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"In January 1991, before the band had formed, I was sitting at my desk in
the San Francisco office of Rough Trade Distribution, trying to think of a name
for this queer rock thing I was starting. I looked up at the bulletin board next
to the desk and misread the name of an upcoming release by some band called
Third Panzer Division. I flashed on Pansy Division by mistake and thought it was
good, and it stuck" - Jon Ginoli. Quote from their official
- Their first name was PANTEGO, the name of a
Texas town. PANTERA is Portuguese for Panther.
- It seems Buckner had a CD by jazz musician Pancho Sanchez called Papa Gato. The title struck a chord with Dick, whose grandfather's last name was Roatch - he was "Papa Roatch" to his family.
Still, according to Dick: "For the longest time, it's had nothing to do with my grandpa.
We drew up this cockroach logo because we wanted to avoid the weed thing. Weed's okay, but it's not what we're about; we're kinda like the cockroach that can survive anything.
Source : This
online biography of the band
PAVLOV'S DOG - This St. Louis band is named after the
famous salivating dog experiments of Russian physiologist and experimental psychologist
Ivan Petrovich Pavlov.
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.
- From the song
"Penetration" by The Pyramids.. the first song they learned to play
- Named after the clown in Stephen King's novel
- The main
character in Alfred Jarry's play, Ubu Roi.
PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH - Named after a very cool children's
book by Norton Juster. There was also a movie made of the story in the 60's featuring
Butch Patrick (Eddie on the Munsters).
- A play on drummer John Fishman's last name. The
altered spelling was influenced by the BEATLES
. The band
sometimes claims "PH" reminds them of the sound of a plane taking off...
PHOBOS - This Dutch band named themselves after one of the
moons around planet Mars. PHOBOS also means fear in Greek.
PIGPEN - This fun, short lived band from New York was
named after the dirty kid in Peanuts comics.
Named after Georgia blues musicians Pink Anderson and Floyd Council. They almost named
themselves "Anderson Council" and "Megadeath".
THE PIXIES - The band's guitar player was learning English
and noticedthe word in a dictionary. They thought it would be funny to have a big guy like
Black Francis fronting a band called "The Pixies".
PLUG UGLIES - This Chicago band named themselves after a
notorious New York street gang from the 1800's.
PM DAWN - Inspired by a Bible quote, "In the darkest
hour comes the light."
POCO - they were originally Pogo, but the creater of the
comic strip Pogo sued, forcing them to change the name.
- Shortened from "Pogue Mahone",
which is a distorted version of Póg Mo hÓn, which is Irish Gaelic for "kiss my
- For some reason they enjoy using themes related
to law enforcement. Consider STING's
name and the Stuart Copeland
side project Klark Kent. One of Stuart Copeland's brothers used to head I.R.S. Records and
another brother ran the FBI Tour Agency.
POOP SHOVEL - named after "Pooper Scoopers".
IGGY POP & THE STOOGES
IGGY and IGUANA were nicknames since childhood. POP was inspired by
Jim Popp, a local junkie. The Stooges were originally the PSYCHEDELIC STOOGES..
which combined their love of drugs with "The Three Stooges". The
STOOGES later dropped PSYCHEDELIC to avoid any hippie assumptions.
POP WILL EAT ITSELF -PWEI apparently agreed with an
article in NME titled "Will Pop Eat Itself?"
PORNO FOR PYROS
More than one story going.. 1- Perry Farrell
found a porno magazine wrapped around fireworks in a garbage can on the
street. 2- Farrell was reading a fireworks catalog on a tour bus when a pal
said the magazine looked like smut for arsonists, or porno for pyros.
realized that watching the L.A. riots on TV was probably Porno for pyros.
- The name of their home town in England.
THE PRETENDERS - Named after the PLATTERS song "The
PRETTY BOY FLOYD - The name of a notorious Mafia hitman.
THE PRETTY THINGS - After the BO DIDDLEY song "Pretty
Thing". They were actually an ugly, loud band.
- They called themselves the PRIMATES but heard
about another band with the same name, so they evolved into PRIMUS (which means
"first" in Latin). It's probably a coincidence, but PRIMUS is
also a rockin' brand of camping stove.
