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Band Name Origins

Quiz: name the band

  1. Given that they were broke a friend suggested this name in 1977.
  2. This band formed on Christmas Day, 1975, named themselves after a medieval torture device.
  3. Their agent named them after the English inventor of the agricultural seed drill.
  4. This group, originally known as The Nightlife Thugs, got their name from the childhood gang in Woody Guthrie's autobiography.

  5. Originally called 'The Makers' but changed their name after seeing graffiti refering to a prison in Berlin.
  6. Scottish band who randomly threw a dart at a map to chose their name and it landed somewhere in Michigan.
  7. Group formed in 1967 which got its name from the title of a Herman Hesse novel.
  8. Named after two bumbling detectives in Herge's comic strip The Adventures of Tintin.
  9. Named after a type of unemployment form in the UK.
  10. A shortening of a word which means members of a supposed prehistoric race that lived in caves.
  11. Founded in 1964 and named after the title of a S&M book found on a New York street.
  12. Rock band named after a character in the Charles Dickens novel 'David Copperfield'.
  13. A reference to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and the answer to "the ultimate question".
  14. Which band gets its name from a line in the song "The Jean Genie" by David Bowie.
  15. Founded in 1982, their names comes from an Irish Gaelic phrase meaning "kiss my arse".
  16. A band member saw this on a sewing machine and figured it has something to do with power.
  17. Which band changed their name to a mistranslation of the title of a French fashion magazine?
  18. This band was founded in New York by Mick Jones, a British guitarist who named it after his outsider status.
  19. Slang for a person who knows a lot about cars.
  20. In Buddhism, its a place of perfect peace and happiness.
  21. Named after a 1963 horror movie starring Boris Karloff.
  22. From the beehive hairstyle popular in the 1950's.
  23. This group's name come from a fictitious band mentioned in the novel A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess.
  24. This name came about when founding member Stuart Cable noticed the word on a radiogram.
  25. This British rock band took its name from a collection of myths and stories by writer J. R. R. Tolkien.


  1. Dire Straits
  2. Iron Maiden
  3. Jethro Tull
  4. Boomtown Rats
  5. Spandau Ballet (Spandau Prison)
  6. Bay City Rollers (dart landed on Bay City, Michigan)
  7. Steppenwolf
  8. Thompson Twins
  9. UB40
  10. Troggs (from 'troglodyte')
  11. Velvet Underground
  12. Uriah Heep
  13. Level 42
  14. Simple Minds
  15. Pogues ('Pogue Mahone' is Irish Gaelic for 'kiss my ass'.)
  16. AC/DC
  17. Depeche Mode
  18. Foreigner
  19. Motorhead
  20. Nirvana
  21. Black Sabath
  22. B-52's
  23. Heaven 17
  24. Stereophonics
  25. Marillion (from The Silmarillion)