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Names -> Band Name Origins -> C, 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 C are split into multiple pages: 1 2 3

There are 4600 Band Name Origin entries on the site.

Name
 
Origin
 
Submitted by:
C & C Music Factory Robert Clivilles and David Cole lived in this town where there was this big infamous factory called the C & C Clothing Manufacturers, which was nicknamed C & C Music Factory because of the loud sounds the factory made. Robert and David thought it would be a good band name. NameMaster
C&C Music Factory C & C are the last initials of it's two founders: Robert Clivilles and David Cole. funk
Cabaret Voltaire Cabaret Voltaire was the name of a bar in Zurich (Switzerland), opened by Dadaist artists in February 1916. It was used for their performance art, poetry readings, meetings etcetera. Inspector Clay
Cabaret Voltaire They took it from a Dadaist movement that happened in Switzerland in the 1920s David Murphy
Caedmon's Call Based on an ancient tale of Caedmon, who had no talent for singing until the voice of God told him to sing. That proved to be Caedmon's Call. Christian
Cake Ummm... It's not from the singer's last name. His last name is McCrea. They got their name from a popular pastry. CameronL
Cake No big mystery. The singer's last name is Cake. Joel
Caliban Caliban is a fictional character in William Shakespeare's "The Tempest", a deformed monster who is the slave of Prospero. He is referred to as a mooncalf, a freckled whelp, "not honored with a human form."  jace
Calibretto 13 Calibretto is a character from a comic book, and the only number Joe would have was thirteen, and Aaron (former bass player) wanted a number, hence the thirteen. Jesse Keen
The Calling Founding members Alex Band and Aaron Kamin said that they tried several names but all were taken. Then they realized that music was their "calling" and, lo and behold, the band name "The Calling" was not yet taken. TCfan
Cameo The band was called The New York City Players, but that name was taken. When their manger called Larry Blackmon to tell him to pick another name, he looked outside of his NYC hotel room and saw a billboard advertising Cameo brand cigarettes, so he chose that. Woodchuck
Camp Kill Yourself The lead singer/guitarist Deron Miller has an obsession for horror movies, espescially sleep away camp 1-3, and thought Camp Kill Yourself would make the perfect horror movie title. Charlotte Cook
Camp Kill Yourself (cky) Deron being the horror fanatic he is named it aftaer a horror movie that doesnt exist, deciding that camp kill yourself was too long and some may deem unappropriate for billboards the abreviated it to CKY Chris
Candee Jay A cross between 'candy' and 'DJ'. sonikal
Candlebox taken from guitarist Peter Klett (a family friend) when the band played local gigs. they hauled a lot of equipment, and were using drummer Scott Mercado's uncles van for the time being. they all pitched in and bought a 1987 ford f-150 XL longbed, 2 tone brown/tan with a 4.9 L motor. girlfriend of singer Kevin Martin was kind of a hippy, and she lit a candle inside the glovebox, somehow the candle fell over and melted the dash. martin yelled at her and said "its a glovebox! not a candlebox! look what you did! and the rest is history.... juan
Canned Heat Canned Heat was a slang term for 'poor or unemployed black Americans for cheap homemade 'moonshine' whiskey', especially during the time of the Prohibition Era. RAZ
Canned Heat Canned Heat (Sterno) was a liqued fuel product popular in the early years of the blues. Darkstar
Canned Heat "Sterno" aka canned heat was often consumed by down and out alcoholics desperate for a drink. The alcohol was separated from the waxy base by squeezing it through a nylon stocking... unfortunately it was "denatured" alcohol and would cause illness, blindness and death... the name evidently appealed to the band's street blues ethos. David
Cansei de Ser Sexy Portuguese for "tired of being sexy", an alleged quote of Beyoncé Knowles, one of the largest musical influences upon this Brazilian band. Robert D. Arndt Jr.