THE PROCOL HARUM
The band's official website debunks the common rumor that PROCOL HARUM is Latin
for "beyond those things", which is almost right .. that actually
translates to PROCUL HIS. The band's site is confused about the real
story, but contends that it has something to do with the name or pedigree of a
cat owned by Guy Stevens.
Named after the Moog Prodigy, the first synthesizer that Liam Howlett from the band had.
This electronic band from Stockholm, Sweden was possibly inspired by the Ayn
Rand book "Atlas Shrugged". In that book, Project X was a device
that could destroy huge objects and living things with sound waves.
PROFESSOR LONGHAIR -
"professor"was the title given to New Orleans whore house piano players. He had long hair, too..
This politically active punk band's name is a combination of
"Propaganda" and "Ghandi". The band's official website
is one of those rare ones that includes much more than the usual narcissistic
PROPELLERHEADS - Slang for computer nerds.
PSYCHEDELIA SMITH - A spoof on Delia Smith, who is the
most famous TV chef in Britain.
PSYCHEDELIC FURS - They enjoy psychedelic music even
though they don't play it. After a night of drinking and toying with names like
PSYCHEDELIC SHOES.. SHIRTS... SOCKS, etc.. FURS sounded good.
PSYCHEFUNKAPUS - a character in a FUNKADELIC song.
Psychic TV and thee
Temple Ov Psychick Youth were created by Genesis P. Orridge
. Genesis's theory of magick encourages using all thee technologies currently
available (including TV) for psychick purposes. Temple Ov Psychick Youth is a loosely
cooperating world wide magickal community. They look cool and actively misspell words,
adding "k" at thee end of everything and they write "ov" and
"thee" a lot.
A couple (maybe related) stories: 1- Puff Daddy was Sean Combs' nickname in high
school. 2- Sean used to puff out his chest to look bigger
PULP - Originally known as Arabacus Pulp (after a
commodity Jarvis Cocker learned about during economics). This was shortened to Pulp
because nobody else knew what the full name meant.
- It's hard to pinpoint
exactly how the term punk rock came about.. Marc Bolan called himself the "Cosmic Punk" in the
early 70's. Rock critic Dave Marsh described ? and the Mysterians as having a punk rock attitude in 1970. The Tubes released the song "White Punks on Dope" in 1975,
and shortly after that Malcom McLaren started pimping the SEX
as punk rock.. then everything went nuts.
PUSKAS - This Hungarian band from Fleet, on the
Hampshire/Surrey border, is named after Hungarian footballing legend Ferenc Puskas.
He was in the first team to beat England at Wembley and is known for wild partying.
- A name with great shock value taken from
the sexy character in the James Bond movie "Goldfinger"
PYLON - A William Faulkner novel.
- Freddie Mercury liked the
name for the transvestite connotation and the glamorous image of Queens in royalty.
QUEERS - named themselves this despite the fact that they
are all heterosexual.
- Evidently not
named after the German town and airfield called Ramstein. RAMMSTEIN is old fashioned
German for (basically) a big stone door stop. Some think the name is a German
euphanism for penis.
- Early in his career, Paul McCartney used to call
himself Paul Ramone.
RAPEMAN - This Steve Albini band was named after a
violent Japanese comic book character. There are also Japanese RAPEMAN
movies, which are basically comedies about a contract rapist. ... very odd
- A twist on
Rasputin's name. He was a powerful and rebellious Russian cleric who couldn't keep his
dick in his pants, especially around the Czar's wife. He finally died after being
poisoned, castrated, shot and drowned all in one night.
REAL MCCOY - Originally called MC Sar & the Real
McCoy. MC Sar was dropped to dissociate the band from rap music when they came to the US.
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
- Michael Stipe closed his
eyes and stuck his finger in a dictionary.. R.E.M. (Rapid Eye Movement) is a state
of sleep. Other fun acronyms are: "Righteous Energetic Music",
"Really Enjoy Masturbating" and "Rear End Men."
- It was the name of a pick-up truck made
by Oldsmobile in the 1930's. "REO" is the initials of Ransom Elliot Olds, who
was the founder of the Oldsmobile Car Company.
