Green Jellÿ - Don't touch my Jell-O

It is not a 'y' that is at the end of the name of the comedy rock band Green Jellÿ from Kenmore, New York. It is a Greek y with a diaeresis and we are supposed to pronounce the letter as an 'o', so you get Green Jello.

How did Green Jellÿ get the band name - Vegetable-jello-vintage-boxAnd that is not what it seems to be either, because the joke is not so much in the opposition green-yellow, but in the fact that Green Jell-O is a kind of dessert.

How to describe it? As a quivering, green, transparent and unappetizing-looking substance – let's say gelatin pudding.

The band Green Jellÿ was initially called Green Jello, but the marketing firm behind Jell-O, Kraft Foods, objected. So the band cooked up Green Jellÿ.

Had it been a German band, then Wackelpudding would have been an option as well.

Active: 1981-1995; 2008-present, USA

Buckcherry - Double trouble

What does Buckcherry get the band name from - Agressive transvestite - Rocky Horror ShowHard rock band from Los Angeles, California.

Was first called Sparrow, but the Sparrow record company started to make trouble and they had to set that name free.

Then it became Buckcherry, a Spoonerism of Chuck Berry (see also Biffy Clyro and Lola Kite), although the group swears that the real nomenclator is a transvestite going by the name Buck Cherry who is supposed to have had a real ball throwing burning cigarettes at the group.

See also: Biffy Clyro, Lola Kite

Active: 1995-2002, USA


Post-Britpop band from Glasgow, Scotland.

How did Travis get the band name idea - Film Paris, Texas - Wim WendersThe band saw the band name in the film Paris, Texas (1984, directed by Wim Wenders): in that film Harry Dean Stanton plays the red cap wearing Travis Henderson, a man who was literally lost for four years.

He is taken under the care of his brother and then tries to find out what has happened recently between him, his wife Jane and his son Hunter.

The band Texas also owes its name to the film Paris, Texas.

See also: Texas

Active: 1990-present, GBR

Fugs - Human nature

How did the Fugs get the band name - Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead book coverThe Fugs (New York) were founded by poets Ed Sanders and Tuli Kupferberg. The band played mostly folk rock and psychedelic rock 'n' roll songs.

For the band name a 1948 novel by Norman Mailer was read, called The Naked and the Dead.

At that time it was not done to use overly explicit words, so Mailer saw himself forced to find a euphemism for the (in a soldiers novel simply unavoidable) words fuck and fucking.

That is why the words fug and fugging were introduced.

Fortunately Mailer did not shrink from putting quite a few fugs in his text.

Active: 1965-1969; 1985-present, USA

Lostprophets - Recognized in their own land

What inspired band name Lostprophets - Duran Duran liveStarted as Lozt Prophetz, but after two years switched to a more conventionally spelled band name; in order to make it a little more exciting the space between lost and prophets was sacrificed.

The Pontypridd, Wales group began as nu-metal formation, but then switched over to hard rock.

The group name has to do with their admiration for the Birmingham formation Duran Duran; it is the title of a bootleg lp recorded in Milan on 11 december 1988 that contains a Duran Duran concert.

See also: Duran Duran

Active: 1997-present, GBR

Aztec Two-Step

What does band name Aztec Two-Step mean - aztec-toilet-blogTwo man folk rock band, consisting of Rex Fowler and Neal Shulman.

According to The Online Slang Dictionary Aztec Two Step (without the hyphen) stands for a form of diarrhoea one can contract in – we may assume – Central America.

The webmaster of Aztec Two-Step himself however vows the name is derived from the poem A Coney Island of the Mind by Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

See also: Green Apple Quick Step.

Active: 1971-present, USA

Pretty Boy Floyd

Mix glam with metal and what do you get? Pretty Boy Floyd!

Pretty Boy Floyd from the USA to be sure, from Hollywood, California. Because there also was a Canadian Pretty Boy Floyd (from Vancouver, British Columbia) that - although the band claimed to have the rights to the band name - could do nothing against the Americans who had safely registered their band name as a US trademark.

