Four Historical Bands with Utterly Confounding Names

Four Historical Bands with Utterly Confounding Names

Band names that only sound cool now because we've grown used to them


There comes a point in a band's lifetime where they get so famous that their name enters into the popular lexicon and nobody thinks much about how weird it sounds anymore. Even the weirdest, silliest, or most obvious monikers take on a life of their own once the music has gained enough momentum. Rarely do we look at them for what they are past that point, but at one instance or another a decision must have been made to adopt a title and keep it for good. While most famous bands pick good, solid names--you can't really argue with the logic behind The Beatles or The Who--some must have sounded awfully bizarre in those first few years before they got big. These are the ones I'm really curious about. These are the ones whose naming discussions I'd give anything to sit in on.

The Doors

Not the Walls or the Windows. Not even the Front Gates. It's like they picked the blandest, worst-sounding noun they could think of and just pluralized it. For the off-the-wall psychedelic sound Jim Morrison and co. ended up cultivating, they sure were stuck with the most boring and pointless of names.

Pink Floyd

Syd Barrett took the first names of two of his favorite blues musicians to create the moniker for one of the greatest rock bands in all of history. While it must have taken a long time for people to get used to saying they were really into something called Pink Floyd, I'm more concerned with what these guys might have been called had Barrett not gone with his mashup. Prior to the Floyd days, this group went by The Meggadeaths, The Screaming Abdabs, Leonard's Lodgers, and The Tea Set. In fact, it was only because another band called The Tea Set was set to play with them that they changed their name to the Pink Floyd we know and love. The Tea Set that usurped the title from them went on to die in obscurity--which is probably a good thing given how badly that name would have aged by now.


What confuses me here is that Bono and company came up with this one long before computers and text messages were really a thing. Did they somehow figure that "You, Too" looked too weird to be a band name, but its shorthand homonyms scrunched together looked pretty much okay? 


"Hey. Hey, Lars."
"What, James?"
"We gotta name our band, dude."
"Crap. You're right. We haven't done that yet."
"What are we gonna call it?"
"I dunno. We play metal, right?"
"What about...Metallic? That's a word with the word 'metal' in it. It's like we don't have to tell people what kind of music we play because it's already in the name. Genius."
"I dunno, dude, I don't think it sounds enough like a band. I think we'd better throw an extraneous vowel on the end there. Just so people know we're a band."
"Whoa. Dude. Yes. That's so metal. The metal-est."