Capdown Taken from "CAPitalist DOWNfall" as most of their songs are political. Nat-Nat
Captain Beefheart Actually it's because Don's uncle had a party trick where he used to take out his penis and squeeze it so hard that it turned bright red. He did it in front of Don once and said "look at that boy! Doesn't it look like like a big old beefheart?" Source: Never Mind the Buzzcocks - Band Names round Davey
Captain Beefheart The name was originally the band's name, and not Don Van Vleit's alone. It was probably given to them by Frank Zappa, as everyone in the band had strange names. Don later said it meant "he always had a beef in his heart" towards the human race. james thornton
Captain Beefheart Don decided to take this as his name after being sprayed by a skunk at his home in the desert. At first he thought he was captain arab, and then he thought he was the center of a t-bone, but then he knew both were right, and he was Captain Beefheart bob dylan
Captain Cutthroat During an afternoon jam session in 2002, the band was trying to name a song that featured a strange swing meter, which would later become their signature. Singer Phil DeSisto suggested the name for the song because it felt like a pirate jig, the bounce having a Caribbean spice to it. Keyboardist Casey Trombley heard Phil's suggestion and said "No, lets name the band Captain Cutthroat." The unique name fit their bizarre style of songwriting and eventually stuck. casey
Car Bomb Dating Tim, rythym guitarist/vocalist for this Port Huron, MI-based punk group used to tell people it was a term for 'a relationship gone bad-everything seems fine until it suddenly bursts into flames'. Later on, he and Justin, the other vocalist and lead guitarist decided to admit that Tim just found it on a webpage and it 'sounded cool', so they opted to use it. Other names they were kicking around included Constant 137 and The Pants Situation. Flash1087
Cardigans this swedish band took the name because the drummer used to play a lot of poker (cards). traci
Carolina Liar This L.A. based band was so named because the singer Chad Wolf, a North Carolina native (the rest of the members are Swedish), was known to beef up his resume to get hired for odd jobs in Hollywood. Rocky
Carolina Liar A correction to the previous entry: Chad Wolf is a native of Charleston, South Carolina (not North Carolina), and he lied to even get into auditions for bands.  Rocky
The Cars Pretty simple actually. Elliott Easton, the guitarist, once said that they picked that name because a car is a symbol of teenage spirit and nightlife, which was the image the band wanted to convey. Although there's a great urban legend that says they got their name from a concert they played in the South where audience members were placing bets on how long it would take for them to smash up this beaten-down car they found lying around. They did play that concert, but they were called The Cars prior to that, so alas, the rumor is untrue. Cat
The Cars In conjunction with a Boston radio station, the listeners were given several potential band names and asked to vote for their favorite. But when the results came in, the guys picked the least popular name. nate
Carter the unstopable sex machine It was a headline in one of the British tabloids ginger jon
Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine I have tried to expunge the band from my memory. However, I do recall Djamolodin Abdujaparov. Gmo's description is a little faulty. Abdujaparov is an Uzbek, from Tashkent, and was one of the fastest cyclists around in his day. His reputation was for slightly wild, out-of-control sprinting, rather than dirty tactics. Just defending a reputation. velociste
Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine From a friend of the group called Carter who reckoned he was... well, you can fill in the rest, I'm sure. Jenny Turner
Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine There are two founding members in the band: Jim Morrison (aka JimBob) and Leslie Carter (aka Fruitbat). They both liked to party rather hard, and so it's what Jim sometimes called his friend, Leslie, and they eventually kept it for their band. Note that these guys come up with some of the worst names in music history: after disbanding Carter USM, LC went on to form Abdoujaparov (named after a Yugoslavian bicycle racer who was known for dirty racing tactics) and Jim went on to form Jim's Super Stereoworld (great music, all around, but the names??). gmo
Cassandra Complex An allusion to Greek mythology; Cassandra had the gift of prophecy with the curse of no one ever believing her  Robert D. Arndt Jr.
