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?
More Fact or Fiction

Comments: 46

  • Eabikerider from RenoI knew about the Sanfrancisco radio station contest to name Journey. Didn't know they ended up choosing their own name and announcing a fake winner. Disillusioned once again.
  • Otis -- Not Elvis from Hothole, FlStill can't tune a fish.
  • Aeris from 2nd ColonyOnly 10 correct
  • Reality Crush from Portland Oregon What about the Smashing Pumpkins? I love that band, one if my faves, but I've never heard the real reason for its inception.
  • Stukka63 from St.augustine,flaKISS stands for, “Kings In Satans Service.”
    Didn’t anyone else get dragged to some type crazy church as a kid?
    I mean, it was important for the church to teach it’s youth this type of valuable information.
  • Allen Schroeder from Evansville Indiana It was fun, but annoying. I didn’t get very many right!!
  • Ramona from Canada It was a fun!
  • Jose Lipton from NycFrank Zappa did not give Don Van Vliet his name
  • Greg B from VancouverAC/DC chosen by Malcolm and Angus Young's sister, she saw it on a sewing machine.
  • Anthony from Chesterfield, Va18/20
  • Boob from Pendleton,orygunAnonymous from Ca. No body said Paul Revere was lead singer
    and yes,this was fun,let's try song titles
  • Anonymousnice!
  • Brent from Denair, CaMore 60's and 70's rock band names on the next quiz.
  • Melissajones from TexasGood quiz! Thanks for that, I agree with ol rocking Dave, a song title quiz would be great, and a true/false quiz on artists, "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.
  • Anonymous from Capaul Revere was not the lead singer., Mark Lindsay was.
  • Smc from Vai thought blue oyster cult was an anagram of cully stout beer, but i haven't seen this confirmed anywhere
  • Old Rockin' Dave from Long IslandHow about one on song titles? You could do a whole one on Bob Dylan alone.
  • Nancy from OhioI like it! Except the fact that Journey was around WAY BEFORE beavis and butthead!!!
  • Jim H from IndianaThe 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.
  • Dannie from Goshen, NyThat 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!
  • Marg from Northville, MiHow about a quiz about single word band names (like Journey, Kiss, Aerossmith, etc)?
  • Jesse from Huntsville, AlDo one for how the Goo Goo Dolls came up with their name.
  • Trivia Goddess from Phoenix, Az#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.
  • Teababe27 from New York16/20. Not bad.
  • Teababe27 from New York11/15. Not bad.
  • Will Blaik from Devon15... good quiz, I failed on the more obscure U.S acts
  • Efrem from UkraineI got 'em all. 100%. I am das genius.
  • Chris from WalesReally good quiz, got just over half right, 50/50 chance lol Interesting and Barmy the same time lol Very good quiz :)
  • Cosmo from Echo Parkthat 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.
  • Jl from MexicoAbout the name of Led Zeppellin, it really was one of the Who mmebers who give them the name?
  • Julie8 wrong :(
  • Ekristheh from Halath, United StatesI 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!
  • Eppish from Ill-waukee, Wi2 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))).
  • Theo from SwitzerlandMore of this, please.
  • Greg from Shelbyville, KyI missed 9, but didn't read one carefully.
  • Barbra from SeattleWhoops...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)
  • Bob Romeo from Byrum, New JerseyI got 4 wrong. I don't think that was too bad!
  • Sioraf As Na Cillini from IrelandI got 6 wrong and the rest right. Not bad considering I'm not a fan of any of these bands except Destiny's Child.
  • Nan I picked randomly and got a lot right. Shocking!
  • Pwroc from Amherst, Mass. I had heard that Pearl Jam was a reference to semen.
  • Sam from Louisville, KentuckyI did pretty well, lots of fun! :)
  • Kirsten from New YorkI sucked at this...
  • Jim from North Billerica, MaI got 4 wrong. Not bad. I do think Journey should have become the "Mound Pounders" though.
  • A from New Jersey Marilyn Manson
  • Ruby from Chattanooga, TenesseeThis was great I did bad, but I learned something, it's educational and fun!
  • Martin from Rostock, GermanyNice one, I actually really thought the Pearl Jam - Grandmother's jelly story was true... :P
see more comments

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