What’s in a Name?

Hi All,

Just a bit curious where all these famous bands got their names from!
Here is a few I found interesting

Tony J.

AC/DC – 1)  It is said that one of the band member saw it on an appliance and thought it had something to do with power. (It does mean “alternating current / direct current”.)  The band used it not realizing it was also slang for a bisexual- the band claims NOT to be bisexual.
2)  In the vogue of other anti-everything bands it stands for Against Christ/Devil’s Children.

BAD COMPANY – A 1972 modern cowboy movie starring Jeff Bridges.

BLACK SABBATH – from a 1960’s cheap horror movie starring Boris Karloff , suggesting a holy day of witchcraft

DEF LEPPARD – Joe Elliot, lead singer, wanted to use the idea provided by the band Led Zeppelin’s logo and transformed what he originally had as deaf leopard

GUNS ‘N’ ROSES – originally two bands L.A. GUNNS and HOLLYWOOD  ROSES. Hollywood Roses was headed by Axl Rose, Tracii Guns headed the other band which also featured Slash. The two frequented clubs and played there and were friends.

JETHRO TULL – popular 70’s band that is named after the rather obscure inventor of the farmer’s seed drill.

JUDAS PRIEST – originally a mild curse said to avoid saying “Jesus Christ” – also from the Bob Dylan song “The ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest”.

KISS – According to Paul Stanley, Kiss just sounded dangerous (kiss of death) and sexy at the same time. Kiss denies the rumors that the name stands for “Kids In Service of Satan” or the saying “Keep It Simple Stupid.”

LED ZEPPELIN – Jimmy Page was drinking with Moon and Entwhistle, who were bitching about their band mates Daltrey and Townshend. They joked about the two of them starting a band with Jimmy, and one of them said “Yeah, that will go over like a lead balloon”. When Jimmy formed his own band, he remembered this and thought “Lead Zeppelin” would be good, both from that conversation and the heavy/light contradiction similar to the band named IRON BUTTERFLY. They decided to drop the “a” so Americans wouldn’t mispronounce it.

LYNYRD SKYNYRD – Named after Leonard Skinner, an annoying gym teacher/coach some of the members had in high school. Leonard is said to have moved on to sell real estate in Jacksonville, Florida.

MOTORHEAD – British slang for a drug user who uses a lot of speed

PINK FLOYD – taken from the names of two Georgia bluesmen Pink Anderson and Floyd Council – from the early days when the band saw itself as a blues band

 ZZ TOP – taken from the name of a Texas Blues man ZZ Hill.  Though a rumor is that they got their name by combining Zig Zag and Top, two well known brands of “cigarette” rolling papers. 


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