The Cast They needed a band name quick before a gig and they looked to a flyer that was looking for a cast in a play and they thought it would be a good name. Alex
Cast because john power always wanted a band named cast - it could be casting off something or casting something new. interestingly, the last word on the last song of the la's album. foz
The Casulties the name came from people who were tortured at war ann34
The Cat Empire i thought this should be included, not that many have heard of them. the name comes after a picture that was drawn by one of the band members' brothers. eskimofever
Cat Power "Cat Power" on the guy's hat in the bar doesn't refer to a construction company but to equipment powered by Caterpillar diesel engines. David
Cat Power The female singer songwriter was at a bar on a pay phone with her band mates and they were discussing possible band names, so she looked around the bar and saw a guy with a hat that said "Cat Power" on it, after the Cat construction company.  southside johnny
Cat Stevens Okay, I know this is a sole singer, not a band, but the origin is that the guy's first name was actually steven. He had a nickname given to him by friends - "Cat Stevens." Way back when he had begun recording music he mentioned it to the recording company and they loved it, so he kept it. Now, however, you know he has changed his real name to Yousef Islam after converting to the Islamic faith years ago. Yousef is arabic for Joseph. helen
Catatonia Cerys and Mark, the main founders of the band, came across the word Catatonia, believing it to mean a sence of extreme pleasure and sleep, and so used in on gig posters as 'sweet catatonia'. But later they were told that it actually means sort of a coma vegetative state, but it was too late to change it on the posters. Eventually they dropped the 'sweet' and became plain old 'Catatonia' who sadly (sniff sniff) have split! MystikAura
Catch 22 The band Catch 22 originated from a book by Joseph Heller that the lead singer Thomas Kalanocky was very fond of. rob g
Catherine Wheel The Catherine wheel is a medieval torture device, like the Iron Maiden. The band was formed by Rob Dickinson, who is a cousin of Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson. Nickster
Celibate Rifles Australian punk band with former members of The Saints. Their name is a play on `Sex Pistols' (sex/celibate, pistol/rifle) Camille
Celibate Rifles Play on words of Sex Pistols name. Not made up of former Saints members, although their family trees have intertiwned sometimes in the last 25 years (i.e. Damien Lovelock interviewing Ed Kuepper)  Steve Sesnick
Celibate Rifles Their name is a play on the Sex Pistols. sanraab
A Certain Radio A line in a Brian Eno song (On Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy). Bobo
A Certain Ratio Taken from the song "The True Wheel" by Brain Eno on the album "Taking Tiger Mountain By Strategy."  Laurie Laptop
A Certain Ratio Like their fellow Factory Records recording artistes, New Order (formerly Joy Division), ACR took their name from a reference to Nazi Germany. As far as the Nazis were concerned, a Jew was anyone having more than a certain ratio of Jewish blood. Factory and the Factory-owned club Hacienda are also some sort of references to Nazism as well I believe. Prada-Meinhof
A Certain Ratio Before they became an incredibly annoying funk band with Stevie Wonder leanings, they were an incredibly unpopular band from Manchester England, on the legendary Factory Records label. You will find the lyric "Looking for a certain ratio" in Brian Eno's song "The True Wheel (circa 1973). In 1994, the band - then still together but LONG past its prime - paid homage to its roots by compiling a sampler CD on the Creation label, and titling it with that phrase. Carl
Charli Baltimore Her real name is Tiffany Lane, but her stage name is that of the Geena Davis character in the movie, "The Long Kiss Goodnight". Charli Baltimore is the code name for a spy who lives a double life as a working mom. This is fitting because Charli is a young mother of 2 girls. Alexis
Cheap Trick I had heard in an interview with the band that their "gimmick" was to dress like someone they idolized. Because they were using images, they were performing a "Cheap Trick" Gomez
Cheap Trick They asked a Ouiji board what they should call their band. Equus
The Chemical Brothers After dubbing themselves The Dust Brothers and getting more famous than they thought they would, the real Dust Brothers in the US "informed" them they needed to change. Their most successful track at the time was "Chemical Beats"; thus, the Chemical Brothers. Kevin
Cherry Poppin' Daddies The leader of this modern big band, Steve Perry, says it comes from an old R&B record and that it "sounded sexy."  Robert D. Arndt Jr.
