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Names -> Band Name Origins -> A, Page 1

Do you know why a band picked out it's name? Feel free to let us know.

I can't verify all of these stories, so do take them with a grain of salt. I try and delete the ones that I know to be bogus, but I don't know the origins of every band name (and some bands intentionally tell different stories about picking their band name).

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Entries starting with A are split into multiple pages: 1 2 3

There are 4604 Band Name Origin entries on the site.

Name
 
Origin
 
Submitted by:
A Named so that when you go into a record shop, and the CDs are racked alphabetically, they'd be the first thing you see, right next to the door. A1 were going to be A, but were just beaten to it! slick.puppy
A They chose this name as all of their middle names started with the letter "a". NameMaster
A The band 'A' chose the band name 'A' because they started a band but didn't have a band name to go with it so they all sat down (or stood up) together and tried to think of a band name, they were struggling. But just as it seemed like they weren't going to think of anything the singer said "What about being 'A'?" and the rest of them said "Yes". I think he was going to say, "What about being a gay band"? (Well...thats what i read anyway). Jumbofallice
A*** C*** Seth was just trying to throw together names at random. Mainly composed of stuff that would offend people, and ensure that they will NEVER be in a mainstream chart. Riax
A*** C*** They picked this name as Seth, wanted his band to be something like "a star" "c a star". As he was so obsessed with stardom. NameMaster
A*** C*** Apparantly it's just two offensive words picked out by Seth Putnam.  Tim Lahomo
A*Teens Almost right about A*Teens changing name from ABBA Teens to sing their own song, but just almost. But the truth is that Benny Andersson among others were threatening to sue them bigtime for using their name if they didn't change it quick. And just a few weeks after, voila: A-Teens! Fredrik
A*Teens They were originally going to be called the ABBA Teens, but they also wanted to sing other kinds of songs besides ABBA, so they changed it to just A*Teens.  Robert Poole
A*Teens The A*Teens started out as the ABBA Teens due to the fact the started as a cover band for ABBA. If you notice in their first video "Mamma Mia", it would say in one part ABBA Teen time (18:45, of course 6:45 PM). They decided to shorted for maybe two reasons: 1) They wanna do non-ABBA songs, which They did 2) Bjorn from the ABBA might have asked them, I think? so that's how the A*Teens came up with the name. Kelly
A-Bones Named after a song by the Trashmen Bobo
A-Ha The band wanted a name which meant the same thing in every language. "A-ha!" is an exclamation uttered at the realisation of something, and its meaning is universal. Heathcliff the Cat
A-ha Originally, Pål had used the word 'a-ha' as the title of a song. He alternated between 'a-ha' and 'a-hem'. As Morten was taking one of his frequent peeks through Pål's notebook, he came across the name a-ha. "That's a great name. That's what we should call ourselves." After a few weeks of getting the feel of the name and checking dictionaries in several languages, it was decided. They found out that 'a-ha' was an international way of expressing recognition, with positive connotations. It was short, easy to say and unusual. (From the first book about the Band) Jon
A-ha The band is from Norway, & they said that they wanted a name that meant the same in English as in Norwegian. weezer
A-ha Originally called Aha, but as there was a Norwegian jazz-group called Aha! (already with an album out), they changed it to a-ha (with small letters). The original Aha! thought about sueing them, but changed their mind when a-ha sold more records in one week than they did in a year. JR
A-ha It was because this sound has roughly the same meaning in many different languages.  zap
A.H.Z. I heard that it stand's for "All Heaven Zombies". But as you might know, they recently changed the name to "In His Image". Were in the Bible it says that all men were created in God's image. Silas
A1 After the motorway  sexylady
Abazagorath One day Abas suggested that "Abas' Gory Wrath" be the band's name, but he had a strong accent and it sounded like he said "Abazagorath," so they used that. (Info from an interview with Abazagorath in The Grimoire of Exalted Deeds, meaning that this is probably a joke, but here it is anyway).  Bobo
ABBA Abba was originally named because of their four member's names (Anni-Frid, Bjorn, Benny and Agnetha). But they first had to ask permission from a seafood company whose name was Abba. (Yes it's true! If you don't believe me, look it up!) KRAZYMAN
ABBA Originally Stig Anderson came up with the four names - Bjorn, Benny, Anna and Frida. (Anna short for Agnetha and Frida short for Anni-Frid) He decided to shorten the name before the 1974 Eurovision song contest to one that was easy to handle all around Europe. He Opted for the 4 band members initials A B B A. However they first had to ok this with a fish canning company in Sweden called Abba who agreed - just so long as the band behaved themselves. Just think - 1 trashed hotel room and it could have all benn different! Alan Lamprell
ABBA from their first initials. (okay, i know we ALL already know this, but if 'Daviddd' can clarify CSN&Y--fer cryin out LOUD, then) the original swedes should be documented: Agnetha Falskog, Benny Andersson, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Anni-Frid ("Frida") Lyngstad. ...parTAY amongst yourselves ;) LesLie
