Where Do Band Names Come From?

Where Do Band Names Come From?

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Every once in a while I will come across something that sheds some light on just where a band name came from and I myself always find it interesting to understand the genesis and thought process, if there even was one, for a particular band name.  Here are some of my favorites.

Green Day

The phrase “green day” is slang for a day with lots of green bud (i.e., marijuana) and the song Green Day is about a first pot experience. The song Green Day appears on the band’s debut album from 1990 which is entitled 39/Smooth39 Smooth

Led Zeppelin

There appear to be different versions of the origins of this name but the most commonly cited version is that The Who’s Keith Moon and John Entwistle had suggested that a supergroup with Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck would go down like a “lead balloon”, i.e., that the project would yield disastrous results. To avoid confusion the “a” was dropped from the word “lead” (at the suggestion of then manager Peter Grant) and the word “balloon” was replaced by “zeppelin.” Check out this report from CBC Music:

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 AC/DC

Margaret Young, the sister of Malcolm and Angus Young suggested something she’d seen on the back of a sewing maching which read: “AC/DC.” According to Angus Young, “It had something to do with electricity, so it seemed to fit…”.

Editor’s Note: Some sources have identified the appliance as a vacuum cleaner. Either way, we get the point.

All Time Low

The band’s name is taken from lyrics in the song Head on Collision by New Found Glory. In part, the lyrics to Head On Collision are:

and it feels like I’m at an all-time low
slightly bruised and broken
from our head on collision
I’ve never seen this side of you
another tragic case of feeling
bruised and broken
form our head on collision
I’ve never seen this side of you
another tragic case

Rush

It was John Rutsey’s (the original drummer prior to Neil Peart) older brother who suggested the name Rush immediately before the band’s first gig at The Coff-In which was a coffee shop located in the basement of St. Theodore’s of Canterbury Anglican Church, which is located in North York, Ontario. Evidently, the name captured the group’s mad “rush” to have come up with a band name prior to the gig.

Rush with John Rutsey (far right)
Rush with John Rutsey (far right)
Oasis

The band evolved from an earlier group called The Rain. Unsatisfied with the vocalist at the time (Chris Hutton), the group auditioned an acquaintance (Liam Gallagher) as a replacement.

Liam Gallagher
Liam Gallagher

After Gallagher joined the group, the band’s name was changed to Oasis which was inspired by a venue where The Beatles had performed–the Oasis Leisure Centre in Swindon, United Kingdom.

 

21 Pilots

Last but not least, this is one of my favorite stories. Check out this video where Tyler Joseph of 21 Pilots explains the origin of their band name:

Ken “K Bo” Biedzynski, Editor

 

 

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KEN “K BO” BIEDZYNSKI
Senior Editor, Beato's Blog