Top 10 coolest stories of how bands came up with their names


Fans of a band will quickly be able to rattle off all the albums that their favorite artists have put out or tell you how many big hits they have had, but very few will be able to tell you where that band came up with their name. Bands will often go through a number of different names before finally settling on one that sticks, and while some of the names are pretty self-explanatory there are others that seem to defy any kind of logic. It turns out that many of those names comes from books, movies and other pieces of art, so let’s take a look at some of the coolest band names and the stories of how they were born.


1. Led Zeppelin – The phrase ‘lead balloon’ has often been used to describe an idea that is never likely to get off the ground. Rumor has it that drummer Keith Moon thought his new band would go over like a ‘lead zepellin,’ which just happened to be a description that founding member Jimmy Page loved. Fearing folks would mispronounce the name, the band changed the spelling to Led to avoid confusion.


2. Duran Duran – The odd sounding name of this popular 80’s band was taken from the cult classic movie Barbarella which starred a young Jane Fonda. Duran Duran was the name of one of the characters that appeared in the movie.


3. KISS – The band have gone out of their way to deflect attention from the actual meaning of their name. Paul Stanley claims the simple name sound sexy and dangerous, but there are those that believe the name is in fact an acronym for ‘Knight’s In Satan’s Service.”


4. REM – Fans of the band would probably love to believe that the name stems from the acronym for ‘Rapid Eye Movement,’ believing that the imagery and words that the band produced came from some sort of dream world. The reality though is that lead singer Michael Stipe allegedly stuck his finger in a dictionary and used the word where his digit landed.


5. The Killers – This is a cool story of a band using a name that was used by another band. Sounds confusing, but The Killers took their name from a fictional band that appeared in a New Order video.


6. Chumbawamba – This is a band that has been around for decades yet is really only known for their lone hit ‘Tubthumping.’ The name is incredibly cool though and apparently was taken from a dream that one of the band members had where he came upon a pair of public toilets that said ‘Chamba’ and ‘Wamba’ rather than ‘Ladies’ and ‘Men.’


7. The Pogues – The Irish band have a name that many believe was simply a family name, especially since they were originally known as ‘Pogues Mahone.’ The truth though is that their earlier name is actually a Gaelic phrase that translates to ‘Kiss My A**.’


8. The Bay City Rollers – Considered by many to be the first real boy band, The Bay City Rollers had a name that was sounded far more exotic than their humble Scottish roots would warrant. That’s what happens when you blindly point at a map and go with the name of the place that you land on.


9. A-ha – The name really couldn’t be any simpler, which is exactly what the band was hoping for when they chose it. Since they wanted to be recognized globally, the band chose a name that is pretty much used in every part of the world and which means the same thing in every location.


10. Steely Dan – Perhaps the most sordid of band names out there, although no-one would ever realize it until the origins of the name were explained. If you have ever read the novel ‘Naked Lunch’ by William Burroughs you probably know that Steely Dan was a name he gave to an adult toy.


User Rating: 0 (0 votes)
Morgan is the founder and editor of REALITYPLEX. After suffering from a life-threatening accident, he realized that the way we perceive things around us is based on our beliefs, emotions and experiences. In an effort to draw the line between perception and reality, he launched REALITYPLEX in 2011. Get to know him better and connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and G+