ABBA It was simply named after the band members.. Benny, Bjorn, Agatha and Aunty Mary. Wink
ABBA First they just called themselves Bjrn, Benny, Agnetha & Anni-Frid but then their manager (Stig Andersson) got tired of saying the names to everybody so he started to say ABBA because it's the first letters of their names and then they thought it was a good name so they became ABBA. Katrina Crane
AC/DC This is the real story. AC/DC was on the back of Angus and Malcolm's sister's sewing machine not a vacuum cleaner. Celeste
AC/DC I heard they got it off the back of an amp or fan. One side said AC other said DC and it even had the lightning bult between it! PaRiS
AC/DC AC/DC got their name off the back of Angus and Malcolm's sister Margaret's sewing machine. their sister also told Angus, jokingly, he still looked like a school boy. he thought it was a good idea and has been wearing them ever since. the
AC/DC Angus Young (lead guitar) pretty much always wears a school uniform which his mother sews. The name AC/DC was on the bottom of the sewing machine, and most other electrical appliances. ED
AC/DC Alternating Current/Descending Current Monica
AC/DC If you watched their behind the music special you know that Angus saw AC/DC on the back of his sisters sewing machine and knew that they were a powerful band, and they chose that power amount. As far as Angus wearing school boy outfits it was because his sister said he still looked like a school boy, and made him schoolboy outfits on her sewing machine.  Aaron
AC/DC I heard on a live intervies on VH1 that AC/DC said they got it off the back of a sewing machine. I also heard that the reason why Angus plays in a schoolboy outfit was because whenever he came home from school he was so eager to play his guitar that he never changed, and I heard it was his sister that gave him the idea. Matt
AC/DC For the most part, AC/DC was named from the ID plate on the back of a Singer sewing machine (meaning that it could be used with Alternating Current from a wall outlet or 12 volts Direct Current from a source such as a car battery) owned by the Young family. Angus took to wearing the (exaggerated) schoolboy outfit as he was only 16 and still at school at the inception of the band. His oldest brother George Young (of The Easybeats - "Friday On My Mind") suggested it as a gimmick to sell the band. George subsequently went on to write most of the band's material. Aussie in Iowa
AC/DC The AntiChrist/DevilsChild name was put about by American Christian extremists who hated rock music and don't consider lying and slander about a band's name to be a sin. Ade Mace
AC/DC It actually stands for "Alameda County Death Cult" and is a reference to Thomas Pynchon's THE CRYING OF LOT 49. Really. The rest of that is bologna. Mike
AC/DC i heard that the name means antichrist/devilchild Bobert
AC/DC There are many stories surrounding how this name was suggested, but the one that seems most consistent and the one that appears in Bon Scott's biography as well as other books about AC/DC is that Malcolm and Angus Young's sister saw the "AC/DC" label on an appliance (usually a vaccuum, though some say it was an iron) and suggested that because not only was it simple, but Malcolm wanted something "electifying". Powerslave
AC/DC what the hell does it matter if it was off a sewing machine or vacuum!it means ALTERNATE CURRENT or DIRECT CURRENT!!! your house is ALTERNATE CURRENT meaning that current flows one way then goes the other and DC is DIRECT CURRENT like in a vehicle! from your alternator it is ac and then goes through a diode to change to direct current what your vehicle operates on. Ryan
AC/DC I've Heard that the name is taken from an ironing machine. Margaret Young (The youngest of the Young's family) saw it, and told her discovery to Angus, who decided to use it like the band's name Victor (AkirA)
AC/DC Actually it was off the back of a vacuum. elyk
AC/DC The sewing machine is true, antichrist/devil'schildren is total bunk. It was dreamed up by that group mothers in the early 80's after a serial killer left an AC/DC hat at the scene of a murder. They also thought that KISS stood for Knights in Satan's Service. Bjorn
AC/DC I`ve bought a small book called "Devil`s Music" ( I really don`t know why:P))...There it was written that AC\DC actually means After Christ Devil Come  horoRscope
AC/DC The name stands for After Christ-Devil Conquered. The members are all Satan worshippers in the loose sense of the term and their music talks of hell, murder, chaos, destruction, sex, violence and more such evil. But they pretend to explain it away by saying it's an electrical term (alternating current/direct current) they saw on a household machine. Town Thief
AC/DC Matt is the closest so far. On KZOK they had a special in which AC/DC played Hells Bells(I believe) live, they also answered a few questions, one of which was about the name. When the band was started, it had no name so Angus' sister said why not AC-DC? Angus commented that he didnt know what else it meant at the time. KOFT
AC/DC On VH1s Behind The Music, Malcolm says his sister got it off the back of a sewing machine. It really means Accepting Current/ Direct Current, and has to do with the volts of power being input/output of a machine. It also means bisexual, but they had no knowledge of that until afterwards. And no, it does NOT mean Anti Christ/ Devil's Children, or After Christ/ Devil Comes! It just means they're powerful, electrical! I mean, "High Voltage", "Livewire", "Powerage"? Kat
AC/DC The got it off the back of a sewing machine roland e.
