11 Coolest Band Names
So with the Grammys coming up and only having half the amount of musical relevance as the Super Bowl halftime show, (wire dancing guy was the BEST) I decided to turn my attention to music this week. I have put together of what are, in my own personal expert awesome amazing opinion, the 11 greatest band names in the history of punk rock.
Let me know what band names you like best in the comments below or by tweeting at me @danborrelli
11. BUTTHOLE SURFERS
An amazing punk rock group that never took themselves too seriously. When an announcer misread his notes at an early show in their career, the band was introduced as “The Butthole Surfers.” In reality it was the name of a song they had but they said screw it and ditched the song for the rockin' band name.
Pronounced “chick-chick-chick” the band decided on this name while watching the classic film “The Gods Must Be Crazy.” Apparently in the subtitles the African language “clicks” appear in the text as simply, “!” And the rest is history. At least they don’t have to worry about any annoying name abbreviations.
9. SMASHING PUMPKINS
Billy Corgan wanted the “smashing” in the name to be interpreted as an adjective; as if they were pumpkins who happened to all be smashing. He also came up with the name when he was younger, before even starting a band. It’s starting to make more and more sense as to why this guy ended up with Courtney Love for a brief period.
8. WE WERE PROMISED JET PACKS!
Even the singer admits he has no recollection of how the band came up with this name. So I’ll make up my own story. Once upon a time a young Australian boy was playing on a tire swing in the Outback when a kangaroo walked up to him and offered him a jetpack if he could bring the kangaroo the original screenplay for Muriel’s Wedding. Being a huge Toni Collette fan, the boy obliged. After 10 years of searching the boy returned with the script only to find out that the kangaroo had been murdered. A harrowing metaphor for how one’s hard work may often not lead to the results one had planned for.
7. THE EAGLES OF DEATH METAL
Two of the band members were talking about heavy metal music, when one of them described the band Vader as “the Eagles of death metal” and the rest is history. A cool band to check out. I’m having a hard time describing them so let’s just say they’re the LA Galaxy of French cooking.
6. GOD SPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR
Screw proper! Punctuation. That’s what I always say. Anyway, the name comes from an old Japanese documentary about a biker gang. So naturally a bunch of white guys from Canada adopt it as their band name.
5. JOHN COUGAR CONCENTRATION CAMP
It’s pretty much just the pun. No crazy kangaroos here, just an awesome, awesome pun. Although after their first couple albums they’ll have to change it to John Concentration Camp. You know, to reach a wider audience.
4. A TRIBE CALLED QUEST
Formally just Quest, the tribe’s full name came from a high school buddy who played with a group called The Jungle Brothers. These two groups would also befriend a little unknown hip-hop act called De La Soul, and the rest as they say, is hip-hopstery. A fantastic name though, and a testament to their idea of valuing hip-hop lyrics as poetry and awesome music as awesome.
3. SOMEONE STILL LOVES YOU BORIS YELTSIN
Wikipedia has many different SSLYBY interview quips about the supposed origin of their name. I thought of it in high school right after Boris Yeltsin resigned. I saw an NBC news story about his wife. Honestly, I can’t remember what I was thinking. We just thought it would be a good idea to have a really long band name. Will's brother had to write a paper about Russian history and the name of the paper was Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin I like to think they had no idea who the first president of Russia was and they took their name from a drunken sleep talker at a frat party.
2. ME FIRST AND THE GIMMIE GIMMIES
NOTHING beats a good word play. NOTHING! There’s an old Twilight Zone episode where (SPOILERS?) at the end they found out the book that belonged to a group of aliens who have landed on Earth was actually a cook book and the guy who finds this out runs into the middle of a crowd and yells to his friend, IT’S A COOK BOOK! It’s hilarious and you should watch it cause everyone knows only the best jokes are relentlessly over-explained. So here it goes. IT’S A KID’S BOOK! THEY TOOK THEIR NAME FROM A KID’S BOOK!
1. THE DEAD KENNEDYS
Perfect. It’s just perfect for who this band was. They felt they were continuing the fight against the Regan Republicans although it was ultimately a futile effort and that the attractive practicality and hope that liberal American politicians used to offer had gone extinct. Instead they were replaced by people like Tipper Gore; whose censorship policies the singer of DK (Jello Biafra) spent years fighting. They reinvigorated the punk rock movement in the late 80s and showed young people everywhere you could be angry and politically savvy and actually have an impact. Just ask John Stewart (google it). To this day everything The Dead Kennedys stood for is still relevant; although now it’s SOPA instead of Tipper. And they’re definitely worth checking out if you’re ever feeling angsty and wanting to break something.
Let me know what you think guys! Drop a “first” in the comments section below or tweet at me @danborrelli