
used the word already and it evolved into the group's name. The title links
official website. Il Duce is dead but the band lives on.
METALLICA - Two stories: 1- Lars Ulrich was helping a friend think of a name
metal fanzine. The magazine went with METAL MANIA and Lars kept METALLICA,
which was one of the suggestions. A 2nd story claims it is a combination of
Vodka into the word METALLICA.
THE MIGHTY MIGHTY BOSSTONES - This ska/punk band from Boston originally
called themselves the BOSSTONES in tribute to their home town. There was
another band called BOSSTONES or they were inspired by a flyer that called
"The Mighty Mighty Bosstones"
MIND BENDERS - This 60's band was named after a 1962 British horror movie.
MINISTRY - Inspired by a B-movie called "Ministry of Fear"
MISFITS - A 1961 movie starring Clarke Gable and Marilyn Monroe.
MK ULTRA - The code name for the CIA's wildly irresponsible LSD experiments
the late 50's and early 60's. There is both a cool gothic tabloid and a lame
use this name.
MODERN VENDING - The name of a snack company in Indianapolis. Vans are often
seen in the city with MODERN VENDING painted on the side.
MODEST MOUSE - A phrase practiced by people with speech impediments.
the lead singer has a lisp.
MONSTER MAGNET - Taken from the Frank Zappa song "The Return Of The Son
Of Monster Magnet"
MOODY BLUES - They wanted Blues in the name, and Duke Ellington's "Mood
Indigo" was one member's favorite song.
MORPHINE - Exciting fun for kids of all ages
MORTIIS - The band originally thought it translated to "death" in Latin.
realized they spelled it wrong a couple years later, but thought it looked
JELLY ROLL MORTON - "Jelly Roll" is slang for penis. This New Orleans piano
player and pimp was one of the first Jazz musicians ever.
MOTHERS OF INVENTION - originally just called the Mothers (polite for
Mother****ers) - their label asked them to add "of Invention".
MOTLEY CRUE - An observant friend said "What a Motley looking Crue".
MOTORHEAD - British slang for a speed freak (which Lemmy evidently was).
MR. BUNGLE - named after an old 1950's sketch about a boy who didn't fit in,
featured on an early episode of Pee Wee's Playhouse.
MR. MISTER - From a T-Rex song on the Tanx album.
MR. T EXPERIENCE - Combination of the Jimi Hendrix Experience and that
goofball television mean guy Mr. T.
MU330 - The number of the music room they met in while in high school
MUDDY WATERS - Inspired by the muddy waters of the Mississippi River near
he grew up.
MUDHONEY - A Russ Meyer movie.
MUGWUMPS - from a William Burroughs novel. Cass Elliot was in this band
the MAMAS AND POPPAS.
MUSSOLINI HEADKICK - The name of an old CABARET VOLTAIRE song.
MxPx - Their original name was Magnified Plaid. On a poster for one of their
the guitarist put M.P., but the periods looked like little x's so people
were MxPx. The nickname stuck.
MY BLOODY VALENTINE - This Irish / English band was named after a horror
they never even saw.
MY LIFE WITH THE THRILL KILL KULT - They originally wanted to create a
movie with this name. The movie never happened, but much of the soundtrack
their first albumI See Good Spirits and I See Bad Spirits".
MYSTERY MACHINE - The name of Scooby Doo and his gang's vehicle.
NAKED LUNCH - The title of the famous William Burroughs book.
NASHVILLE ***** - On Ted Nugent's "Double Live Gonzo" album he dedicates his
song "Wang Dang Sweet Poontang" to "All that Nashville *****.."
NAZARETH - It's that old city that Jesus was born in. It also pops up in the
of the Band's song "The Weight".
NED'S ATOMIC DUSTBIN -The title for an episode of "The Goon Show", which was
an old show featuring Peter Sellers.
NEGATIVELAND - The band name and their label name (Seeland) are song titles
an obscure German band NEU.