AC/DC Guitarist Angus Young got it off the back of a sewing machine. They debunked rumours that it meant "Anti-Christ Devil's Children" or "Anti Christ/Devil Child" on VH1's True Spin. Gina
AC/DC Angus and Malcolm Young saw "AC/DC" printed on their mother's sewing machine. They liked the connotation of electrical power, but the sewing machine is where it came from.  Mike
AC/DC lead guitarist for the band, Angus Young, had a sister who sewed. the band looked on the bottom of the sewing machine and they saw ACDC with a lightning bolt in the middle. they thought it sounded cool. THEY ARE NOT GAY! weirdo
ACDC AC/DC did indeed get their name from the back of a sewing machine. It is not, as some rumours say, a reference to slang for `bisexual'. Camille
Ace of Base The band's first studio was in the basement of a car repair shop, and they considered themselves to be the "masters" of the studio. "Ace of Base" was retrieved from "masters of the basement". Robert D. Arndt Jr.
The Ace-Tones Modelled after bands like the Lyres, the Chesterfield Kings and the Fuzztones (playing sixties punk to an 80s/90s audience), they picked their name from an old Ace Tone combo organ. Eric
Aconite Thrill The band just chose two random unrelated words and stuck them together. Natalia
Acquisotic The band name came from the search for a unique name that wasn't an actual word in the dictionary. It's a merge of many words. Acq for Aqua or fluid - Quis comes from Inquisitive - Otic comes from Exotic. It turns out that otic also means using ones ear. This info came from the band founder Bruce N. Baker. Eric Hartmann
Acquisotic Ok guys, Acquisotic comes from Acquiring Knowledge, Inquisitive and Exotic by Nature. That name was just created out of thin air, it's not in a dictionary. Bruce Gombrelli is the founder of the band, which is essentially just him. Dunno where those other names came from. Even his website says this. Bruce Gombrelli
Acquisotic Actually this is mostly right. The band name came from Bruce Bannour (not Bruce Baker)is a combination of names and word plays. The original name was AquaExotic for Exotic in water, possibly an astrology water sign reference. The middle part was just a play on inquisitive. Tim Souts
Adam & the Ants The band's name and the name of the singer Adam Ant was a play on the title of an old Hannah-Barbera cartoon, "The Atom Ant Show". Atom was a superhero ant who could fly and lift ten times his body weight.  newave
Adam & The Ants Pretty boring but there was a show on British TV called Adam Adamant (played by Gerald Harper) about a time travelling Victorian. About as mad as Stuart Goddard.  LRonCupboard
Adam And The Ants After changing his name to Adam Ant, Adam added the "Ants" bit on as he said that ants were hard working and always stick together. That's what he'd like his band to be like. cat
Adam and the Ants It has nothing to do with the 'Atom Ant' cartoon. It's taken from the 1960's BBC TV series 'Adam Adamant Lives' about a dashing Edwardian crime fighter who was 'frozen in time' and revived in the 60's. Stuart Goddard (Adam Ant) was a big fan of the series as a kid. Klif Fuller
Adam and the Ants Adam Ant was inspired to pick this name when relieving himself in a gent's urinal manufactured under the trade name of Adamant. AngelRider
Adam and the Ants Adam Ant was trying to find a new name for himself in the late 70s. He saw a picture of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and noticed how his physique was similar to that of the Adam in the painting. He therefore began calling himself Adam. The Ants part came when he was looking for a band. He was auditioning a guitarist on the roof of his flat when the guitarist looked down and noted how the people below looked like Ants. Adam didn't like the drugged up guitarist but the idea of Ants stuck with him and he kept the name the Ants for his band. This info can be found in Antbox, in an interview with Adam himself, so this is the real story. Rio Rhodes
Adam Ant Adamant is a popular UK manufacturer of urinals! Fang
Adema They heard a friend who worked at a morgue say the term "edema," and they liked the way it sounded, so they changed the spelling and made it their name. "Edema" actually means "swelling of the skin." Louise
Adema Adema is a disease. Adema disease and acrodermatitis enteropathica, two parallel syndromes in calves of Friesian descent and in man, are described. Both are congenital zinc deficiency disorders with a lethal course if left untreated.  Annie
Adema An obvious misspelling of the ailment edema, which was what killed Bruce Lee in the 70s. hard rock
Adema One night, a friend of the band (who was working at a morgue at the time) mentioned the term edema (medical condition - swelling of the skin.) The band changed a few of the letters in the name to ADEMA and they kept it as the band's offical name. Tijana
Adeva A simple pun on her musical ambitions: Adeva = a diva. Jenny
Adiemus Creator Karl Jenkins invented the word, unaware at the time that it means "We will draw near" in Latin. Robert D. Arndt Jr.
