Debbie McFadden

Debbie McFadden

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10 Bands That Kids Today Think Are Solo Acts

                                                                                                                                                                          Naming a band isn't easy. 

And although sometimes people erroneously say all the good band names are getting taken, if the following list is any indication, weird band names have been around forever. 

Ever since musical acts mostly ditched the Someone and the Somethings formula for naming a collective, it got weird quick.                           

Not all band names can be awesome, like Black Sabbath or Rage Against the Machine.

Sometimes you have to settle. 

Sometimes it's an obvious choice. If your name is James Taylor, and you're writing and singing most of your songs by yourself, you should just call yourself that.

But every once in a while, some wiseguys pick a band name that sounds like the name of a person (which we understandably presume to be the singer), even though it's not.

Here are some of those weird band names and what we know about their origins.


1. Steely Dan


Formed in 1972 by Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, Steely Dan blended rock, jazz and pop into a uniquely polished sound that won the band success both on the charts and in the eyes of critics. 

Fagen and Becker, always the subversive types, reportedly named the band after a sex toy from beat poet/writer William Burroughs' novel Naked Lunch.


2. Pink Floyd

Who doesn't know Pink Floyd isn't a person at this point? I don't know; maybe nobody. 

But here's an interesting story: the band name Pink Floyd comes from the names of two of band founder Syd Barrett's favorite American blues singers: Pink Anderson and Floyd Council


3. Alice Cooper

A lot of people have probably already complained about this one in the comments section. Yes, Alice Cooper is technically a person, but that wasn't always the case.

When Alice Cooper began performing, it was the name of an edgy rock band from Arizona, fronted by Vincent Damon Furnier. For years, the general public assumed Furnier was the titular Alice. In the '70s when the original band began to turnover, Furnier adopted the band name as his stage name and became a solo artist. 


4. Radiohead

This one may seem stupid at first, but in the age of Skrillex, Deadmau5, Marshmello and Daft Punk, there's definitely a kid somewhere who thinks Radiohead is a DJ. 

In case that kid is reading this, no, Radiohead is not a DJ. It's an alternative rock band that broke out in the '90s. The band name came from a song of the same name by the Talking Heads.


5. Lynyrd Skynyrd

Southern rock legends Lynyrd Skynyrd actually named the band after a real person: the band members' high school gym teacher, Leonard Skinner. 

Mr. Skinner was a bit old fashioned and gave the kids a lot of grief for their long hair, so they decided to make a tough-in-cheek tribute to him when they started a rock 'n' roll band.


6. Judas Priest

I'll admit that there's probably not a lot of people who think Judas Priest is the name of a person. But Judas Priest is awesome, so let's mention them anyway.

And it might surprise many metal heads to learn that the band name actually came from a Bob Dylan song, "The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest." Dylan's disciples are everywhere.


7. Uriah Heep

Former in London, England, in 1969, hard rockers Uriah Heep took their name from a fictional character from Charles Dickens' novel David Copperfield.


8. Molly Hatchet

One of the most popular southern rock bands of the '70s, Molly Hatchet took its moniker from the notorious prostitute who allegedly decapitated her clients. 


9. Cinderella

As far as glam bands from the '80s go, Cinderella was not the best. Give them credit though; they had the perfect band name. 

When your best bud says, "Hey, bro, let's crank some Cinderella, drive drunk and yell at hot babes," whether or not you've ever heard the band Cinderella, you probably know what it's going to sound like.


10. Jethro Tull

Formed in 1967, Jethro Tull was reportedly named by its booking agent, a history buff, who booked the band under the name of a famous 18th-century agriculturist for just one gig. 

Tull played the show, and as the legend goes, it was the first time a club owner actually liked them, so they stuck with the band name to keep the good karma.

It worked awfully well! Singer Ian Anderson is about to celebrate Tull's 50th anniversary with a tour of Europe and North America!

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