NERF HERDER - What Princess Leia called Hans Solo in the Empire Strikes
NEW ORDER - "TheNew World Order" and "New Order" were famous
expressionsused by Hitler (and George Bush during the Gulf War).
NEW WAVE - New Wave and Punk were originally marketed as basically the same
thing, then New Wave evolved into a term for the quirky happy bands that
*****ed off as Punk bands, but still wanted to avoid the BILLE SQUIRE type
popular at the time.
NEW YORK DOLLS - Ironic name for five ugly junkies in New York that dressed
women on stage.
NICKELBACK - The bass player used to work at Starbucks coffee and spent many
days saying "here's your nickel back."
NICO - She disliked her given name Christa because it sounded "so German". A
photographer called her NICO in tribute to a friend of his named Nico
NINE INCH NAILS - Trent Reznor thought NIN looked cool when he wrote it
and this is evidently the length of coffin nails. Some think the nails used
Jesus were nine inches long, but inches were not a unit of measurement back
NINE POUND HAMMER - A Merle Travis song.
NIRVANA - In Buddhism it means the state of perfect blessedness attained
the annihilation of the self. Evidently Kurt Cobain took the "annihilation
of the self"
part a little too seriously.
NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS -What caused those messy sheets this morning.
NOFX - Sound Engineer's shorthand for "No Effects". As a punk band they
appreciate much studio "enhancement" of their sound. The band also says it
"No ****ing Straight Edge" (straight edgers like using a big X, such as in
NOTA - Stands for "None Of The Above". This great punk rock band from Tulsa,
Oklahoma has been around since 1980 or so.
GARY NUMAN - His real name is Gary Webb. He took "Neuman" from a Yellow
Pages listing for a plumbing company and modified the spelling.
OASIS - The band has claimed a few origins: a Manchester cab company, a
women's clothing stores, a local club, and a local Indian Restaurant, and a
one guy's wall.
THE OD'S - The Orange Doe-nuts (they were a great punk band from Kansas City
THE OFFSPRING - possibly inspired by the 80's B-horror movie "The
They Were Born To Kill"
OINGO BOINGO - Swahili for "thinking while dancing". They started out as a
musical theater group called "The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo".
O'JAYS - Named after the Cleveland dj Eddie O'Jay, who helped the band out
early days. They were originally called The Mascots.
OMD - Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark
ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE - reflects the age of this band.. possibly the only
citizen punk rock band in the world.
THE ORB - A device in Woody Allen's movie "Sleeper". The Orb was a silver
made people very buzzed when they touched it. Woody Allen hogged it at a
someone snatched it away.
ORGANUM - Refers to the first polyphonic liturgical chants (more than one
line), an evolution in music after Gregorian plainchant.
OZARK MOUNTAIN DAREDEVILS - A big improvement over their original name
the BUFFALO CHIPS. The Ozark Mountains are actually hills in Southern
and Northern Arkansas.
OZZY OSBORNE - "OZZY" was his childhood nickname.
OSTZONENSUPPENWURFELMACHENKREBS- From a headline in the German
tabloid BILD. It translates to "Soup cubes from East Germany cause cancer"
OUR LADY PEACE - This Canadian band named themselves after a 1940 poem by
Mark Van Doren.
PANSY DIVISION - A twist on Joy Division that reflects Pansy Division's
PANTERA - Their first name was PANTEGO, the name of a Texas town. PANTERA is
Spanish for Panther.
PEARL JAM - Eddie's grandma'speyote jam. Evidently, they took it as kids and
called it pearl jam. It's also slang for sperm. They almost named themselves
Blaylock" after their favorite basketball player.
PENETRATORS - From the song "Penetration" by The Pyramids.. the first song
learned to play
PENNYWISE - Named after the clown in Stephen King's novel IT.
PERE UBU - The main character in Alfred Jarry's play, Ubu Roi.