REO SPEED DEALER - Parody of REO SPEEDWAGON,
who sued the band.. so the band's name is now SPEED DEALER.
THE REPLACEMENTS - Legend has it that they were given a
gig after another band failed to show up one night. When asked who they were, Paul
Westerberg quipped "We're the Replacements".
THE RESIDENTS - The band initially had no name. All their
rejection letters were addressed to "Resident".
REVOLTING COCKS - Thought up in an all-night drinking/drug
binge at the Wax Trax records office.
RIDEL HIGH - The High School in the movie Grease
ROCK AND ROLL - Old slang for
sexual intercourse. The Boswell Sisters
recorded a song called "Rock and Roll" in 1934.. long before rock music evolved.
Early 50's disc jockey Alan Freed is credited for popularizing the term as we
Almost too obvious to bother with ... Henry Rollins started this band after BLACK
- This New Jersey band named themselves after
the great HOWLIN' WOLF
song "Little Red Rooster".
ROSETTA STONE - A famous archeological find. It's an old
stone with a message repeated in different languages. It helped Archeologists figure out
They originally called themselves ORANGE CRUSH, then changed to RUN DMC after
graduating from high school. "DJ Run" (Joe Simmons) and "DMC"
(Darryl McDaniel) combined their monikers for the new name.
RUSH - Two stories: 1-
They named themselves after a product called "Rush" that was popular
in head shops in the 70's. "Rush" was similar to
"poppers" and gave a quick head rush. 2- They were rushing to think up a name before their
first gig, and John Rusty's older brother yelled, "Why don't you call your band
RUSH?". -- A silly Christian rumor says the band name means
"Ruled Under Satan's Hand".
SAMBA - This South American dance translates to "rubbing two navels together.
Source = History Channel, January, 2000.
The Celtic New Year, which has evolved into Halloween.
SAVE FERRIS - From a sign in the movie FERRIS BUELLER'S
SCREAMIN' CHEETAH WHEELIES - Inspired by a Far Side
cartoon with Cheetahs in it.
SCREAMING TREES - The model of a guitar effects pedal.
SCRITTI POLITTI - The title of political writings by
Antonio Gramsci, an Italian Marxist.
SELECTOR - The Selectors in Jamaican and British dancehall
culture are the disc jockeys that play records for dancehall rappers.
- The singer was
inspired when translating the Motorhead song "Dancing on your Grave", which is
"Dancando Na Sepultura" in Portuguese.
Malcom Mclaren came up with the name. It was partially inspired by his wive's punk clothing shop called "Sex".
SEVEN MARY THREE - John Baker's call numbers in the old TV
show CHIPS. The bandmembers all went to College of William and Mary as well.
SHUDDER TO THINK
One of the band members said "I shudder to think, we'll be another pop band"
SICATA - Inspired by all the cicatas falling out of the
trees when they were trying to think up a name.
SIGUE SIGUE SPUTNIK - once the name of a Russian street
gang, it means "burn burn Sputnik". (Sputnik is the name of a satellite)
SILVER APPLES -
This New York electronic music duo named themselves after a line in the Yeats poem "The Wandering Angus".
The line: "... The silver apples of the moon, the golden apples of the sun".
Morton Subnotnik was evidently also inspired by this poem when he named a composition "Silver Apples of the Moon" in the early 1960's.
The album release of that piece is considered by some to be the earliest album of music created entirely with electronics.
- 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.
SIMON & GARFUNKLE - PAUL SIMON AND ART GARFUNKLE. They
recorded as TOM AND JERRY in the 50's. Their only hit from that period was "Hey
School Girl" in 1957.
SIMPLE MINDS - taken from a line in the David Bowie song
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.
SISTER HAZEL - Named after a Black woman who ran
"Sister Hazel's Rescue Mission" in Gainesville, FL in the 70's & 80's.
SISTERS OF MERCY
- A tribute to the
Leonard Cohen song of
same name. There is also an order of nuns known as the Sisters of Mercy.
SISTERS OF MURPHY - This Irish band from London spoofed
the name Sisters of Mercy.
SKID ROW - Slang for run down inner city neighborhoods
where winos, junkies, street criminals and various poor people can afford to live.
