General Question

charliecompany34's avatar

What do rock band names mean?

Asked by charliecompany34 (7796points) March 21st, 2009

or any music group, for that matter. what is the origin, specifically, rock? “pink floyd, jethro tull, fleetwood mac, led zeppelin, etc. “the beatles?” who knew?

are the titles related or distant, but also, related? how?

what forms these cool band names? are live band names dead? what makes a hot band name, rock or rap or R&B.

what decade seems to have the coolest band names that can’t be retired or matched?

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29 Answers

charliecompany34's avatar

what happened to the emerson, lake and palmer type names? the crosby stills nash and young titles too?

eponymoushipster's avatar

the 90s had quite a plethora of odd band names: Squirrel Nut Zippers, Right Said Fred, Limp Bizkit, etc.

charliecompany34's avatar

and well, who can forget “grateful dead?” band name just super works! how?

essieness's avatar

Some of this I knew, some I looked up.

Fleetwood Mac’s name is derived from last names of drummer Mick Fleetwood and bass guitarist John McVie. I can’t wait to see them again in May!

The Beatles starte out as The Beetles, but because they were into the beatnik scene, someone suggested BeAtles, I guess to be clever, and it stuck.

Led Zeppelin’s name came from a conversation between Jimmy Page and a couple of guys in another band about starting a band together, and he said something like, “Yeah that’ll go over like a lead balloon.” Which led to Led Zeppelin.

Pink Floyd is taken from the names of two Georgia bluesmen Pink Anderson and Floyd Council – from the early days when the band saw itself as a blues band.

Jethro Tull is named after the rather obscure inventor of the farmer’s seed drill.

Anyway… I love classic rock… I think some band names are rather cool, but some are just ridiculous. There are some newer bands out have pretty stupid names.

charliecompany34's avatar

@essieness thanks for the jethro tull enlightenment. never knew.

essieness's avatar

@charliecompany34 No problem. I love shit like this.

charliecompany34's avatar

@essieness some people think jethro tull is a person. how bout it?

essieness's avatar

@charliecompany34 Yeah, no. Jethro Tull was a person, but not the singer/flautist in the band. His name is Ian Anderson.

charliecompany34's avatar

@essieness there’s a movie and i cant think of it right now, but there is a reference to jethro tull. the rock enthusiast seems to be aware that the name is not a person at all and “shame on anybody” that doesnt know that. cant think of the movie.

essieness's avatar

@charliecompany34 Hmmmm, interesting. I don’t know about that one.

A_Beaverhausen's avatar

lurve for the Anchor Man reference @eponymoushipster! haha

A_Beaverhausen's avatar

i believe it means a whales vagina.

aprilsimnel's avatar

The Beatles (originally The Silver Beatles) is a homage to Buddy Holly and The Crickets. John and Paul were HUGE fans of Buddy Holly. George was more of a Carl Perkins guy.

The Rolling Stones were named after a Muddy Waters song.

Nirvana was named by Kurt Cobain, who didn’t want the stereotypical “angry punk band” name.

Duran Duran were named after a character in the movie Barbarella.

R.E.M. picked their name out of a dictionary.

The Smiths picked their name to go against the pretentious names of 80s synthpop bands

Hüsker Dü is named after a Danish board game popular when the band members were kids in Minnesota.

Franz Ferdinand is named after the Serbian Archduke who was assassinated in 1914, the consequences of which was WWI.

When I was little, I thought Ian Anderson was “Jethro Tull”. Then I read an English history book.

I think bands of the 60s had the best names. The Strawberry Alarm Clock! ? and The Mysterians! Cream! I love that stuff. There was a UK band also called Nirvana in the 60s, too, but obviously, they didn’t get very far with the public.

charliecompany34's avatar

wait, what band title means a whale vagina?

eponymoushipster's avatar

@charliecompany34 no, San Diego means “a whale’s vagina”. in german, i believe.

charliecompany34's avatar

@aprilsimnel wow, you know your stuff! and yes, bands of the 60s and 70s really had some cool titles. uninhibited drugs, sex, rock and roll perhaps?

aprilsimnel's avatar

I read too many books too often, is my problem! But Hüsker Dü I’d known because that was a popular game with some of my classmates in Wisconsin, too. All those Danes and Norwegians, don’cha know.

Yeah, I would’ve enjoyed the 60s if I were, say, 15 starting in 1963. I was born a few weeks before the tragedy at Altamont, so I missed the whole durn thing. I’m an 80s kid, sure, but Culture Club doesn’t quite have the same ring as The Velvet Underground.

charliecompany34's avatar

the doors? what it be about?

essieness's avatar

@charliecompany34 Didn’t that one come from Aldous Huxley’s The Doors of Perception?

Edit: Googled. And yes. Damn, I’m good.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Imagine if Morrison had read this! Eh, he probably did.

cookieman's avatar

@essieness: The person who claimed Jimmy Page’s proposed band would “go over like a lead balloon” was none other than Keith Moon (the drummer for The Who).

essieness's avatar

@cprevite That’s right! I should’ve known that…

asmonet's avatar

They’re not related, that’s just ridiculous.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

I think AstroChuck has a band named for him…

asmonet's avatar

@cprevite: Read the question again, the only way that’s possible is if all band’s were in a naming conspiracy. ;)

A_Beaverhausen's avatar


adreamofautumn's avatar

A month late (how did I miss this thread?), but Lynyrd Skynyrd are named (with the spelling changed) after a high school gym teacher that used to harass them for having their hair long.

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