Hot Tuna

Blues rockers from San Francisco who can be considered to be a Jefferson Airplane spin-off.

The story goes that the band initially wanted to conquer the world using the name Hot Shit. The record company supposedly talked them out of that.

But then why Hot Tuna? The speculation is that with this name the record company got their way: hot tuna would be slang for the mind-expanding trip caused by heroin.

Those who consult the various slang dictionaries however don't get much further than that hot tuna is a very unfriendly name for the genitals of young, not entirely fresh girls: 'Damn girl, close ya legs; yo tuna stank!'

Why band bame Hot Tuna - Body smellYet this could be a hook, because singer/guitarist Jorma Kaukonen once seems to have stated that the band name is a reference to Keep On Truckin' (Mama), a song by Hot Tuna containing the following lines:

'What's that smell like fish pretty baby
I really would like to know
That ain't pudding baby ain't no pie
It's the stuff that I got you by'.

In this explanation the question 'What's that smell?' has an obvious answer according to Kaukonen: hot tuna.

See also: Lemon JellyJefferson Airplane

Active: 1969-1977; 1983; 1986-present, USA

Squirrel Nut Zippers

How did Squirrel Nut Zippers get the band name - CandyVirtually every type of music is dug up again from time to time.

That also goes for the swing, as the repertoire of the Chapel Hill, North Carolina based Squirrel Nut Zippers reveals.

An imposing name derived from everyday peanut candy that was popular in the 60's of the previous century.

Active: 1993-2001; 2006-present, USA

Statler Brothers - Touching confluence

Officially the four 'brothers' Statler (none of them is called Statler and only two of the four are brothers) are known as a country group, but the quartet from Staunton, Virginia was also particularly adept at gospel music. They started as The Four Stars and later performed as The Kingsmen.

How did Statler Brothers get the band name - Facial tissue usage graphWhen the song Louie Louie, by a completely different band that was also called The Kingsmen, became a big hit, the crowd the 'fake Kingsmen' attracted asked for Louie Louie so often that the four wearily practised the song and actually played it. With the name change they left that problem behind.

We owe the fact that the group renamed itself The Statler Brothers to the band getting hold of a box of Statler Facial Tissues at one point - allegedly it happened in the Statler Hotel in Boston - and drawing inspiration from this touching confluence of events.

See also: Kingsmen

Active: 1955-2002, USA

Audrey Horne

Where does band name Audry Horne come from - Twin Peaks - actress Sherilyn FennBand from Bergen, Norway, delivering a combination of hard rock and post grunge music.

Audrey Horne is one of the characters in cult TV series Twin Peaks, a performance put up inimitably by actress Sherilyn Fenn.

Active: 2002-present, NOR

Dropkick Murphys - Firm rehab firm

Interpreters of Celtic punk and Oi! (let's say punk rock customized for the masses).

How Dropkick Murphys got the band name - Dr. Dropkick Murphy - WrestlingThe band is from Quincy, Massachusetts and was named after legendary wrestler Dr. John 'Dropkick' Murphy.

Some sources embrace the theory that the Dropkick Murphys owe their name to an alcohol rehabilitation clinic (drying out center) near Boston.

That is quite possible, because 'Dropkick' Murphy was the owner of such an institution, officially called Bellows Farm but popularly known as Dropkick Murphy's (place).

That the clinic - as the rumors want - focused on poor wino's who were pulled out of the gutter seems very unlikely.

As early as 1942 Murphy already charged $25 per week for a course of treatment (about $ 350 in our time) and that, of course, was an amount that not everyone could afford, not even by returning empty bottles.

Active: 1996-present, USA

Cornelius - Beauty is more than just looks

How did Cornelius get his stage name - Planet of the ApesWith a name like Keigo Oyamada, reaching the top of the Western music world is not obvious, Japanese artist and producer Cornelius must have thought.

He owes his stage name to one of the main characters in the movie Planet of the Apes (1968), a chimpanzee, kind of.

Active: *1969, JPN

Automatic Pilot - Not accountable

Californian band from San Francisco, extracted from the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus and producing what is sometimes described as erotic jazz wave.

Inspiration for the band name was provided by the court case against Dan White, politician and former member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

On November 27, 1978, White killed his mayor, George Moscone, and gay fellow Board member Harvey Milk. Carrying a loaded gun and extra ammunition White climbed through a window of San Francisco City Hall's first floor, cunningly circumventing the metal detectors on the ground floor, and carried out his fatal action.

White's defence team successfully steered clear of the first-degree murder charge and had the conviction altered to manslaughter. Their tactics from that moment on would be known as the Milkie defence.

Where does band name Automatic Pilot come from - Chocolate Oreo Mousse Pi piesIt comes down to White – once a health freak – having fallen into the habit of consuming fast and sugary food and drinks (such as Milkies). These products had triggered White and had put him on automatic pilot. In other words, White could not be held accountable for the murders.

The tactics paid off: the killer got off lightly serving five years in prison.

Active: 1980-1985, USA

Eve 6

Alternative rock band that had their genesis in La Crescenta, California.

Eve 6 is a fictional character in one of the episodes of television series The X-Files, the eleventh episode of the first season to be exact, entitled Eve.

X-Files fans will probably know that episode, so for the other readers let's suffice to say that it is all about Eve, Adam and their many clones.

How Eve 6 got their band name - X-Files - Eve - Season 1, Episode 11A whole series of Eves make their appearance (played by three different actresses), with Eve number six having the peculiarity of being disturbingly eccentric; among other things she bites the eyeball of a guard... as a sign of affection.

Active: 1995-2004; 2007-present, USA

Titus Andronicus - An Excellent Conceited Tragedie

Why band name Titus Andronicus - Michigan stadiumThe punk/indie rock band from Glen Rock, New Jersey (called 'one of the best new bands of 2010' by Rolling Stone magazine) seems to have copied the title of William Shakespeare's creation, Titus Andronicus, rather casually, but there really is a relationship between that piece and the band.

Band member Patrick Stickles says that, while the works of Shakespeare, such as Titus Andronicus, are widely regarded as the highest forms of art, the artist had only one major goal in mind: to ensure that all seats were occupied (just like the band, ed.).

Active: 2005-present, USA

Modest Mouse

The name of the indie rock band Modest Mouse, nestled in Issaquah, Washington supposedly is based on a short story by English writer Virginia Woolf.
Inspiration for band name Modest Mouse - Modest Mussorgsky - Russian composer

In The Mark on the Wall (1925) Woolf does draw the comparison between humans and mice:

'I wish I could hit upon a pleasant track of thought, a track indirectly reflecting credit upon myself, for those are the pleasantest thoughts, and very frequent even in the minds of modest mousecoloured people, who believe genuinely that they dislike to hear their own praises.'

There is another explanation however, one in which the band name is attributed to a shortening of the name of Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky.

Active: 1993-present, USA

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