Sabo originally liked the name SKIP ROPE, but Jon Bon Jovi convinced him SKID ROW would
sound more professional.
The basic idea is of an abused, neglected
animal that doesn't speak much, but when it does the result is a pain filled yelp.
Piece of trivia: Skinny Puppy has the morbid honor that Jeffrey Dahmer picked up one of
his victims at one of their shows.
- 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.
SKYCLAD - Modern pagan term for naked. A band and a
label both use this name.
- Inspired by the movie
"Dragonslayer". Also.. "Satan Laughs As You Eternally Rot" appears on
their Divine Intervention album..
SLEATER-KINNEY - The name of the road their practice space
was on in Lacey, Washington.
SLEEPER - The title of a Woody Allen movie.
SLOAN - Two stories: inspired by either Farris Bueller's
girlfriend Sloan Peterson or a friend named "Slow One".
SMACK - Slang for heroin. They were an amazing band that
had a big influence on GUNS AND ROSES.
- They were inspired by the
song "I'm the FACE". Face is Mod slang for "stylish guy". They
were all SMALL guys as well. They later shortened the name to FACES when taller guys
Rod Stewart and Ron Wood joined.
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
- Inspired by the cartoon character
Yosemite Sam's classic line, "I'll blow you varmints to smithereens".
THE SMITHS - They wanted a generic name void of any
preconceptions about their style of music.
SNAP KRACKLE DROP - Inspired by the Rice Crispy cereal
jingle "Snap, Crackle, Pop".
- Members of the
pay someone to help them find especially hard-to-get sneakers. He's the
- This legendary
punk band has been around since 1981. The name stnads for "Society's
No Fucking Use"
SOFT BOYS - Combination of two William Burroughs novels,
"Soft Machine" and "Wild Boys".
A combination of SONIC RENDEZVOUS ORCHESTRA and BIG YOUTH.. they were local
New York bands in the late 70's.
SONNY AND CHER
- An improvement over their first stage
name, "Caesar and Cleo".
SONS OF MIDNIGHT
- Two members are from ELECTRIC HELLFIRE
CLUB. "Sons of Midnight" was a trouble making social club in the 18th
century similar to the original "Hellfire Clubs". Source = MK
Cavelera was remembering his friend and stepson Dana Wells, who had recently died.
He was also thinking of Dana when he co-wrote the DEFTONES song "Headup" that
has the lyric "soulfly fly high so fly fly free"
SOUNDGARDEN - A garden of kinetic sculptures that make
music when wind blows through them. There was also a sculpture in Seattle called
SOUTHERN CULTURE ON THE SKIDS
- Band leader Rick Miller
and a friend heard a disc jockey call REM
"the sound of the new
Southern culture". They decided they'd rather hear Southern culture on the skids.
SPACE ROCK - This is a genre,
not a band.. The New York Times described the music of Jimi Hendrix as
"space rock" in a review in the late 60's. This is the earliest
reference HeaThen WoRLD has heard of.
SPACE NEGROES - Who knows?
SPANDAU BALLET - This was a Nazi guard term for the
contortions of Jewish prisoners being gassed to death. There was a large gas chamber in
the city of Spandau.
SPECIAL AGENTS OF HER MAJESTY'S SECRET CERVIX
This North Carolina band was inspired by the James Bond movie "Her Majesty's Secret Service"
A mix of heroin and cocaine.. John Belushi's fatal drug cocktail.
Their original name was SPIRITS REBELLIOUS .. the name of a book by Kahlil Gibran. They later shortened it to SPIRIT.
Named after a group of German mental patients
from the late 60's who formed a violent terrorist group called the "Socialist
Patients Kollectiv". Click on the band name for more information. SPK also called
themselves "SePuKu" and "Surgical Penis Klinik" on various releases.
SPRING HEEL JACK -
Named after a supernatural, Satanic
figure that haunted early Victorian Liverpool, spooking horses, leaping over twenty-foot
walls and generally scaring the hell out of everyone.
SQUID VICIOUS -
It sounded slightly better than SQUID & NANCY, BILLY THE SQUID and SQUID RACER... a parody of SID VICIOUS, actually.