PET SHOP BOYS - inspired by friends who worked in pet shops.
PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH - Named after a very cool children's book by Norton
PHISH - A play on drummer John Fishman's last name. The altered spelling was
influenced by the Beatles.
PIGPEN - This fun, short lived band from New York was named after the dirty
PINK FLOYD - Named after Georgia blues musicians Pink Anderson and Floyd
Council. They almost named themselves "Anderson Council" and "Megadeath".
THE PIXIES - The band's guitar player was learning English and noticedthe
word in a
dictionary. They thought it would be funny to have a big guy like Black
fronting a band called "The Pixies".
PJ HARVEY - Polly Jean Harvey
PLUG UGLIES - This Chicago band named themselves after a notorious New York
street gang from the 1800's.
PM DAWN - Inspired by a Bible quoteIn the darkest hour comes the light."
POCO - they were originally Pogo, but the creater of the comic strip Pogo
forcing them to change the name.
THE POGUES"Pogue mahone" is Irish Gaelic for "kiss my ass"
POLICE - For some reason they enjoy using themes related to law enforcement.
Consider Sting's name and the Stuart Copeland side project Klark Kent. One
Stuart Copeland's brothers used to head I.R.S. Records and another brother
FBI Tour Agency.
POOP SHOVEL - named after "Pooper Scoopers".
IGGY POP - IGGY has been his nickname since childhood.
POP WILL EAT ITSELF -PWEI apparently agreed with an article in NME titled
PORNO FOR PYROS - Perry Farrell was reading a fireworks catalog on a tour
when a pal said the magazine looked like smut for arsonists. It sparked his
PORTISHEAD - The name of their home town in England.
THE PRETENDERS - Named after the Platters song "The Great Pretender".
THE PRETTTY THINGS - After the Bo Diddley song "Pretty Thing". They were
actually an ugly, loud band.
PRIMAL SCREAM - A psychological best seller by Arthur Janov.
PRIMUS - They called themselves the PRIMATES but heard about another band
the same name, so they evolved into PRIMUS (which means "first" in Latin).
THE PROCOL HARUM - Named after Keith Reid's cat.
THE PRODIGY - Named afterthe Moog Prodigy, the first synthesizer that Liam
Howlett from the band had.
PROFESSOR LONGHAIR - "professor"was the title given to New Orleans whore
house piano players. He had long hair, too..
PROPELLERHEADS - Slang for computer nerds.
PSYCHEDELIA SMITH - A spoof on Delia Smith, who is the most famous TV chef
PSYCHEDELIC FURS - They enjoy psychedelic music even though they don't play
After a night of drinking and toying with names like PSYCHEDELIC SHOES..
SHIRTS... SOCKS, etc.. FURS sounded good.
PSYCHIC TV - Psychic TV and thee Temple Ov Psychick Youth were created by
Genesis P. Orridge ov Throbbing Gristle. Genesis's theory of magick
all thee technologies currently available (including TV) for psychick
Ov Psychick Youth is a loosely cooperating world wide magickal community.
look cool and actively misspell words, adding "k" at thee end of everything
write "ov" and "thee" a lot.
PULP - Originally known as Arabacus Pulp (after a commodity Jarvis Cocker
about during economics). This was shortened to Pulp because nobody else knew
the full name meant.
PUNK - Prison and street insult implying homosexuality, weakness, etc.
McLaren promoted the SEX PISTOLS as punk rock, and everyone jumped on the
***** GALORE - A name with great shock value taken from the sexy character
the James Bond movie "Goldfinger"
PYLON - A William Faulkner novel.
QUEEN - Freddie Mercury liked the name for the transvestite connotation and
glamorous image of Queens in royalty.
QUEERS - named themselves this despite the fact that they are all
RADIOHEAD - Named after a Talking Heads song called Radio Head.
RAMMSTEIN - Named after a town's airfield in West Germany. There was a
plane crash there in the 30's. It also means "battering stone" in German and
euphanism for penis.