Where Pretty Boy Floyd got the band name from - American bank robberAnyway, both bands were inspired by the adventures of the American bank robber Charles Arthur 'Pretty Boy' Floyd (1904-1934) who, after first having relieved a significant number of banking institutions of their savings, came to his end miserably, despite his good looks. He was ingloriously shot down by a special police unit.

As the Americans put it so elegantly, 'He remains a familiar figure in American popular culture, sometimes seen as notorious, but at other times viewed as a tragic figure, partly a victim of hard times.'

It is doubtful if all of this fits on his tombstone.

See also: Ugly Kid Joe.

Active: 1987-1991; 1995-1987-1990, USA/CAN

Country Joe and the Fish

A psychedelic band from Berkeley, California, led by Joe McDonald.

McDonald saw his group as an ideal hook to attach radical political messages to that were served up to an audience with a predominantly progressive orientation. The group agitated in particular against the US presence in Vietnam.

Why band name Country Joe and the Fish - StalinThe spiritual father of the band name is supposed to have been the manager of the band, Eugene 'ED' Denson. He came up with a name that linked two extremely revolutionary persons to each other - Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili and Mao Zedong.

In the western world Dzhugashvili is better known as Joseph Stalin (a pseudonym that means something like 'man of steel') and with that 'Country Joe' would immediately be explained - because according to internet encyclopedia Wikipedia that was one of Stalin's nicknames.

Whether or not this is the right interpretation we don't know, but we do know that during the Second World War Stalin was called somewhat condescendingly 'Uncle Joe' by the allies. The parents of Joe McDonald – just as radical - seem to have deliberately given their son the first name of the Russian dictator.

The role the Great Chinese Leader Mao Zedong played in choosing the band name requires some explanation. Denson referred in this respect to a famous phrase by Mao: 'The guerrilla must move amongst the people as a fish swims in the sea.' Hence the Fish.

All in all Denson proposed to call the band Country Mao and the Fish. McDonald's band members found the reference to Mao not appropriate however and changed the band name to Country Joe and the Fish.

Everybody happy.

Active: 1965-1971, USA

Mr. Bungle - Puppets behaving badly

Avant-garde band from Eureka (without the exclamation mark), California that managed to acquire a certain cult status.

Where did Mr. Bungle get the band name from - mr-bungle puppet - Lunchroom MannersIn 1950 a number of American primary schools showed an educational film, Lunchroom Manners, that among others was meant to get the importance of washing hands before dinner across to the children.

The film-makers showed a loutish puppet show character, Mr. Bungle, and let him make all mistakes a dining child could ever make.

The puppet showed a remarkable similarity with Punch, all the more so because we have never seen him wash his hands.

Active: 1985-2004, USA

Moke - Obviously not obvious

Dutch indie rock band occasionally also placed in the 'Britpop' group. All the more reason not to confuse this band with a British band of the same name that lasted just five years.

Moke was founded by singer/guitarist Felix Maginn, the true music lover of course knows him of the Amsterdam band Supersub, of which not only Maginn but also Moke drummer Rob Klerkx was part (the other band members of Moke are Phillip Tilli, Eddy Steeneken and Marcin Felis).

How did Moke get the band name - Amsterdam canals - astampaday.blogspot.nlMoke could refer to many different things - a village in India, the Magneto-Optic Kerr effect, a nickname for residents of Hawaii, slang for donkey, an exotic flower or a tropical storm - but many conclude that the real explanation is that the name is a corruption of Mokum, the nickname of Amsterdam and the habitat of Moke.

If that would be correct then the origin of the band name would be Hebrew: Mokum after all is a corruption of Maqom (Hebrew for 'town' or 'place').

But unfortunately (or fortunately): it is not true. Circles in the immediate vicinity of the band swear that Moke is the name of the Irish uncle of Felix Maginn.

A little commonplace? Then we make the case even more opaque by mentioning another supposed explanation, which is that - even though Maginn vehemently denies it - the inspiration for the name Moke was found in the hilarious mockumentary that modeled for another band name: This Is Spinal Tap.

In that film the boss of the roadies (played by Robert Bauer) is called Moke. It is he who puts guitarist Nigel Tufnel back on his feet after he tumbled backward while playing guitar.

See also: Spinal Tap

Active: 2005-present, NLD

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