This is a label, not a band. Greg Ginn sold ham radio parts through his company
"Solid State Transmitter" (SST) .. then started releasing records as
ST. ETIENNE - A French Soccer club and city.
ST. VITUS DANCE - Victims poisoned by a particular fungus
hallucinate and their muscles jerk involuntarily in a macabre dance. This was most common
in Europe in the Middle Ages. Saint Vitus is the patron saint of people with this
- His real name is Richard Starkey. He liked
to wear rings, hence RINGO.. and STARR is his last name shortened and modified.
- A a bid to sound updated and keep making money,
updated their name to JEFFERSON
STARSHIP in the 70's, then shortened that to STARSHIIP.
A steel dildo in the 1964 William Burroughs
NAKED LUNCH. According to the book: an evil German bulldyke
prostitute crushed the first STEELY DAN using
her pussy, and the second STEELY DAN is still in use.
The title of a cool Herman Hesse novel. The were originally called the SPARROWS.
- The name of a record label in the 50's and
STIFF LITTLE FINGERS
classic late 70's band called themselves THE FAST until they heard about the New
York band with the same name. Band member Jake Burns had to think of a
name fast for the sake of a newspaper ad. He was looking at the new (in
1977) LONDON GIRLS single by the VIBRATORS and saw the song STIFF LITTLE FINGERS
on the B-Side. Source: This
1997 interview with the band
Gordon Sumner used to wear a
yellow/black striped shirt when in a jazz band and he looked like a bee.. The STING
nickname grew from that.
- This Philadelphia band named themselves after a character in Dostoyevski's
"The Brothers Karamazov." The insane drifter character turned out to be the
mother of one of the Brothers Karamazov.
STONE ROSES - Similar to their original name, ENGLISH ROSE
(which was inspired by a JAM song).
STONE TEMPLE PILOTS - They were originally called Mighty
Joe Young, but that's the name of a blues singer. They were fond of STP oil stickers, and
thought up Shirley Temple's Pussy, Stereo Temple Pirates, and finally Stone Temple Pilots.
STRAWBERRY TRIP MONSTER -
The name of their favorite Odwalla drink: The Strawberry "C" Monster.
From the Bible; Isaiah 53:5- "But he was
wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, upon him was the
chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed". HEATHEN
WORLD suggests "Foot Washin' Hookers" and "Alter Boy Butthole
Surfers" as better Christian heavy metal names.
After the mythical river Styx that people crossed over to go into Hell.
Dripping liquid LSD on Sugarcubes is a time honored way to "package" LSD.
Named after the boxer Sugar Ray Leonard who
named himself after the boxer Sugar Ray Robinson. They used to practice in a studio owned
by Sugar Ray Leonard.
SUICIDE MACHINES -
inspired by Dr. Kevorkian's"deathmobile" They were originally called "Dr. Kevorkian and the Suicide Machines"
An old cartoon show about DC comic book heros.
They called themselves THEODORE SUPERGRASS for a short time, then dropped
THEODORE. SUPERGRASS is a British term for "a police informer who
implicates a large number of people". Playground slang is also
influenced by the word. English children use phrases like "to grass
up" or "to grass on someone" meaning to go and tell the teacher
who was bad.
SUPEROPUS - They were originally OPUS (inspired by the
cartoon character?) but another band was already using the name.
- Named after a
"Autobiography Of A Supertramp", written by WH Davies in 1910.
The book seems to be rare and there are several slight variations on the
author's name and book's date kicking around the web.
Frontman Michael Gira wanted a name that was in total contrast to brutally abrasive music the band was playing
in its early days.
OF A DOWN
- Guitarist Daren Malakian wrote a poem called "Victims of a
Down" .. the band liked it and decided "System" sounded
stronger. Source : the band's website.
SWINGIN' NECKBREAKERS - A truly excellent and devastating
Is the name of a band member.
- Video jargon for a camera shot showing
only the top of someone's shoulders and their head. Newscasters are usualy doomed to the
classic "talking head" shot. Another story is that they were inspired by a
military communications experiment at MIT which involved moving mannequin heads.
TARANIS - named after the Celtic God of Thunder. The word
means "The Thunderer"
TEARDROP EXPLODES - A line in a Marvel Comic.
