31 Bands Named After Real People
As usual, not really any reason why bands named after real people is the theme for this month’s list… it just is! There are some pretty obvious ones in here, but a number of them are quite interesting in that I had no idea there was a real person behind them. As always, if there are any more you can think of let me know in the comments section below!
1. Pink Floyd
When the band turned up to an early gig they found another band on that night had the same name: The Tea Set. Syd Barrett had a quick idea to join the names of two blues musicians he really liked: Pink Anderson and Floyd Council. They called the band The Pink Floyd Sound which was soon after shortened to to Pink Floyd.
2. Pearl Jam
Eddie Vedder’s grandmother was called Pearl, and she made great jam! Simple as that!
3. Alice Cooper
Vincent Furnier (Alice’s real name) had a band called The Nazz, but upon learning there was another group using the same name he went with the name of a person he’d been told by an occultist that he was the reincarnation of.
4. Dropkick Murphys
Named after wrestler and alcoholic rehabilitation facility operator John “Dropkick” Murphy.
5. Hootie and the Blowfish
Darius Rucker went to high school with a guys nicknamed Hootie because he looked like an owl, and another bloke called Blowfish because of his puffy cheeks!
6. Rilo Kiley
A name the band picked at random from a Scottish Sports Almanac.
7. Jane’s Addiction
Perry Farrell had a friend who was a prostitute, and claimed that prostitution was her addiction.
8. ZZ Top
Z.Z. Hill was a popular Texas bluesman, and the “Top” part is a reference to B.B. King being on “top”.
9. Van Der Graaf Generator
After Robert Jemison Van de Graaff, an American physicist, noted for his design and construction of high voltage generators.
10. The Dandy Warhols
A simply mix of Andy Warhol and a the term “dandy” – an old English term for a dapper gentleman.
11. Sigur Rós
Named after the little sister of the band’s vocalist, Jón Þór Birgisson (Jónsi), whose name is Sigurrós (without a space).
12. Dead Kennedys
For a punk band aiming to challenge the establishment, naming yourself after the Kennedy clan and their unfortunate history certainly hit the mark.
13. Jimmy Eat World
Guitarist Tom Linton’s younger brother – Jimmy – had a weight problem, and vocalist Jim Adkins’ younger brother drew a picture of him and wrote on it “Jimmy Eat World”.
14. Franz Ferdinand
Named after the duke of the Austria-Hungary Empire, whose assassination sparked WW1
15. Creedence Clearwater Revival
The story goes that Tom Fogherty had a friend called Credence Nuball whose favorite beer was Clearwater. The brew was killed off by the original brewery, but was later “revised” by another.
16. Mookie Blaylock
Pearl Jam’s first band name was from a star basketball player of the same name, but was changed because of legal concerns.
17. Jethro Tull
Jethro Tull was an 18th century English agriculturist, and inventor of the seed drill.
18. Belle and Sebastian
From ‘60s novel by Cécile Aubry about a six-year-old boy named Sébastien and his dog Belle,
19. Marilyn Manson
The name is the combination together of the Marilyn Monroe and Charles Manson. Others in the band followed a similar convention with stage names like Twiggy Ramirez, Ginger Fish, and Daisy Berkowitz.
20. Brian Jonestown Massacre
Brian Jones was an original member of the Rolling Stones.
21. Lynyrd Skynyrd
The story goes that the band had a gym teacher in high school called Leonard Skinner. He apparently used to get them to go and see the principal because “their hair was too long”!
Linda Kasabian was a member of the Charles Manson “family” famous for serving as his getaway driver.
Named after the 19th century electrical engineer and scientist – not the car!
24. Kings of Leon
The grandfather and father/uncle of the guys in the band were both named Leon.
The band had a friend called Jason Larsen who was called “slow one” by his French-speaking boss, which with the French accent sounded more like “Sloan”. Larsen featured on the cover of their first album.
26. The Whitlams
Named after former Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam.
27. Led Zeppelin
Named after German Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin
Named for the great oceanographer, Jacques Costeau.
29. The Hollies
After Buddy Holly.
30. Molly Hatchet
Molly was apparently an infamous prostitute who killed many of her clients by hacking them up.
31. Jesus and Mary Chain
Pretty obvious really!