RAMONES - Early in his career, Paul McCartney used to call himself Paul
RAPEMAN - This Steve Albini band was named after a very violent Japanese
RASPUTINA - A twist on Rasputin's name. He was a powerful and rebellious
cleric who couldn't keep his dick in his pants, especially around the Czar's
finally died after being poisoned, castrated, shot and drowned all in one
REAL MCCOY - Originally called MC Sar & the Real McCoy. MC Sar was dropped
to dissociate the band from rap music when they came to the US.
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS - They were originally called "Tony Flow and the
Miraculously Majestic Masters of Mayhem". Anthony Kiedis says he was
change the name to the Red Hot Chili Peppers by "a psychedelic bush with
name on it".
R.E.M - A state of sleep - R.E.M. stands for "Rapid Eye Movement". The band
they didn't have that in mind. Other acronyms that have been claimed:
Energetic Music"Really Enjoys Masturbating" and "Rear End Men."
REO SPEEDWAGON - It was the name of a pick-up truck made by Oldsmobile in
1930's. "REO" is the initials of Ransom Elliot Olds, who was the founder of
Oldsmobile Car Company.
REO SPEED DEALER - Parody of REO SPEEDWAGON
THE REPLACEMENTS - Legend has it that they were given a gig after another
failed to show up one night. When asked who they were, Paul Westerberg
"We're the Replacements".
THE RESIDENTS - The bandinitially had no name. All their rejection letters
addressed to "Resident".
REVOLTING COCKS - Thought up in an all-night drinking/drug binge at the Wax
Trax records office.
RIDEL HIGH - The High School in the movie Grease
ROCK AND ROLL - Old slang for sex. The Boswell Sisters recorded a song
"Rock and Roll" in 1934, long before rock music evolved. Early 50's disc
Freed is credited for popularizing the term as we think of it today.
ROLLING STONES - From the Muddy Waters song "Rolling Stone". The name was
suggested by Brian Jones.
THE ROOSTERS - This New Jersey band named themselves after the great Howlin'
Wolf song "Little Red Rooster".
ROSETTA STONE - A famous archeological find. It's an old stone with a
repeated in different languages. It helped Archeologists figure out Egyptian
JOHNNY ROTTEN - Named after his rotten teeth
RUN DMC - A couple stories about this one.. Either inspired by combining the
of DJ Run and Daryl Mack or a mishap while cooking chicken. Evidently the
caught on fire and a band member's mom came in screaming "What are you
he said "Done Making Chicken!" and Ran off really fast.
RUSH - They were rushing to think up a name before their first gig, and John
older brother yelledWhy don't you call your band RUSH?".
SAMHAIN - The Celtic New Year, which has evolved into Halloween.
SAVAGE GARDEN - From an Ann Rice novel.
SAVE FERRIS - From a line in the movie FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF.
SCORPIONS - You don't know this one?????
SCREAMIN' CHEETAH WHEELIES - Inspired by a Far Side cartoon with Cheetahs
SCREAMING TREES - The model of a guitar effects pedal.
SCRITTI POLITTI - The title of political writings by Antonio Gramsci, an
SELECTOR - The Selectors in Jamaican and British dancehall culture are the
jockeys that play records for dancehall rappers.
SEPULTURA - The singer was inspired when translating the Motorhead song
"Dancing on your Grave", which is "Bailando en tu Sepultura" in Portuguese.
SEX PISTOLS - Malcom Mclaren came up with the name. It was partially
his wive's punk clothing shop called "Sex".
SEVEN MARY THREE - John Baker's call numbers in the old TV show CHIPS. The
bandmembers all went to College of William and Mary as well.
SHUDDER TO THINK - One of the band members said "I shudder to think, we'll
another pop band"
SICATA - Inspired by all the cicatas falling out of the trees when they were
think up a name.
