Meanings Behind Band Names

Ever wonder why a band has a specific name to be addressed by? What the meaning of it is? Here are a few explained...

Chapter 1

What it Means

They were originally the Chicago Transit Authority, but had to shorten it to Chicago after the city threatened to sue.

Alice Cooper
Vincent Furnier, lead singer, claims to have met a spirit with the name from an Ouija board.

A system of music instructions that were about physical motion from the 1890s.

Lars Ulrich, drummer, was helping a friend name a heavy metal magazine. The two choices he gave were Metal Mania (chosen) and Metallica.

The Replacements
Filling in for another band at the last minute, Paul Westerberg (singer) told the MC that they were just "the replacements".

White Stripes
The members have the last name of White, but drummer Meg White has a love for striped peppermint candy.

Rivers Cuomo (lead singer) was given this nickname in school. He had asthma.

The Smiths
The band just wanted a regular name so that no one would suggest anything about their kind of music.

From a movie in which Jimmy Durante states, "That's it! I'm in ecstasy!"

Black Sabbath
From a Boris Karloff horror movie of 1963.

Def Leppard
Joe Elliot (singer) drew a picture of a leopard with no ears, hence "deaf leopard".

Moody Blues
The band was named after one of their favorite songs: "Mood Indigo" by Duke Ellington.

Originally called The Iveys, they signed with the Apple Records label, where Paul McCartney suggested Badfinger, since it was the original title of "With a Little Help from My Friends".

Fall Out Boy
During an early concert, they asked the audience what their name should be. Someone yelled out "Fall Out Boy", so they took it. Later, they found out it was a character from The Simpsons and thought they were going to be sued. Funny thing, Simpsons' producers thought the band had the name first and was afraid that they were going to be sued. Neither was.

Death Cab for Cutie
This band was named after a Neil Innes (Monty Python collaborator) song for his 1960s group, the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band.

The letters from each member's first name: Tionne, Lisa, and Chilli.

He gave himself this name by taking his initials MM (Marshall Mathers) and spelling it out phonetically.

Nine Inch Nails
Trent Reznor (singer) wrote down a list of potential names and settled on this one, because "it still sounded good after two weeks" and could be easily abbreviated. Nine inch nails were once used in coffins.

Paul McCartney came up with the band name while he was waiting in a hospital wing when his wife, Linda, was giving birth to one of their kids.

Taken from a really strong grain alcohol (190 proof).

Was stolen from another band that had broken up. The original band had gotten the name from a book by Philip Horky, titled: Child's Reflections, Cold Play.


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