10 Fascinating Backstories Behind Famous Rock Band's Names

A sewing machine lead to one of the most popular band names of all time.

Highway To Hell ACDC

Coming up with a band name might seem like a simple task, but it can have huge ramifications for any act going forward.

A bad name will put people off before they've even heard your music, so it's important to put your best foot forward and come up with a moniker that will entice people in. This isn't always the case, mind you; there is a successful band called Butthole Surfers, after all...

Inspiration for a name can come from anywhere and at any time, as these ten stories prove. Some of these names came from very surprising sources, with one even being thought up on the fly right before a gig! Considering that said name has stuck for over 50 years, it's safe to say they made the right call.

Books, movies, TV shows, people's names, all of these things and more have offered up ideas for budding rock stars and are the reason why they are called what they are called today.

So, if you've just started a band and are in need of a name, keep your eyes peeled and your ears open; you never know when one might jump out at you.

10. Words Of Encouragement - Garbage

Led by Scottish singer Shirley Manson and backed on drums by Butch Vig - the producer behind the likes of Nirvana's Nevermind - Garbage have been a successful group since day one.

Their debut album, which was self-titled, went double platinum in the US, and they've followed that up with a slew of popular records and singles, including the title song for the James Bond movie, The World is Not Enough.

Unfortunately for them, that was one of the less-applauded Bond films, but hey, at least the song was good.

Speaking of people deriding things, that's exactly how this Wisconsin-based group got their name in the first place. The story goes that one of Vig's friends overheard an early recording of the song Vow that they did not approve of.

The friend then remarked "That stuff sounds like garbage!", only they didn't say "stuff"...

Alternatively, the name could have also come from a line in Vig's studio diary from 1993, which reads "I hope that all this garbage will become something beautiful!" Whichever version of events is true, the band got its name from someone being mean about their music.

Let that be a lesson to you all.


Jacob Simmons has a great many passions, including rock music, giving acclaimed films three-and-a-half stars, watching random clips from The Simpsons on YouTube at 3am, and writing about himself in the third person.