SIGUE SIGUE SPUTNIK - once the name of a Russian street gang, it means "burn
burn Sputnik". (Sputnik is the name of a satellite)
silverchair - A mutated combination of "Sliver" by Nirvana and "Berlin
You Am I. They were requesting the songs from a radio station and the name
inspired by notes a band member made to himself to remember the song titles.
SILVERFISH - A bug.
SIMON & GARFUNKLE - PAUL SIMON AND ART GARFUNKLE. They recorded
as TOM AND JERRY in the 50's. Their only hit from that period was "Hey
Girl" in 1957.
SIMPLE MINDS - taken from a line in the David Bowie song "Jean Genie".
SISTER HAZEL - Named after a Black woman who ran "Sister Hazel's Rescue
Mission" in Gainesville, FL in the 70's & 80's.
SISTERS OF MERCY - A tribute to the Leanord Cohen song of same name. There
also an order of nuns known as the Sisters of Mercy.
SISTERS OF MURPHY - This Irish band from London spoofed the name Sisters of
SKID ROW - Slang for run down inner city neighborhoods where winos, junkies,
street criminals and various poor people can afford to live.
SKUNK ANANSIE - Anansie is a creature in Jamaican folklore who is half man,
spider, and always a prankster. Skunk refers to either good marijuana or the
little black and white animals.
SLAYER - Inspired by the movie "Dragonslayer". Some paranoid preachers claim
SLAYER stands for Satan Laughs As You Eternally Rot..
SLEEPER - The title of a Woody Allen movie.
SLOAN - Two stories: inspired by either Farris Bueller's girlfriend Sloan
Peterson or a
friend named "Slow One".
SMACK - Slang for heroin. They were an amazing band that had a big influence
GUNS AND ROSES.
SMALL FACES - Inspired by the WHO song "I'm the Face". They were all small
guys, too. They later shortened the name to FACES.
SMASHING PUMPKINS - Some BS around this one: Billy Corgan claims Gene
Simmons told him in a dream that "Joe Strummer is a pumpkin, drunken and
smashed". Corgan has also claimed he meant "smashing" as an adjective, as in
"daring pumpkins". Smashing people's carved pumpkins is also a favorite
prank in the US.
THE SMITHEREENS - Inspired by the cartoon character Yosemite Sam's classic
"I'll blow you varmints to smithereens".
THE SMITHS - They wanted a generic name void of any preconceptions about
style of music.
SNEAKER PIMP - Members of the Beastie Boys pay someone to help them find
especially hard-to-get sneakers. He's the "sneaker pimp".
SOFT BOYS - Combination of two William Burroughs novelsSoft Machine" and
SOFT MACHINE - The name of a William Burroughs novel.
SONIC YOUTH - They created lots of sonic sounds with their guitars by
effects peddles and amps, and by using pieces of pipe, screwdrivers, etc. on
SONNY AND CHER - An improvement over their first stage nameCaesar and
SOULFLY - Max Cavelera's stepson Dana died, and Max believes his soul flew
SOUNDGARDEN - A garden of kinetic sculptures that make music when wind blows
through them. There was also a sculpture in Seattle called "Sound Garden".
SOUTHERN CULTURE ON THE SKIDS - Band leader Rick Miller and a friend heard
a disc jockey call REM "the sound of the new Southern culture". They decided
rather hear Southern culture on the skids.
SPACE NEGROES - Who knows?
SPANDAU BALLET - This was a Nazi guard term for the contortions of Jewish
prisoners being gassed to death. There was a large gas chamber in the city
SPEEDBALL - A mix of heroin and cocaine.. John Belushi's fatal drug
SPK - Named after a group of German mental patients from the late 60's who
a violent terrorist group called the "Socialist Patients Kollectiv". Click
on the band
name for more information. SPK also called themselves "SePuKu" and "Surgical
Penis Klinik" on various releases.