Admiral Freebee Named after the ghost boat in the novel "On the Road" from Jack Kerouac.  Hill
Admiral Twin They took their name from a landmark movie theater in their hometown of Tulsa, OK. Amber
Aerosmith They named them selves after a book one of them read called Arrow Smith but decided to change the first part to Aero Rachel
Aerosmith "aero" which means air and "smith" is someone who makes something then "aerosmith" is a person who makes air. Dennis Wong
Aerosmith Ok, well on an interview with VH1, Steven Tyler stated that at the time Joe Perry was reading a book called "Arrowsmith". Although the book was not present, Perry suggested the name Aerosmith and it stuck. pete
Aerosmith A popular myth is that the name came from a respelling of the title of the Sinclair Lewis noval Arrowsmith. But in the groups autobiography Walk This Way Joey Kramer tells the story of how when he was still in school he was sitting around with his girlfriend one day listening to Harry Nilssons Aerial Ballet and he and his girlfriend started thinking of cool band names that had aero in them, he thought up aerosmith and liked the way it sounded. He loved the name so much he used to write it all over his school books. But the band he was with at the time didnt want to use it. So fast forward to a little after he had joined Joe Perry and Stevens band. They used to sit around and watch old Three Stooges reruns, stoned. One day they had a band meeting after the Stooges to try and come up with a name, Kramer remembered the word he used to compulsively write on his schoolbooks. The band didnt like it at first because they thought it was the title of the Sinclair Lewis novel they were forced to read in high school but Joey said No, no, A-E-R-O and it stuck because they liked the connotation of power and the lift their music gave off.  Keavin
Aerosmith Joey Kramer made it up listening to Aeriel Ballet (I am the world's #1 Aerosmith fan!) Zebra
Aerosmith "Aero" refers to the air through which sound travels, and "smith" refers to forging, as in a blacksmith. They forge the air to make sound. I think it's clever really... chris
Aerosmith They took and purposefully misspelled the title of the 1925 book "Arrowsmith" by Sinclair Lewis. They actually hated the book.  Bobo
Aerosmith It has nothing to do w/ the book Arrowsmith, actually the band's drummer, Joey Kramer, thought up in high school because it "sounded cool" and wrote it all over his textbooks. (the band also considered the names The Hookers and Spike Jones) spiffchica
Afghan Whigs The band got their name from a little known biker gang of White Muslims, who were objectors to the Vietnam War. Trizzle
AFI i didnt think AFI took the 'a fire inside' moniker till 97s 'a fire inside ep'. on 1996's very proud of ya's liner notes, its says send correspondence to 'asking for it' (also afi)... note also the change from poppy snotty punk to the gothier feel between very proud of ya & a fire inside ep.  ifthesewallscouldspeak
AFI It stands for A Fire Inside, which means that they are burning inside because of guilt and sadness. So,there is A Fire Inside. Chris
AFI In high school before they even knew how to use their instruments, they came up with the name "ants farming indonesia" since they never thought they'd make it big. I read it in Smash Magazine back in '95.  Myst
AFI Stands for "A Fire Inside" Represents the feeling inside when you hold in your emotions. Dave Taillon
AFI The band comprised of Davey, Jade, Adam, and Hunter has always stood for "A Fire Inside". Previously, it was known as Anthems For Insubordinates, and NOT (despite popular belief) Asking For It. The reason fans were told to write to Asking For It was because they wrote in to ask for free merchendise and information about the band. Nixx
AFI A fire inside- Davey's inner emotions, also know as asking for it larkin
After The End After one of the guitarists got kicked out of the band, their band pretty much ended. Then a new guitarist came into the band and startes playing again. And everything after that became "after the end." joe
Agent Orange Double meaning.. they were from Orange County, California and AGENT ORANGE is a famous dioxin-based "defoilant" used by the US military in the Vietnam War. Bobo
Aggression They thought it described the sound of them - a hardcore band from the early 80's - very well. Bobo
Aiden I don't know if this is where the name came from, but aiden is another name for heaven, used in the edgar allan poe poem the raven. Steve
