Some rock band names are very clever, and some are just plain odd. Regardless of how they sound, all were inspired by a specific book, dream, slang phrase, and even a comment by critic. Below are a few interesting rock band names and their origins:
10cc: The name appeared in Jonathan King’s (the person who signed the band) dream: “I went to sleep that night and had this dream that a band of mine on my label made number one on the album and singles charts simultaneously in America, and the band was 10cc.” (This is contrary to the urban myth that the number refers to the average male’s volume of ejaculate, which actually contains only 3cc of semen.)
Air Supply: The name appeared in Graham Russell’s (the person who signed the band) dream.
Backstreet Boys: Named after a flea market in Orlando, Florida.
Coldplay: Named after a book of poems titled Child’s Reflections: Cold Play by Philip Horky.
Daft Punk: Named after a music critic described the band’s music playing as “a daft punky thrash”
Dire Straits: Named after the bands difficult financial situation when they formed. (Something that most musicians can relate to.)
The Doors: Named after the book The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley.
Electric Light Orchestra (ELO): Refers to the band’s unique combination of electric rock instruments and a light orchestra (as opposed to a full orchestra), consisting of just a few violins and cellos.
Foo Fighters: Named after military slang, used by pilots flying in WWII, to describe UFOs.
For further reading: Rock Names: From Abba to ZZ Top by Adam Dolgins, Citadel Press (1998)