SPRING HEEL JACK - Named after a supernatural, Satanic figure that haunted
Victorian London, spooking horses, leaping over twenty-foot walls and
scaring the hell out of everyone.
SQUID VICIOUS - It sounded slightly better than SQUID & NANCY, BILLY THE
SQUID and SQUID RACER.
SQUIRREL NUT ZIPPERS - A type of candy the band likes.
SST - Acronym for Super Sonic Transport planes. The planes cause sonic
which are alarmingly loud. Most of the bands on SST Records are just as
ST. ETIENNE - A French Soccer club and city.
ST. VITUS DANCE - Victims poisoned by a particular fungus hallucinate and
muscles jerk involuntarily in a macabre dance. This was most common in
the Middle Ages. Saint Vitus is the patron saint of people with this
RINGO STARR - His real name is Richard Starkey. He liked to wear rings,
RINGO.. and STARR is his last name shortened and modified.
STEELY DAN - A dildo in the William Burroughs novel Naked Lunch. According
Burroughs, the first STEELY DAN was a metal dildo that an evil German
prostitute crushed using her *****, and the second STEELY DAN is still in
STEPPENWOLF - The title of a cool Herman Hesse novel.
STEREOLAB - The name of a record label in the 50's and 60's.
STONE ROSES - Similar to their original name, ENGLISH ROSE (which was
by a ROLLING STONES song).
STONE TEMPLE PILOTS - They were originally called Mighty Joe Young, but
the name of a blues singer. They were fond of STP oil stickers, and thought
Temple's *****, Stereo Temple Pirates, and finally Stone Temple Pilots.
STRAWBERRY TRIP MONSTER - The name of their favorite Odwalla drink: The
Strawberry "C" Monster.
STRYPER - From the Bible; Isaiah 53:5- "But he was wounded for our
he was bruised for our iniquities, upon him was the chastisement that made
and with his stripes we are healed". Elvis thinks "John The Baptist's Head"
"Burning Bush" would have been better heavy metal names.
STYX - After the mythical river Styx that people crossed over to go into
SUGAR RAY - Named after the boxer Sugar Ray Leonard who named himself after
the boxer Sugar Ray Robinson. They used to practice in a studio owned by
SUICIDE MACHINES - inspired by Dr. Kevorkian's "deathmobile" They were
originally called "Dr. Kevorkian and the Suicide Machines"
SUPERFRIENDZ - An old cartoon show about DC comic book heros.
SUPERTRAMP - Named after a cool book called "Autobiography Of A Supertramp",
written by R.E. Davies in 1910.
SWANS - Frontman Michael Gira wanted a name that was in total contrast to
abrasive music the band was playing in its early days.
SWINGIN' NECKBREAKERS - A truly excellent and devastating wrasslin' move.
TALKING HEADS - Video jargon for a camera shot showing only the top of
someone's shoulders and their head. Newscasters are usualy doomed to the
"talking head" shot. Another story is that they were inspired by a military
communications experiment at MIT which involved moving mannequin heads.
TARANIS - named after the Celtic God of Thunder. The word means "The
TEARDROP EXPLODES - A line in a Marvel Comic.
TESLA - In tribute to the brilliant and eccentric inventor Nikola Tesla.
developed alternating current, radio, wireless communications, flourescent
X-rays, microwaves, the theories that lead to the Starwars defense system
over 700 patents in all.
TEXAS - this Scottish band thought the movie Paris, Texas was cool.
TEXAS IS THE REASON - taken from a line in the MISFITS song "Bullet", about
THE VERVE - "The" is in their name to avoid legal hassles with the record
THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS - They took the name from a friend's ventriloquist act,
which was named after a film starring George C. Scott, which was inspired by
of Don Quixote. Don Quixote's trusted servant asks why he is preparing to
several windmills with his lance. Don Quixote replys "Because they might be
THIRD EYE BLIND - Refers to being blind in your third eye of intuition.