Lil' Ed and the Blues Imperials

How did Lil Ed and the Blues Imperials get the band name - Imperial MargarineThe Lil' Ed mentioned in this band name is Edward Williams (born 1955) from Chicago, Illinois.

The blues guitarist and singer/songwriter prefers the smooth accompaniment of the Blues Imperials, a formation that owes its name to the existence of Imperial margarine.

Active: 1975-present, USA

Dream Theater - Not above the law

How did Dream Theater get the band name - Dream Theater MontereyMetal band that was inaugurated as Majesty (a name that, because of legal wrangling - perhaps because of the existence of a German metal band of the same name - was abandoned) and now performs as Dream Theater, although the original Majesty logo has always persisted in the band's imagery.

The new name was a suggestion of the father of frontman and guitarist John Petrucci (one of the best shredders ever), who drew John's attention to a - now closed to the public - cinema in Monterey that had Dream Theater on its front in hippie letters.

Active: 1985-present, USA


Why band name Immature - young musiciansModest as they were Marques 'Batman' Houston, Jerome 'Romeo' Jones and Don 'Half Pint' Santos baptized their Los Angeles based trio Immature – after all, in 1992 they were only between nine and eleven years old.

This completely explains the band name, so lets close this chapter and get on with our lives.

See also: IMx

Active: 1992-1998; 2010-present, USA

Horsell Common - Runway for aliens

How did Horsell Common get the band name - H.G. Wells - War Of The Worlds film poster (1953)Punk rock band from Melbourne, Victoria, with a certain fondness for science-fiction: Horsell Common is the place where writer H. G. Wells had the first Martians land on Earth; we are talking, of course, about Wells' novel The War of The Worlds.

We don't know if Martians really exist, but we do know that Horsell Common does; it is a village in the county of Surrey, England.

Active: 2002-2008; 2010, AUS

Concrete Blonde

Why band name Concrete Blonde - goldy front - concrete sculptureLos Angeles, California was the building land of the men of alternative rock band Concrete Blonde, a formation that has been dismantled a number of years ago, but still holds on to a crowd of loyal fans.

Singer Michael Stipe of R.E.M. reportedly inspired the band name, with as motivation that Concrete Blonde describes exactly how the band's music sounds: as a concrete blonde, hard and soft at the same time.

Active: 1982-1995; 2001-2004, USA

Nine Pound Hammer

How did Nine Pound Hammer gt the band name - Japanese Gennou hammerThe American cow punkers who by now have been earning their daily bread for a quarter of a century as Nine Pound Hammer come from Owensboro, Kentucky.

They did not make a big effort to forge an original band name: they just took the title of a song by country and western singer Merle Travis (1917-1983).

And Travis himself can not be accused of too much originality either, because Nine Pound Hammer strikingly resembles the 'traditional' Take This Hammer; both songs were actually given the same number in the authoritative Roud Folk Song Index: 4299.

Active: 1985-present, USA

Royal Guardsmen - Stick to their post

Humorous sextet from Ocala, Florida, that started as The Posmen (meaning unfortunately unknown).

When the so-called British Invasion engulfed the United States, the need was felt to adopt a truly English band name. Posmen guitarist Barry Winslow, a raw recruit in the band, unwittingly came up with a solution.

How did Royal Guardsmen get the band name - british-guard-graffiti-art - BanksyHis colleagues Bill Balough and John Burdette casted an appraising look at Winslows Vox amplifier and knowingly nodded at Barry - there was the new band name. Winslow misunderstood and said 'Vox?'. Bill and John: 'No, idiot - Royal Guardsmen!' It turned out that the Winslow's Vox amplifier was of the type Royal Guardsman. Barry protested a bit – 'Well guys, that's quite a mouthful' - but Balough and Burdette were not impressed: 'Well, we like it'.

And so began the history of The Royal Guardsmen, who would become world famous thanks to their hit Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron. A comic number.

A pity that the joke was extended with even more Snoopy songs: Return of the Red Baron (1967); Snoopy's Christmas (ditto), Snoopy For President (1968) and - a sweeping victory for the Guardsmen - Snoopy vs. Osama, shamelessly zeroing in on current events (2006).

Active: 1966-present, USA


The name sounds oriental, but the band members, who are registered as post rockers, simply come from Glasgow, Scotland.

Where does band name Mogwai come from - Mogwai_mohawk - GremlinsThe name Mogwai refers to the rare creatures acting in the Gremlins films. They are fluffy, cute and very inquisitive.

Yet the band is somewhat ambivalent when it comes to this statement.

Guitarist Stuart Braithwaite has said in an interview that the band name has no particular meaning.

'We always intended on getting a better one, but like a lot of other things we never got round to it.'

Active: 1995-present, GBR

Common Rider - Can flip open his helmet

The punk rockers who took to the stage as Common Rider may have been fairly versatile (they were also adept at genres such as reggae, indie rock and ska punk), their stamina had limitations.

Their name could have been a reference to the wish lists a successful act presents to the concert organizer booking their gig. In the industry such a wish list is called a 'rider'.

If this is the case, then the band name would have meant something like 'normal ' wish list, which in fact is kind of special, because the wishes of artists are often bizarre.

Van Halen for example is said to mention in the rider that a bowl of M&M's should be available prior to their performance - but without the brown ones. The band does this to determine if the organizer handles the event with sufficient care, assuming that, if the brown M&M's have been removed, all their wishes will be fulfilled.

But however interesting all this is, Common Rider took its name from something entirely different, namely a popular Japanese cartoon character, Kamen Rider (popularly known as Common Rider).

Active: 1999-2003, USA

Jodeci - Adidas band name class

Twice two brothers and all are capable of playing solid R&B, soul and new jack swing tunes.

Donald and Derek DeGrate, Cedric 'K-Ci' Hailey and Joel 'Jo-Jo' Hailey from Charlotte, North Carolina chose one of the corniest methods there are to come to a fun band name: by piecing together parts of their own names.

'Jo' comes from 'Jo-Jo', the 'de' part is due to the DeGrate brothers' last name and the 'ci' ... well, you can figure that out yourself.

How did Jodeci get the band name - Adidas Logo 2
We can not get very excited over it. It is a name in the 'Adidas' category.

The name of the world famous manufacturer of sportswear consists of parts of the first and last names of its founder, Adi Dassler. Although some say it actually means All Day I Dream About Sports, or Sex, or Sandwiches, Sleep, Stereos, etc.

 But what this has to do with band names - we don't know either.

Active: 1990-1996; 2006-present, USA

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