"That'll go over like a Led Zeppelin" And other Origins of Band names.

I was listening to the best radio station on the planet out of the Hamptons - Long Guyland - for those who don’t know. And they were talking about Origins of Band names.

I was, of course, first thinking about one of the most famous rock bands of all time Led Zeppelin and how they got their awesome name. History plays it like this:

Having been around the block several times, and been around when Zeppelin was still a band one could see in concert, I personally think Keith Moon stole the idea from John Entwistle, but because they settled their little tiff a few months after the band officially formed I am not bent about it even though Keith got all the recognition.

So anyone else? Who knows any other famous band name origins???

Actually, Moon’s phrase was “lead balloon.”

I know the Grateful Dead came from someone flipping through a dictionary looking for two words that just sounded good together. Sixpence None The Richer comes from, I think, a C.S. Lewis story. Save Ferris, from the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Aerosmith is a play on the title of a book by Hermann Hesse (Arrowsmith). The Boo Radleys from the classic book, To Kill a Mockingbird.




Oh come on Reality, thats no fun. I’m talking about insider stuff or hearsay?

I remember hearing how Motley Crue got it’s name.

At first they were called Christmas, but someone walked in and saw them all hanging around and said, Doesn’t this look like a Motley Crue.

Daft Punk’s origin is similar to Motley Crue’s.

Back in the day before they made French House and were involved in indie noise-pop, a review described them as Daft Punk and so they were named.

Nitpick: “Arrowsmith” was by Sinclair Lewis, not Hesse.

  1. Judas Priest took their name from an old Bob Dylan song (“The Ballad of Frankie Lee & Judas Priest”).

  2. Bad Company named themselves after an old Jeff Bridges western movie.

  3. ABBA is an acronym of the first names of the four members of the band (Anna, Benny, Bjorn, Anna-Frida).

  4. Uriah Heep was a character in Dickens’ “David Copperfield.”

  5. The Marshall Tucker Band named themselves after a blind piano tuner named Marshall Tucker, whose business card they’d found lying around a studio.

  6. Lynyrd Skynyrd was named after Leonard Skinner, a high school gym teacher who used to antagonize singer Ronnie van Zant.

  7. Steely Dan was a dildo in William Burroughs’ novel “Naked Lunch.”

  8. Pink Floyd combined the names of two blues musician: Pink Anderson and Floyd Council.

  9. Jethro Tull was a 19th century English agronomist.

  10. The Moody Blues originally called themselves the MB5, hoping the local MB brewery would sponsor them. When the sponsorship fell through, they kept the initials and adopted the name of an old Slim Harpo song, “Moody Blue.”

  11. The Bee Gees originally performed as the Brothers Gibb. “B.G.”- get it?

  12. An English band called “Earth” changed their name after seeing a cheesey Boris Karloff horror movie called “Black Sabbath.”

The Champs (of “Tequila” fame) got their name from Gene Autry’s horse, Champion. Autry owned the record label that released “Tequila.” (I think the label was Paragon)

The Herman Hesse book-named-band you’re prolly thinking of is Steppenwolfe.

I always heard that Def Leapord patterned their name after Led Zepplin.

Def Leapord
Led Zepplin

Two words, same syllable pattern, ect.

Of course this may have been told to me by some cranky older person who loved Zepplin and hated the ‘poser newcomers’.

Duran Duran-the villain in “Barbarella.”

Deep Purple was named after a popular '40’s song.

I’ll never think of Steely Dan the same… Thanks

It’s “Def Leppard.”

  • Eddie Vedder claims that Pearl Jam got its name from his Grandma Pearl’s family-famous jam preserves, dubbed “Pearl’s jam.”

  • The Tragically Hip got their name from a Mike Nesmith video, which includes a scene of rich people holding a charity sale for themselves, with a sign saying “for the benefit of the tragically hip.”

  • Van Halen and Bon Jovi, of course, just took the last name of someone in the band.

Black Sabbath was originally a song named after a Boris Karloff film. They then adopted it as a name for the band due to it’s ominous implications.

Toad the Wet Sprocket was the name of a fictional band mentioned in a Monty Python sketch.

A few more:

  1. “The Velvet Underground” was a trashy paperback novel about sexual perversity in suburbia.

  2. “They Might Be Giants” was an old movie in which George C. Scott played a lunatic who thinks he’s Sherlock Holmes.

  3. “Autobiography of a Supertramp” was a book by poet W.H. Davies. (The band’s leader was Rick Davies- that may be coincidental, I’m not sure.)

The Beatles got their name because Lennon really liked the double meaning of Buddy Holly and the Crickets. Of course, there wasn’t a double meaning because Americans don’t play Cricket. That didn’t stop John though…

Yes, I mixed up my origins for Steppenwolf and Aerosmith. Right idea, wrong connecton.

It’s my understanding that Stone Temple Pilots originally called themselves “Shirley Temple’s Pussy” and that they caved to pressure to change to something more widely acceptable.

The Aussie Punk band The Hard Ons were trying to think of a name when they were hanging out. One of them was looking through a penthouse and got an “inspiration”

Oingo Boingo was named because of an earlier musical theater troupe incarnation “The Mystic Nights of the Oingo Boingo” which was partially stolen from an Amos and Andy bit referring so some organization named “The Mystical Knights of something” and they tacked the nonsenical Oingo Boingo at the end.