TEN YEARS AFTER - "Ten Years After Elvis"..
Alvin Lee also fronted a band called TEN YEARS LATER that was 10 Years after TEN YEARS
- In tribute to the brilliant and eccentric inventor
Nikola Tesla. Tesla developed alternating current, radio, wireless communications,
flourescent lights, X-rays, microwaves, the theories that lead to the Starwars defense
system and more.. over 700 patents in all.
this Scottish band thought the movie Paris, Texas
was cool. Strangely, another Scottish band was inspired to call themselves TRAVIS
because of the same movie.
TEXAS IS THE REASON
- taken from a line in the
song "Bullet", about the Kennedy assasination.
THE VERVE - "The" is in their name to avoid
legal hassles with the record label VERVE. VERVE means talent.
THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS
- They took the name from a friend's
ventriloquist act, which was named after a film starring George C. Scott, which was
inspired by a section of Don Quixote. Don Quixote's trusted servant asks why he is
preparing to attack several windmills with his lance. Don Quixote replys "Because
they might be giants."
THIN LIZZY - original
quitarist Eric Bell was a huge Clapton fan. When he saw Clapton reading a
copy of BEANO comics on a John Mayall album cover he bought a copy. One of
the characters in the comic was TIN LIZZY. Phil Lynott thought that was a
horrible name for a band and suggested THIN LIZZY instead.
THIS MORTAL COIL - A
quote from Shakespeare's Hamlet: "For in that sleep of death what dreams
may come, when we have shuffled off this mortal coil, must give us pause."
THOMSON TWINS - two characters in the Tintin comics by the
(now dead) Belgium artist Herge.
THOSE MEDDLING KIDS - This old Phoenix punk outfit was
inspired by the phrase from Scooby Doo cartoons.
THREE DOG NIGHT
- Inspired by an Australian Aborigine
custom of sleeping with three dogs on extremely cold nights.
TILED CEILING - This diverse band was looking for an
outrageous name, and found out that some people actually tile their ceilings.
- from the nicknames of band members: Tionne
"T-Boz" Watkins, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopez and originally Crystal, but now
Rozonda "Chilli". TLC is also an acronym for "Tender Loving Care".
TO LIVE AND SHAVE IN L.A. - Named after a Ron Jeremy porn
film (which was a parody of "To Live and Die in L.A.")
TONES ON TAIL - Refers to reference tones put on reel to
reel tape in recording studios.
This is from TOTO's official website: Jeff suggests the name "TOTO"
after having watched The Wizard of Oz
on TV, not to name the band after
the dog, but as a name that's easy to pronounce and remember. Coincidentally,
"toto" in Latin means "all encompassing", so it is an
accurate name for a band who wants to do all kinds of musical styles.
TOXIC HOLIDAY - Another dictionary related one: the
drummer was looking for a name and read out Toxicology. The bass player thought he said
THE TRAGICALLY HIP
- Possibly from the Elvis Costello song "Town Cryer" or taken from a line in a Michael Nesmith skit called "Elephant Parts".
This Scottish band was inspired by the movie "Paris, Texas".
TRAVIS is the lead character. Strangely, another Scottish band was
inspired to call themselves TEXAS
the same movie.
THE TROGGS - from the term "troglodyte".
TRU SMOKE DIEZEL
The name of a toy truck. They were called MONSTER-X but ran into copyright problems.
T.S.O.L. - This 80's band from California
started out a punk band and ended up a cheezy metal band. The name stands
for "True Sounds of
TUSCADERO - Pinkie Tuscadero was Fonzie's girlfriend in
- A type of spy plane used by the United States. Bono
explained once that U2 grew out of thoughts of interactivity with the audience.. as in
"you too." Bono started calling guitar player David Evans
"The Edge" because of the shape of his head. Source: Reuters
- Title of the form people in Britian have to fill
out to receive public assistance. The band had time to contemplate the
form as they waited in line to fill one out.
UGLY KID JOE - A parody of PRETTY BOY FLOYD.. a band they
played a show with early on.
ULTIMATE SPINACH - who knows? Some long forgotten stoned
- Latin for "the greatest amount of
UNRUH - This grindcore band is named after Charles Unruh..
a Vietnam War vet that went crazy and shot 12 people (after the war).
