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Band Names

Naming a band is like naming a baby: you want something distinctive and memorable, but nothing silly enough to get you picked on in the schoolyard. You can grab a dictionary and pull "Commodores" on the first try, or mull it over for months only to settle on "Strawberry Alarm Clock."

Whatever the choice, the band has to not only live with it, but explain it over and over to intrepid fans and journalists.

Below are 20 possible band name explanations. See if you can spot the fakes in this edition of Fact or Fiction.


This was fun. Maybe we'll do a Band Names Part II - any ideas?
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Comments: 36

Anonymous from Ca. No body said Paul Revere was lead singer
and yes,this was fun,let's try song titles
Boob from Pendleton,orygun
nice!Anonymous
More 60's and 70's rock band names on the next quiz.Brent from Denair, Ca
Good quiz! Thanks for that, I agree with ol rocking Dave, a song title quiz would be great, and a true/false quiz on artists facts......like, "Dave Grohl has only been in one band, foo fighters. True or false". Something like that. And a "rock legends" quiz would be great also, true false questions about commonly held beliefs about rock artists, and rock legends and stories.Melissajones76@me.com from Texas
paul Revere was not the lead singer., Mark Lindsay was.Anonymous from Ca
i thought blue oyster cult was an anagram of cully stout beer, but i haven't seen this confirmed anywhereSmc from Va
How about one on song titles? You could do a whole one on Bob Dylan alone.Old Rockin' Dave from Long Island
I like it! Except the fact that Journey was around WAY BEFORE beavis and butthead!!!Nancy from Ohio
The Zappa/Beefheart thing is wrong methinks 'cuz according to various things I had read Vilet's dad used to describe his male appendage's tip as looking like a big effin beefheart and it morphed from there.Jim H from Indiana
That was fun, but less hip-hop stuff. You guys should do Led Zeppelin, U2, The Who, and The Beatles. Oh yeah, and The Doors and Queen too!Dannie from Goshen, Ny
How about a quiz about single word band names (like Journey, Kiss, Aerossmith, etc)?Marg from Northville, Mi
Do one for how the Goo Goo Dolls came up with their name.Jesse from Huntsville, Al
#6--Maurice White may be spiritual and that may be where the band name came from, but there is no "wind" element in astrology. There's "air," but that's not the same thing and air is never referred to as "wind." The question should be re-worded so as not to mislead anyone who knows that.Trivia Goddess from Phoenix, Az
16/20. Not bad.Teababe27 from New York
11/15. Not bad.Teababe27 from New York
15... good quiz, I failed on the more obscure U.S actsWill Blaik from Devon
I got 'em all. 100%. I am das genius.Efrem from Ukraine
Really good quiz, got just over half right, 50/50 chance lol Interesting and Barmy the same time lol Very good quiz :)Chris from Wales
that was fun - 6 wrong, kinda flubbed it on the hip hop stuff. I like the idea about stage names. e.g. Bob Ritchie = Kid Rock. And finally to the guy who asked about Led Zep - that is interesting because Wikipedia says "One account of how the new band's name was chosen held that Moon and Entwistle had suggested that the supergroup with Page and Beck would go down like a "lead balloon", a British idiom for disastrous results." That wording leads me to believe it's not totally for sure. It does go on to say their manager suggested changing lead to led. Definitely a cooler name than the New Yardbirds which is how they started until they got a cease and desist.Cosmo from Echo Park
About the name of Led Zeppellin, it really was one of the Who mmebers who give them the name?Jl from Mexico
8 wrong :(Julie
I was always told that the "Youth" in Sonic Youth was a reference to Neil Young, who is one of Thurston Moore's heroes. More, please!Ekristheh from Halath, United States
2 wrong. I thought I would end up with a "C", so I did well on a few educated guesses (Ramones, Sanity Kane, Jefferson Airplane). B.O.C. and Earth, Wind, and Fire tripped me up (I knew that I should have chose the EWF one correctly, but I didn't go with my gut). Please do another quiz, this was one of the better ones I have seen. Maybe one with a focus on stage names (i.e. the story behind Alice Cooper, Sid Vicious, Vanity (the erstwhile protégé and paramour of Prince (yeah, that's his real first name))).Eppish from Ill-waukee, Wi
More of this, please.Theo from Switzerland
I missed 9, but didn't read one carefully.Greg from Shelbyville, Ky
Whoops...missed one! I really should have known that Paul Revere was the actual name of the lead singer, as I've been a fan since the 60's. I'd always considered Mark Lindsay the lead singer of the band, though! :o)Barbra from Seattle
I got 4 wrong. I don't think that was too bad!Bob Romeo from Byrum, New Jersey
I got 6 wrong and the rest right. Not bad considering I'm not a fan of any of these bands except Destiny's Child.Sioraf As Na Cillini from Ireland
I picked randomly and got a lot right. Shocking!Nan
I had heard that Pearl Jam was a reference to semen.Pwroc from Amherst, Mass.
I did pretty well, lots of fun! :)Sam from Louisville, Kentucky
I sucked at this...Kirsten from New York
I got 4 wrong. Not bad. I do think Journey should have become the "Mound Pounders" though.Jim from North Billerica, Ma
Marilyn MansonA from New Jersey
This was great I did bad, but I learned something, it's educational and fun!Ruby from Chattanooga, Tenessee
Nice one, I actually really thought the Pearl Jam - Grandmother's jelly story was true... :PMartin from Rostock, Germany