Aiden It's the name of the little boy in the American adaptation of "The Ring", but with a letter changed. Ravvie
Air Miami Air Miami is a spin-off of the airline Air Jamiaca, which flys out of Miami, FL., where they recorded the "Me Me Me" album (tapeworm studios, maimi). chester
Air Speed Indicator Going through a dictionary, the band laughed a lot at this one. They never got out of the letter "a". luke engel
Air Supply Graham Russell saw the name on a marquee in a dream 5 years before the band was signed. Bobo
Air Supply Air means Melody. Supply means plenty of. I heard this from Rusell Hitchcock while he was on stage at a concert. agrillo2@earthlink.net
Air Supply I was told that this group are Aussies, mate, and "air supply" is an Australian term. Like: "How did you get that new guitar so fast into this god-forsaken outback town?" "Air supply", would be the answer. "I paid extra to have it flown in". Sort of like the original Fed-Ex in this country was a way to get something anywhere coast to coast by overnight cargo flight.  Bendzick, W
Akari Japanese language- means "light" or "glimmer" Robert D. Arndt Jr.
The Akashis the band had another name first...irvin the magical flute player,..but while havin a drink in there fave pub..they changed there name to the akashis,after an japanese legend. stevenson
Alan Parsons Project Eric Woolfson had an idea for an album based around the stories of Edgar Alan Poe. He made a fesw stabs at it, but couldn't get the sound he wanted until he hooked up with producer Alan Parsons, who had just finished Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. Parsons gave Woolfson the sound he wanted, and they used mostly studio musicians to record the album. After it was finished, Woolfson wanted to call it simply "Tales of Mystery and Imagination, Edgar Alan Peo," but the label said they had to have a band name so the record stores would know where to stock it. Since their long effort had been known in the studio as "Alan Parsons' Project" they decided to use that as the name, and the album was such a success that the name stuck. Greg McGann
The Alarm In 1979, The Alarm were called Seventeen, after the Sex Pistols song of the same name. After a disasterous tour with Dexy's Midnight runnersin 1980, they broke-up, only to reform a few weeks later with some new ideas and songs. The decided to call themselves "Alarm Alarm", named after the first song Mike Peters (lead vocalist) had written in his first punk band named The Toilets. On the way to their first gig as The Alarm in June 1981, they were listening to the John Peel show on BBC Radio 1. They had sent hi ma letter asking him to read it on the air to In 1979, The Alarm were a band named Seventeen, (from the Sex Pistols song of the same name). After a disastrous tour with Dexy's Midnight runners in 1980, they broke-up, only to reform a few weeks later with some new ideas and songs. The decided to call themselves "Alarm Alarm", named after the first song Mike Peters (lead vocalist) had written in his first punk band named The Toilets. On the way to their first gig as The Alarm in June 1981, they were listening to the John Peel show on BBC Radio 1. They had sent hi ma letter asking him to read it on the air to advertise their first gig. John Peel read the letter, and the said "Hmm, Alarm Alarm. We have Duran Duran, Talk Talk, and now Alarm Alarm. I think I'll change my name to John Peel John Peel". At that instant, the band decided to simply call themselves "The Alarm". Another quick note. A country/western band from the 60's was also named "The Alarm". IRS records had to buy the name from old band so The Alarm could release their first record. I'm the web master for the official web site for The Alarm (www.thealarm.com). Mike Peters from The Alarm has personally told me this story several times.  Steve Fulton
Alesana Derived from where they lived in Baltimore before officially forming as a band, on Alice-Anna Street. Alex
Alexisonfire Yes, they are named after a porn star, but not just any porn star. The world's only lactating contortionist porn star no less! Her name is Alexis Fire. They got into a spot of bother from her when she found out that they had taken the name of her website as their band name and she threatened to sue, but since she had not cpoyrighted the name "alexisonfire" they were free to use it. Natalia

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