Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Where did that band get its name?

Do you wonder where your favorite musicians get their names from? This site contains origins of the names of various bands and artists. I'm not sure if the site's information is 100 percent accurate, though. So, feel free to comment, especially if you know a lot about the names too.

Here are some of the site's entries:

The Beatles - A few stories floating around about this one. Stuart Sutcliffe came 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 may have also been influenced by the film "The Wild One", which featured a motorcycle gang called the Beetles. John Lennon is generally credited with combining Beetles and Beat to come up with The Beatles spelling. Lennon was also fond of saying he had a vision as a child of a flaming pie in the sky that said "You are Beatles with an "A"...

Black Sabbath - they were originally a cover band called Earth. The band saw Boris Karloff's 1963 horror movie "Black Sabbath" one night and were inspired to call their first original song "Black Sabbath". They found out at a gig that there was another band called "Earth", so they changed their name to Black Sabbath.

Blink 182 - They were originally called Blink, but were forced to change their name because a techno band from Ireland was already called that. 182 doesn't actually mean anything. The band has helped start rumors about 182 like: Al Pacino said "fuck" 182 times in Scarface, Al Pacino said "fuck" 182 times in "The Godfather", etc. Source = interviews with the band.

Blur - The band was originally called "Seymour", but a condition of their record deal was they had to pick a new name from a list that the label supplied. "Blur" was on the list.

Bon Jovi - A mutation of Jon Bon Jovi's real name: John Bongiovi, Jr.

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 Beat", which was allegedly inspired by all the drugs in the clubs they played.

Dream Theater - They originally met in Boston and called themselves MAJESTY. That had to change because of another band with the same name. Mike's father suggested the name Dream Theater as taken from a movie house in Monterey, California.

They had to drop their original name "Majesty" due to copyright problems and named themselves after a theater in their LA neighborhood.

Foo Fighters - David Grohl was fascinated by the Roswell incident and sci-fi in general. He decided to name his new project after a slang expression used in World War II by US pilots to describe the alien-looking fireballs they sometimes saw over Germany (specifically, betueen Hagenau in Alsace-Lorraine and Neustadt an der Weinstrasse in the Rhine Valley). Foo is a mutation of the French word for fire, "fue". Sources: the band's official website and an NME biography.

Guns and Roses - From Axyl Rose and Tracii Guns' names. Some think it's a combination of LA Guns and Hollywood Roses.

INXS - Three members are brothers with the last name Farriss. They narrowly decided on INXS over Farriss Brothers. INXS is a cool way to spell "In Excess", which they hoped their music would be. There is an old story that their girlfriends approached XTC saying their boyfriends were in a band called the "Farris Brothers" and they wish their name was as cool as XTC's.

Iron Maiden - nasty medieval torture device.

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 people, so World War II was responsible for 80 Megadeath. Megadeth is the phonetic spelling for Megadeath.

MxPx - Their original name was Magnified Plaid. On a poster for one of their shows, the guitarist put M.P., but the periods looked like little x's so people thought they were MxPx. The nickname stuck.

Pantera - Their first name was Pantego, the name of a Texas town. Pantera is Portuguese for Panther.

Pearl Jam - A couple variations: 1- Eddie's grandma (who's name is Pearl) used to make good jam 2- Eddie's grandma used to make peyote jam. Rumour has it the band almost named themselves "Mookie Blaylock" after their favorite basketball player.

Red Hot Chili Peppers - They were originally called "Tony Flow and the Miraculously Majestic Masters of Mayhem". Anthony Kiedis says he was inspired to change the name to the Red Hot Chili Peppers after seeing "a psychedelic bush with band's name on it". It may be a coincidence, but the famous pimp and piano player Jelly Roll Morton had a band called Red Hot Peppers in the 1920's.

Sepultura - The singer was inspired when translating the Motorhead song "Dancing on your Grave", which is "Dancando Na Sepultura" in Portuguese.

Sex Pistols - Malcom Mclaren came up with the name. It was partially inspired by his wife's punk clothing shop called "Sex".

Silverchair - A mutated combination of "Sliver" by Nirvana and "Berlin Chair" by You Am I. They were requesting the songs from a radio station and the name was inspired by notes a band member made to himself to remember the song titles.

Siouxsie and the Banshees - Siouxsie volunteered to play a gig at the 100 Club and had one night to think of a name. They saw the 1970 Vincent Price movie "Cry of the Banshee". Adam Ant and Sid Vicious were also Banshees for that first gig.

Skunk Anansie - Anansie is a creature in Jamaican folklore who is half man, half spider, and always a prankster. Skunk refers to either good marijuana or the smelly little black and white animals.

Smashing Pumpkins - A few stories and plenty of 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". Billy Corgan's home town is known for its pumpkins. The name is a rumored revenge against his home town an ex-girlfriend who said he would be there for the rest of his life.

Read more here.

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