May 26, 2009

Band Names....

Its always interesting to hear how a band came up with their name. Here's a few:

The Eagles
- Originally named Teen King And The Emergencies , they liked the American sound of Eagles and the way it was aligned with The Byrds who had a great influence on them. (good move on the name change!, Teen King?)

E Street Band — Bruce Springsteen's band was named after E Street (E, not East) in Belmar, New Jersey, because the band used to practice at the E Street home of pianist David Sancious' mother. (of course everyone already knew this one, right!)

Foo Fighters - A term used by World War II pilots to describe strange flying fireballs they sometimes saw. (unique...never knew this one before)

Kings of Leon - Three of the band members are brothers and one of their cousins joined them. They chose the name "Kings of Leon" because their grandfather's name is Leon. (how sweet! and it sounds good too)

Mötley Crüe - From a friend's comment, "What a motley-looking crew." Motley means "of great variety" and once described the appearance of a court jester. The re-spelling was their own invention; using the umlauts came to them while they were partying and drinking Lowenbrau beer. (yep, it fits)

Nine Inch Nails — sole constant member Trent Reznor chose the name because it "could be abbreviated easily" and denied any "literal meaning" to the name. (ok)

Procol Harum
— The band was named after the pedigree name of a Siamese
cat that belonged to a friend of Guy Stevens, the band's manager. The name was Procul Harun, which is Latin for "Beyond these things", but was written down incorrectly by Keith Reid. The band would say in interviews that the cat was a Burmese Blue, though all cats with the name are the Devon Rex breed. (this kind of ruined the name for me. a cat breed?)

Queen - Were originally called Smile. Singer Freddie Mercury came up with the new name for the band, later saying: "Years ago I thought up the name 'Queen' … It’s just a name, but it’s very regal obviously, and it sounds splendid … It’s a strong name, very universal and immediate. It had a lot of visual potential and was open to all sorts of interpretations. I was certainly aware of gay connotations, but that was just one face of it." (another great name change...Smile? Can you imagine them being called SMILE?)

Soundgarden - A garden of kinetic sculptures that makes music when wind blows through them... a sculpture in Seattle called "Sound Garden". (I want to go there, in fact I've always felt like maybe I should live in Oregon or Washington)

U2 - the U2 was an unemployment form in Ireland. (I could use one of those forms right about now!)

White Snake - From a white albino ball python snake owned by David Coverdale while in Deep Purple. (I have to admit...I really like snakes)

taken from Wikipedia


Plochmann said...

Nice post, Barbara! Interesting. "The Band" got its name because it was always known (post-"The Hawks") as Dylan's backup band. Names such as "The Honkies" & "The Crackers" were tossed around, but were prob not going to be rec'd so well, so the members went w/ "The Band."

Anonymous said...

Procol Harum ... the name was NEVER Latin ! Read the actual story of the cat at

Joan said...

The band UB40 got its name from an unemployment form.

Bond said...

Love this...I knew a few of them, but not all.

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

Thanks, Plochmann, I assume that was for Ronnie Hawks? I love the name "The Band", glad they got it (you know someone would have taken it eventually)

Anon, THANK YOU! I love it when someone knows the real story behind something. I appreciate your input.

Joan, I guess I need one of those too :0 Thanks for sharing that!

Bond, really? I am shocked that you didn't know them ALL! :)

SER said...

Here’s one for ya to research...

BTO – Bachman - Turner – Overdrive.

Their name was originally mispronounced Bachman, his real name was Backman. When they would go on stage, he would say, “I’m Richard (think Richard) Backman and we are Bachman - Turner – Overdrive.

Another one were mispronouncing a name created the bands name.


LazyKing said...

Coldplay: it was the name of one of their friend band back in college. But that friend thought "Coldplay" wasn't a cool name and that it would be weird to use it.
So Chris Martin (Coldplay singer) said that "coldplay" was cool for him and they adopt it.

LazyKing said...

The U2 name origin is quite funny

LazyKing said...

Do you know how "The killers" got their name??
And ACDC??

David said...

I have heard it said that it can take some bands longer to come up with a name than it does to record their first album! Perhaps more bands should use the Savage Chicken's Metal Band Name Generator. :-)

I vaguely remember hearing that REM chose their name after a drunken party where they wrote loads of possible names all over the wall. In the aftermath of the party they chose REM but couldn't remember who had suggested it or why. (Though that's not the story in Wikipedia... so who knows.)

Music Musings

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