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Welcome to a new series here at Rocknworld called “Name Origins”. Here we will venture to explain where bands got their names. Some will come from interviews with actual band members, some of these are third party hearsay and some bands go as far as giving out several false names but we will attempt to give you the most accurate explanations available. 

This list will grow as time goes on. If you have a name origin you would like to submit click here. 

A - D | E - P | Q-Z

Before we get to the band name origins, we get a lot of emails asking us where the name of our sites came from, so to celebrate the 3rd anniversary of our sister site antiMUSIC we are letting you in on where the name came from for antiMUSIC, Rocknworld and iconoFAN. - Keavin Managing Editor / Founder iconoFAN Network

The name came from the book "Broken Record : The Inside Story of the Grammy Awards" by Henry Schipper. The Grammys were started by industry insiders who wished to counter the rise of Rock n Roll, a form of music they considered "anti music".

Because of my love of debating and some of my controversial ideas a couple of my friends had taken to calling me an "iconoclast" a name used to describe one who attacks and seeks to destroy widely accepted ideas, beliefs, etc. The rise of iconoclast came during the 8th and 9th centuries in the Byzantine Empire, where the iconoclast would distroy Christian and other religious art and symbols. During the 19th century people who attacked firmly held beliefs that fell outside of religion were also called iconoclast and since then the term has been used in a much broader way. Since our readers and writers tend to go against the popular trends, the name was a natural when it came time to come up with a name of a site to tie all of our sites together. .

The first of our sites, rocknworld came from the song Rock n' World by Enuff z'nuff. It appears on their third studio album, "Animals with Human Intellegence". Since part of the reason for starting the site was to expose great underrated bands like Enuff Z'nuff, using the title of one of their songs seemed like the natural thing to do. 

3 Doors Down

Submitted by: Kim
Source: Band interview

the name came from when one day the band was walking down a street and this door had a piece on wood across the door that said "doors down" and the time there was 3 in the band so they called there band 3 Doors down..


Submitted by: Rick
Source: BTM: anthrax

scott ian got the name "anthrax" from his biology class in high school. he thought it was a cool name. although they got alot of backlash during the anthrax attacks of late 2001. 

From Editor: Actually original member Danny Lilker is credited with coming up with the name. BILLY MILANO said the following after the BTM sparked a ton of controversy since Scott and Charlie were accused of leaving some of the original members out of the show and rewrote the history of the band. 

“I'm in a band with Charlie [Benante] and Scott [Ian]—both of whom have told me to my face Lilker thought of the name." -  BILLY MILANO

The Calling

Submitted by: b real
Source: Alex Band

2 months before the record came out he said "this is our calling"


Submitted by: MFo
Source: Creed's website and behind the music

Creed is from the former bassist, Brain Mashall, and he was in a group before CREED and it was named Madox's Creed and they were playing around with the word creed and their names. They finaly settled on just Creed.

Another submission with a different origin:

Submitted by: b real

They got their name from a book by Steven King titled "Pet Cemetary".Creed was the family's last name.

The Doors

Submitted by: mike
Source: biography

singer jim morrisson and organ player ray manzarek got it from an aldous huxley book called the doors of perception.

Five For Fighting

Submitted by: Sharon
Source: n/a

Name is from the major penalty given in hockey for not playing well with others:  that is, five minutes for fighting.


Submitted by: Chris
Source: Guitar World magazine, March, 2002

It's a word that soldier used in Vietnam (similar to FUBAR and SNAFU) and it means "f***ed up, got ambushed, and zipped in" to describe a soldier that wasn't careful and ended up getting killed and zipped up in a body bag.

Gin Blossoms

Submitted by: John Schwerdt
Source: Web

Gin Blossoms are a symptom of severe alcoholism by which your nose's veins become visible.

Grand Funk Railroad

Submitted by: Jay Silverberg
Source: From thier web site

There was a train overpass in thier hometown of Flint, Michigan which read Grand Trunk Railroad.


Submitted by: Jay
Source: Spin Magazine and many other Incubus fans

One day the guy's were thinking of names and Mike  was reading a book that mentioned an Incubus and the band liked it. Later they read a dictionary and found out it means an Evil male spirit that violates sleeping women. 

Submitted by: Parish
Source: VH1 interview

An Incubus was supposedly some mythological creature that would come into villages at night and impregnate the women without anybody knowing.

Iron Maiden

Submitted by: Viren
Source: TV special

The band was named after a medieval torture instrument. The actual iron maiden was a coffin which had metal spikes on the inside. The prisoner was placed inside it and skewered to death when the iron maiden was closed.

Elton John

Submitted by: brant wilson
Source: All

Elton was born Reginald Kennith Dwight and took the name Elton John from two of his previous band members, Elton Dean and Long John Baldrey


Submitted by: John Schwerdt
Source: web

Live went through several name changes (Public Affection, First Aid) before lead guitarist Chad Taylor saw the word "Live" on someone's hat in a dream he had. 


Submitted by: Anthony Z
Source: A special issue of a guitar magazine, dedicated entirely to Metallica.

A friend of Lars Ulrich's was starting a metal fanzine. He was debating between two names for the 'zine-"Metallica" and "Metal Mania". He asked Lars for his oppinion, and Lars told him that he should definately go with "Metal Mania", because he thought Metallica was the perfect name, and wanted it for his band (who at the time went by such lame names as Red Vette  and Blitzer). And thus explains the story behind the name of my all-time favorite band...METALLICA! 


Submitted by: Jim Powers
Source: The Rough Guide To Rock

Lemmy Kilmeister originally wanted to name his band "Bastard" but was advised against it, so he named it after the song he wrote for his old band Hawkwind. "Motorhead" was 70's American slang for someone on speed.


Submitted by: Damien
Source: Official Bio

The band saw a poster advertising in lead singer Liam Gallagher's room about the Inspiral Carpets playing at a club called "The Oasis".  The band also learned that the Beatles played their and chose that name.  They were originally called "Rain".


Submitted by: Damien
Source: Interview in Circus Magazine

Much to the dismay of popular belief, Orgy's name is not meant to be portrayed in a sexual way, rather the band believe's their sound is an "orgy of sounds".


Submitted by: Allowishus Abercrombie
Source: Les Claypool's mom

Les used to have a primus grill. (No doubt still does)  But when it comes to fish they don't get no fresher than cookin' them bastards right up on the shore.   One day he ran out of gas about one minute into cooking a fish, and he had just said "now you're cookin with Primus, you Bastard"  His buddy Gnomer never let him live it down, so it stuck like glue, so it goes. 


Submitted by: Shantanu Biswas
Source: The Web

Supposedly, all the band members are SAT full scorers (i.e., 1600ers)

The Ramones

Submitted by: Jim Powers

Source: "From The Velvets To The Voidoids- PrePunk HIstory For A Post Punk World" by Clinton Heylin

The Ramones were all big fans of 60's British Invasion rock and roll (Beatles, Who, Kinks, etc.). Paul McCartney's brother was in a band called Scaffold. To give himself an original identity he called himself Mike McGear. When big bro Paul would appear on Scaffold records he would call himself "Paul Ramone." Being big fans, the Ramones name is a nod to Macca himself.

Rolling Stones

Submitted by: Anonymous
Source: n/a

Original guitarist Brian Jones got it from a Muddy Waters song call "rollin'stone"


A - D | E - P | Q-Z

 If you have a name origin you would like to submit click here. 


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