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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Origin of Band Names

Chumbawamba: According to the bands official FAQ the name doesn’t mean anything. However, there have been several explanations about how the name came to be. One of them is (according to a Pop-Up Video on VH1) that “Chumbawamba” is derived from a dream that one of the members had, where doors of public toilet had signs which said “Chumba” and “Wamba” instead of “Men” and “Women”.

Goo Goo Dolls: The band was founded under the name “Sex Maggots” but a club owner who booked the band requested they change the name, because the local newspapers wouldn’t print that name. So, they picked a name out of a magazine ad for a doll that cried Goo Goo when you turned it upside down.

Jethro Tull: Named after an English agriculturist who invented the seed drill.

Lynyrd Skynyrd: Named after Leonard Skinner, who was an annoying gym teacher/coach some of the band members had in Robert E. Lee High School in Jacksonville, Florida.

Mothers Of Invention: Frank Zappa’s band started out as “The Soul Giants” and was later changed to “The Mothers” but their record label asked them to change it because it could be taken as an obscenity. So, out of necessity they added “of Invention” as “necessity is the mother of invention.”

Beastie Boys: “Beastie” is said to have originally stood as an acronym for “Boys Entering Anarchistic States Toward Internal Excellence”. However, according to Mike D and MCA on the Charlie Rose Show, August 28, 2007, this was an afterthought once the band was already named “Beastie Boys”.

The Doors: The band took their name from Aldous Huxley’s book “The Doors of Perception” which in turn was inspired by a line from William Blake’s poem: “If the doors of perception were to be cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is: infinite”.

Heaven 17: The name is taken from a fictional band mentioned in Anthony Burgess’s book “A Clockwork Orange”.

UB40: Took their name from a paper form “Unemployment Benefit, Form 40″ issued by the UK government’s Department of Health and Social Security which is now replaced by Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), and the form UB40 no longer exists.

Weezer: There’s a widespread belief that Rivers Cuomo was nicknamed Weezer in school because he made weezing sounds caused by his asthma. Actually he never had asthma. However, Weezer has been claimed to be a nickname of Rivers’. Actually, there doesn’t seem to be exact explanation what the name really means. Anyway, the band needed a name and Rivers came up with one. (According to the fansite Weezer101).

Led Zeppelin: After a concert Keith Moon, the drummer of The Who, said to Jimmy Page that his new band will fly like a lead zeppelin, in other words it will not survive. The “a” from “lead” was dropped so people woudn’t pronounce it as leed.

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