What’s in a name

One of the hardest things to achieve in a band is a decent name, one that’s cool and fits the music in the band. I was in a band during the punk period and I think we spent more time in our formative days trying to find that name than actually learning chords or writing what we thought were amazing songs. This internal debate led to fall outs and in the end compromise to the point where our name was so bad I have not told anyone about it since. At the same time my old mate Mick Rossi from another punk band came up with Slaughter and the Dogs. Which I thought was a stoke of genius they were huge fans of Bowie and simply combined the two albums ‘’Slaughter on 10th avenue’’ by Mick Ronson and ‘’Diamond Dogs’’ by David Bowie. The name worked and the rest is punk history. This problem has never gone away. Last year I was managing a band and they needed a fresh reboot. After what seemed months of to-in and fro-wing the name stayed the same, but the behind the scene frustrations and fallouts were the same. I thought to myself once a band has a name and people get used to it, that’s it it doesn’t matter one bit. You could just pick an abstract word and boom off you go, I tried putting that idea to the test with a two piece little covers band I played in and yep it failed. But it was a dreadful name again I wont mention the name however if you search deep into You Tube and look for a covers band under the name of hmm, well the item which holds part of a shirt sleeve together you may see me and my mate earning a few quid a night trying to make people dance in dodgy pubs.

There is even a website that can help with this awful task


So if you want a metal name, a punk name, an indie name or even a bland pop name the web is here to help. But where did other bands get there name from? Here are a few for you to muse over.

PINK FLOYD The band cobbled their name from two Georgia bluesmen named Pink Anderson and Floyd Council.

JOY DIVISION The term assigned to a group of prostitutes in a Nazi concentration camp.

10CC the band name represented a volume of semen that was more than the average amount ejaculated by men, thus emphasising their potency or prowess

Took their name from their Roland TR-808 drum machine.

the British reggae group, called themselves ‘Aswad’ knowing it means “Black” in Arabic

This early punk band from County Durham in England, chose their name from an album track on Raw Power, by Iggy and the Stooges.
A psychological best seller by Arthur Janov.

Originally called 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.

Named after a Talking Head song called Radio Head on the album True Stories, claiming it as the “least annoying song” from the album. They were originally named On A Friday.

RAIN (The)
The Rain were the Manchester band that eventually evolved into Oasis. They took their name from The Beatles’ B-side, “Rain”

The name was suggested by Brian Jones taken from the Muddy Waters song “Rolling Stone”.

named after the band’s vocalist, Jón Þór Birgisson (Jónsi)’s little sister, whose name is Sigurrós (without a space). It translates to “victory rose.”

inspired by a line in the David Bowie song “Jean Genie”.. He’s so simple minded he can’t drive his module, he bites on the neon and sleeps in the capsule.

The band was hugely influences by the Byrds, they all wanted an American sounding name, Henley wanted something Native American, Eagles was born fitting all 3 needs.

His real name is Marshall Bruce Mathers III, he took the “M-and-M” and rewrote it as Eminem.

FALL (The)
Bassist Tony Friel came up with the name “The Fall” after a 1956 novel by Albert Camus.

David Grohl was fascinated by sci-fi and the Roswell incident. He named his new project after a slang expression used in World War II by US pilots to describe the alien-looking fireballs they sometimes saw over Germany. Foo is a mutation of the French word for fire, “fue”.

Combination of Axl Rose and Tracii Guns’ names, also it’s a combination of LA Guns and Hollywood Roses when they merged.

The name derived from comments made by truck drivers who catcalled “Hey, Blondie” to Harry as the band, then called Angel and the Snake, drove by.

They went by the names Quarrymen and the Silver Beetles a while later, then shortened and mutated that to the Beatles. The original bassist, Stuart Sutcliffe came up with the Beetles in 1960, he was a fan huge of Buddy Holly & the Crickets (crickets-beetles). After which John Lennon is credited with combining Beetles and Beat to come up with the Beatles spelling.

An acronym for the first names of the band members: Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Anderson and Anni-Frid (Frida) Lyngstad.

This is the name of an S&M magazine that a band member found on a sidewalk in New York

David Coverdale was inspired by his dick, that simple! He did have a white albino ball python snake too!

named after David Bowie’s “Warszawa”. Warsaw later became Joy Division

Glyn Geoffrey Ellis rechristened himself Wayne Fontana after Elvis Presley’s drummer, DJ Fontana. The band took its name from Dirk Boarded’s 1962 British horror movie, The Mindbenders.
Besides my own band I think the worst three band names I have ever seen are these

1.Two Cow Garage

2.Scraping Foetus Off the Wheel

3.Bunny Pods

If you know of any more nauseating and quite silly names please send them to me for further scrutiny, till next month.
The Ripman Show is on Fab Radio International ever Sunday evening at 9.00 pm.


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