6 Awesome Bands Named after Real People

If there’s one thing I think that’s pretty cool about rock bands it’s how they got their names.  For example did you know that Pearl Jam is named for an awesome peyote laced jam that Eddie Vedder’s great grandma made?  If it weren’t for her their band would be named Mookie Blaylock (based on the basketball player).

And there are plenty of other interesting origins out there.  Today we’ll focus on six bands whose names were derived from real people …

Pink Floyd

Originally called The Tea Set, the members of this iconic band showed up at a gig one night to discover that there was already another band on the roster who had called dibs on that title. Thinking quick, Syd Barrett mixed the names of two blues musicians he loved, Pink Anderson and Floyd Council, to rename the band ‘The Pink Floyd Sound’, and then later shortened the name to Pink Floyd.

Jane’s Addiction

There was a hooker friend of Perry Farrell named Jane, who said that prostitution was her addiction. He then decided to exploit this poor woman’s habit as his band’s gain.

Lynyrd Skynyrd

Long ago, this name was explained as homage to a gym teacher named Leonard Skinner they had in high school, who would send them to the principal’s office because “their hair was too long”.

Jethro Tull

This band went through a ridiculous number of names in the early days, because no one would give them a repeat booking. Their booking agent’s assistant suggested the name Jethro Tull for one such show, and the band went along. It was this performance that they just so happen to get the attention of the club owner who wanted them to play a repeat show. So who is Jethro Tull? He is, in fact, an 18th century English agriculturist, and inventor of the seed drill.

Creedence Clearwater Revival

Legend has it that the band was named after Tom Fogherty’s friend, Credence Nuball, whose favorite beer was Clearwater. The beer was discontinued by the maker, but then was picked back up by another brewery; hence the Clearwater revival. Ta da.

Alice Cooper

When Vincent Furnier’s band originally came to LA, they were called The Nazz. As they were signing to a record contract, they learned there was already a band called Nazz, so it was back to the drawing board. What better way to make the decision than to consult the almighty Ouija board? So the story goes that during the session with the occult, Vincent learned that he was the reincarnated soul of Alice Cooper, who was a woman burned at the stake during the Salem witch trials for practicing the black arts.

In the end not only was the band’s name changed, but Vincent made it his stage name and persona to match his ancestry/destiny.

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