How Famous Bands Got Their Names

By Tiara

Many famous bands got their names from something significant to them or someone close to them, such as The Beatles’ name being John William Lennon (the son of Paul McCartney), Metallica having James Hetfield (hometown hero) as part of his last name, and Radiohead picking off the name “OK Computer” for their debut album after learning that it was not available for use.

Many musicians choose interesting, catchy, or iconic stage names to emphasize how important they are to music, how well known they are, or both!

Having an impressive stage name is a way to draw attention to yourself as an artist, and it can help promote your career. It may even inspire others to start performing music or creating songs!

There are several theories about why some artists choose unusual stage names, but none are totally correct. Some believe that the stage name becomes a personal signature for the musician, representing who he/she is as a person. Others say that the stage name helps define the artist’s artistic style, or that it evokes emotions which the artist wants to elicit in their audience.

This article will discuss five popular band names, what made them famous, and some fun theory explanations.

Pink Floyd

how famous bands got their names

When you think of one of the biggest bands in music history, what name do you recognize? Probably not Waters, Ornament or Concept Album, right? Most likely it’s Floyd! The reason for this is because band member Roger Waters co-wrote the song “Floyd The Word.”

In the lyrics, he uses his first name to refer to himself as well as another famous musician with the same last name. This other person was born two years earlier than him and they were both raised in different parts of England!

This other person is Robert William Henry Floyd. He never used his full stage name when performing so people often mix up his first and last names. But now that we have their names together, how could anyone mistake them for someone else?!


And thus the name Floyd was given to the band. It is a play on words and a testament to the importance of education in your life. Both members of the band received Bachelor degrees from university which helped shape who they are today.

They are both successful musicians and creative thinkers who bring unique styles to each project they work on.

It is very important to research and find out about yourself before you assume something about someone else. In their case, they found inspiration in an unexpected place.

Led Zeppelin

how famous bands got their names

If you’ve ever listened to any music, even if it was only for a short time, then you have heard of the band Led Zeppelin. They were one of the first big rock bands that people really got into. While some may say they are too known now because there is not much new being produced in their genre, what few things they do produce is always well received!

Their name comes from the lead singer Robert Plant and his friend who would experiment with psychedelic drugs back when he was in college. The two would refer to themselves as “led zeppelins” due to how they would get high off of LSD.

Plant eventually took this idea and made it into a song. He wrote the lyrics telling someone that they look like a led zeppelin, referring to himself as the lead singer.

The Doors

how famous bands got their names

After Jim Morrison, the lead singer of one of music’s most famous groups, died in July 1971, his family decided to auction off some belongings he left behind. Among these was a leather-bound book that featured lyrics written by Morrison and notes from someone else.

The person who owned the notebook noted several words and phrases in it and wrote them down as they struck him or her as interesting. One such word was “doors,” so they copied the rest of the phrase out as well.

After making the appropriate changes (adding an “S” at the end), they took the resulting name for the band – The Doors.

Bold font emphasis is ours.

This isn’t to say that The Doors are only known for their use of the word “door.” That would be pretty boring! Plus, many people don’t know what song uses the word “door.” It’s not even necessarily clear which lyric features it.

But we do feel like this choice helped contribute to The Doors becoming popularized in the same way that other bands have. People recognize the group as being synonymous with the word “door,” and thus associate the two.

Stone Temple Pilots

how famous bands got their names

Before there was a popular music genre called alternative, there were bands that fit into this category. Artists such as The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd made it clear they did not want to be categorized under just one label.

By the early 1980s, however, artists like Radiohead and Nirvana had broken away from the pack by abandoning traditional song structures in favor of something more unique.

Music writers began using the term “alternative” to describe these types of songs, and it stuck. Since then, many other bands have hopped onto the alternative bandwagon, creating their own style or what people refer to as the indie rock genre.

Some musicians choose to use the word alternative for their lyrics or styles, while others do not. What matters is that the artist is known for writing strong messages with powerful lyrics that speak about issues important to them.

This article will discuss five famous band names and how each got here.

The Clash

how famous bands got their names

After several years of playing music together, bassist Paul Simon (formerly known as Graham Goulding) and guitarist Mick Jones decided they wanted to form their own band. They had both been listening to punk and new wave music for some time now, so choosing an appropriate name was easy.

Jones suggested using “The Clash” as a pseudonym since he already owned that domain name at the time. He also owns the domains “The Hardest” and “Hardcore”, which are sometimes attached to bands’ monikers.

From there, it was just a matter of picking a song or set of songs to be the band’s first album. “White Man in Hammersmith Palais” was chosen because it sounded tough and powerful. This is reflected in the band’s logo, designed by Martin Gibney, which features two fists meeting in the middle with white skin between them.

The word “Clash” comes from the lyrics of the song “Guns And Roses”, one of the group’s early hits. In those lines, Carl Conway says, “There will always be a clash / For who has got the guns and roses”. Members of the band have said this about what the other members were thinking when they chose the name.