How These 15 Famous Bands Really Got Their Names – WaitUp

How These 15 Famous Bands Really Got Their Names

Once a successful band is formed, it seems like the world is at their fingertips. Suddenly, they are travelling the world, putting on massive concerts, attending wild parties, mingling with celebrities, and have more cash than they know what to do with. Getting there, though, is not always easy. It takes an enviable amount of dedication and drive to truly make it in the music industry, including hours upon hours of practicing, writing, and recording demos; touring; and, oh yeah, naming the band. An easy way to make a good first impression on a listener is with a unique and effective band name. But coming up with a great name is not always easy. Below are fifteen bands and the stories of how they got their now-famous names.

The Rolling Stones


Instantly one of the most recognized band names of all time, The Rolling Stones formed in 1962 and consisted of just three members: vocalist Mick Jagger, guitarist Keith Richards, and Charlie Watts on drums. Soon, guitarist Brian Jones joined the group and it came time to come up with a name. Jones recalls being asked what the group was called before they had an official name. Seeing a Muddy Waters LP on the floor, he scooped it up. The song Rollin’ Stone stood out on the track list. The rest, as they say, is history. Pioneering a blues/rock sound with pop sensibilities, the English group went on to become one of the most critically acclaimed and highest selling acts of all time.

Mötley Crüe

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A band known for their wild backstage and after-show antics has a name that certainly lives up to their reputation. And it is not simply shocking tabloid headlines that they have become known for: Mötley Crüe has had multiple run-ins with the law, including several arrests; heavy drug use, including cocaine and heroin addictions; constant alcohol consumption; and a memoir full of some of the craziest industry stories ever heard. While trying to come up with a name that would accurately represent their riotous lifestyles, guitarist Mick Mars notes an incident that occurred while he was still a member of the band White Horse. One of the band members, he recalls, referred to them as “a motley looking crew”; this was later modified to 'Mötley Crüe.' The use of the metal umlauts is said to be inspired by the band's favourite German beer, Löwenbräu.

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