URGE OVERKILL - This is a
cool band from Chicago. The name is part of a lyric in the PARLIAMENT song
- From a character in the Dickens novel
URUSEI YATSURA - Japanese animation.
- Named after Alex (not Eddie) VanHalen
- This awful name was an improvement over
their earlier names, THE ELECTRIC PIGEONS, then shortened to THE PIGEONS.
- The name of an S&M book a band
member found on a sidewalk in New York.
- Named after a character in the book,
"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", later made into the film "Willie Wonka
and the Chocolate Factory".
EDDIE "CLEANHEAD" VINSON - This great Jump Blues
singer and sax player was nicknamed "Cleanhead" because of his shaved head.
- Someone early on said they sound like
their official website: One of the most frequently asked questions is what the
letters VNV stand for. They stand for "Victory not Vengeance". The
meaning behind this stylized motto is that one should strive to achieve,
not sit in bitter regret.
VOODOO GLOW SKULLS
- Their name was inspired by plastic
"voodoo glow skulls" sold at Disneyland.
WALT MINK - Named after the band's favorite psychology
WAR - Eric Burdon called the band WAR just to attract
attention because the hippies were so anti-war.
WARM JETS - Named after the Brian Eno song "Here Come
the Warm Jets".
A couple possibilities: "White Anglo Saxon Protestant", "We Are Sex
Perverts" .. their official website doesn't say anything about it.
Gene and Dean Ween evidently thought up the name while high one day .. they somewhat
combined penis and wanker into WEEN. Source : band interview
WEEZER - Vocalist/guitarist/frontman Rivers Cuomo had the
nickname Weezer in school. He was a bit of a geek and made weezing sounds because of his
WHAM! - They wanted to make it so big in the music
business that they named their duo WHAM! and their debut album "Fantastic".
(The kind of deep philosophy that United States commercial radio thrives on)
WHITE CROSS - After "speed" pills of the same
This industrial band named themselves after Mary Whitehouse, a well-known
British anti-smut campaigner who came to prominence in 1964 and created the
"National Viewers and Listeners Association". Mary Whitehouse
died in 2001 at the age of 90. The irony is that WHITEHOUSE relishes subject
matter that no doubt horrified her.
David Coverdale was inspired by his dick.
Their original name was THE HIGH NUMBERS. After they were announced, the
audience reaction was usually "the who?".
WINGS - Paul McCartney thought of the name while waiting
in a hospital wing for Linda to give birth to one of their children.
WISEBLOOD - A fitting title
for this project put together by FOETUS.. Flannery O'Connor wrote the book
WISE BLOOD in 1952 about a guy who struggles to start "The Church
German synth duo named themselves after Meyer Wolfshiem, a character in F. Scott
Fitzgerald's book "The Great Gatsby", published in 1925. Note:
they changed the spelling a little.
- This famous disc jockey was inspired by the
Chicago blues singer HOWLIN' WOLF
They formed in 1976 and first called themselves STAR PARK. They picked up
a new member and switched to HELIUM KIDZ before deciding on XTC. Among
other reasons, XTC showed up much better on posters. The most common story
is that Andy Partridge was inspried by a
Jimmy Durante clip when he said "'dats it, I'm in ecstasy!" Side
note : XTC was around before the drug MDMA was called Ecstasy.
YELLOMAN - A nickname somewhat describing the hair and
skin color of this albino from Jamaica.
YO LA TENGO - A phrase used by a Hispanic baseball player
that the band likes. It translates to "I have it".
- Greek mythological god of the West wind. Heroin
addicted guitarist Tommy Bolin was in this band before joining DEEP
in the early 70's. Zephyr was also a car.
ZOS KIA - Named after a writing by Austin Osman Spare, who
was a witch often compared to Aliester Crowley. The Zos Kia Cultus described "the
technique of making the tantric utterance effective, of resounding the depths of cosmic
memory and making the sacred alignments". The band ZOS KIA is a side project by
Temple of Psychick Youth members.
- Possibly inspired by ZIG ZAG rolling papers, TOPS
rolling papers, and/or Texas Blues man ZZ HILL.