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

Name Origins 

Eve6

The band members were big fans of The X-Files and named the band after a character in the first season episode “Eve”. The Eves were a group a clones who were genetically engineered to possess superior intelligence etc, however a side effect was an aggravated level of psychosis. The female clones were all named “Eve” after “Adam and Eve” from the book of Genesis and given a number, e.g. Eve 1, Eve 2, etc. Eve 6 was one of the only remaining “Eves” in the episode and was portrayed as the most psychotic of the bunch. 

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.
 


Fleetwood Mac

Peter Green formed Fleetwood Mac after leaving John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. At that time on the British music scene Green was seen as a “Guitar God”, Green who hated that designation wanted to downplay his role in the new group and named it after his favorite rhythm section—drummer Mick Fleetwood and bass player John McVie.  Even after naming the group Fleetwood Mac it took some convincing to get John McVie to join because he didn’t want to leave the “steady paying gig” with the Bluesbreakers. But once John Mayall diverted a bit too much from the pure blues by including horns in the group, McVie left them and joined Fleetwood Mac. 

Foo Fighters

“Foo Fighters” was a nickname that Allied forces gave to basketball sized unidentified glowing spheres they used to see floating in the air over the battlefields during WWII. Both sides thought the globes came from the other side and were some sort of spy device. UFO researchers consider the globes to be of extra terrestrial origin as many “abductees” have reported seeing similar objects. 

Fugazi

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 "Fucked 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.

Godsmack

Submitted by NeMeSiS
Source: ??

"According to the band, Godsmack's name was derived from the song by Alice In Chains of the same name."

Note from Editor - Many people have emailed us telling us that the above was not correct. We are actually waiting for the answers of an email interview with Sully for another article but we asked him to clear this up. Until them here is the other widely held version of where the name Godsmack came from.

Submitted by Jeff
Source: MTV Making The Video (Sully Himself)

"Apparently the guitarist walked in one day they were rehearsing and he had a cold sore the size of a dime on his lip and Sully made fun of him all day about it (something about Tommy getting it from giving guys oral sex -ed). The next morning Sully walked in for rehearsal and he had the same size cold sore in the same spot and the guitarist said, 'See God smacked you for making fun of me.'"

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.

Green Day

There are a few stories around about how they got their name. The most widely accepted ones says that it came from a song Billy wrote about smoking pot. The term “green day” was slang among the band’s circle to describe good buds (pot) e.g. upon discovering they had some good pot to smoke one of them would say, “it’s a green day!” They were originally called Sweet Children. 

Guns N’ Roses

Guns ‘N’ Roses took their names from their frontline, guitarist Tracii Guns and vocalist Axl Rose.  They had both been in L.A. Guns (named after Tracii) together previously but Axl left to form Rose, later Hollywood Rose but then they decided to form a new group together and called it Guns ‘N’ Roses. Tracii and Axl didn’t see eye to eye so Tracii left and reformed L.A. Guns and Axl replaced Tracii with Slash but kept the group's name. 

Hoobastank

Submitted by: Chelsie
Source: Guitarist, Dan Estrin

"The guys were trying to come up with a unique but strange name for their band one day and Markku, the bassist, just blurted out his middle name 'Hoobastank' and it stuck with them." 


Incubus

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 Persons.com

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

Korn

Submitted by: Maz
Source:Who Then Now (bio-video about the band)

"Jonathan Davis and the rest of the band got all drunk trying to figure out a band name one member made a suggestion and the John Davis said 'Yeah that sounds about as intelligent as calling it Korn.' they came up with the logo while in the studio, one of them sat down and wrote KoRn with his left hand and put the R backwards to have a little kid feel to it."

L7

Submitted by: Bryan
Source: Book of Useless Info

"Fifties slang for somebody who is 'square' or uncool." 

Led Zeppelin

Keith Moon and John Entwistle of the Who were hanging out with Richard Cole (The Yardbirds road manager) one night at the disco “Salvation” in New York. Moon and Entwistle were burnt out on the whole scene with The Who and were talking about the desire to form a band with Jimmy Page and Steve Winwood. And Entwistle said “Yeah. We’ll call it Lead Zeppelin. Because it will go over like a fucking Lead Balloon.” Laughter followed and Cole told Jimmy about the discussion later. So when the time came to change the band’s name from The New Yardbirds they finally settled on “Led Zeppelin” after short stints as “Mad Dogs” and “Whoopee Cushion”. They changed the spelling of lead to “Led” so that people wouldn’t mispronounce the groups name as “Leed Zeppelin”. 

Live

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. 

Lynyrd Skynyrd

Submitted by Glenn Berger 
Source: VH1's Behind the Music: 

"The guys in the band all went to grade/junior high school together where they all had a gym teacher they hated, his name was Leonard Skinard.  On VH1, they even had the gym teacher on talking bout it"

Metallica

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! 

Motorhead

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.

Nickelback

The name of the band came from bassist Mike Kroeger.  He was working at the Starbucks Coffee in Vancouver.  At the time coffee was selling for $2.95 to $4.95 a cup. He was so used to telling customers "Here's your nickel back" that  when the band was trying to come up with a name, the phrase "nickel back" stuck in his head. Mike suggested calling the band Nickelback to his brother Chad, who is the lead vocalist, guitarist and chief songwriter of the group. Chad thought the name was perfect and it stuck.

Oasis

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".

Orgy

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".

Pantera

Submitted by Nitro
Source: Simple Spanish

"Pantera means 'panther' in spanish."

Pearl Jam

The mythology goes that Eddie Vedder's grandmother, Pearl, used to make a homemade jam with peyote in it and that’s where they got their name. 

Pink Floyd

Syd Barrett supposedly came up with the name by combining the first names of two lesser-known blues artists - Pink Anderson and Floyd Council.

Primus

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. 

Prodigy

Submitted by: Shantanu Biswas
Source: The Web

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


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