Chevelle Chevelle in Welsh means nightmare... i would know, i'm welsh. neechi cuzzo all Whiynna
Chevelle The three brothers named the band that because of the cars they liked as said in about every single article about them. Charles D....
Chevelle The members of Chevelle are brothers, whose father passed away, so they named their band after his favorite car, a Chevelle. Pdog
Chevelle The band actually picked the name because their family built race cars. The grew around cars and racing. Joseph
The Chi-lites Best known for "Oh, Girl" from 1971, this group was originally named the Hilites(mispelling intended) until they were told there was another Chicago band using that name. Fast thinking produced the Chi-Lites, the "Chi" in homage to their home town. Khalil
Chicago Terry Kath played guitar--and whoever said that the Chicago Transit Authority didn't care for them naming themselves after that and the pure length are correct. cjack62
Chicago They used to be called "Chicago Transit Authority." They eventually just shortened it to "Chicago," and liked it so much that they named all their albums "Chicago," and just put them in a numerical sequence, e.g. - Chicago III; Chicago X; Chicago XII; Chicago 21, etc. Izzy
Chicago M Ling got it wrong. He had it right up untill the part where they just shortened the name. The City of Chicago saw that this band was named Chicago Transit Authority and they thought they were poking fun or making fun of them so they sued them, and insted they agreed to change there name. So they shortened it to "Chicago" AJ
Chicago Origanally they were called Chicago Transit Authority .But , The Chicago Transit Autority transit line said they would sue over the use of the name .So, they changed their name to simply Chicago  mark
Chicago Every band member grew up in Chicago, they were originally named "Motor jams" Chris
Chicago Chicago's origins are varied and interesting. The band was created by Walter Parazaider, from Chicago, and accomplished clarinet player, who had a band called The Missing Links. Fellow band members, also from Chicago, included Lee Loughnane on trumpet, Danny Seraphine on drums, and Terry Kath on bass. Later, with the addition of James Pankow on trombone, and Robert Lamm on keyboards and vocals, the band's name was changed to The Big Thing. An Italian friend of Walter's said, "You know, everybody is saying "Thing, Thing this, Thing that. There's a lot of you. We'll call you the Big Thing." A friend of Walter's, named Jimmy Guercio, became the band's manager and later its producer. It wasn't long before Peter Cetera was added to the group for bass playing and high vocals. Guercio lobbied for gigs in Los Angeles, because that was believed to be the best area to become "discovered". They believed in their concept of rock and roll with horns. The band, now renamed Chicago Transit Authority by Guercio in honor of the bus line he used to ride to school, was in a creative fervor. (To the delight of the poor folks who have to put up the letters on theater marquees , the group shortened its name simply to Chicago during its first year as a national act, by December, 1969.)  M Linq
Children of Bodom The descriptions here are correct. I would like to add, that the survivor of Bodom is being accused of the murders in court 45 years after the incident. The circumstantial evidence (including some DNA tests) seems to point into Nils Gustafsson being the murderer. There are also witnesses who say he has confessed the murders indirectly (including the main investigator!). But due to technical reasons and the 45 year gap, it looks uncertain that he will be convicted. On the other hand, there is evidence for reasonable doubt, too. The trial is highly controversial, and all kinds of conspiracy theories about the murders just add to the mystery of Children of Bodom. Antti
Children of Bodom Bodom (pronounced "boo-domm") is a large, beautiful lake in Espoo, Finland. Back in the sixties three camping youngsters were murdered brutally at the shore of Lake Bodom. The murder remains even today unsolved. Susanna Viljanen
Children of Bodom I love the story behind where Children of Bodom got their name from. For those that don't know Bodom is a small lake in Finland, about 20 km north from Helsinki. In the year 1960, on the 5th of June, this lake was the place where a murder case happened. Four teenagers, two 15 year old girls and two 18 year old guys, camped at this lake when an insane one came and killed all teenagers but one, with a knife. The one who survived went crazy afterwards and is (still) in psychiatric treatment. A few years later (I guess it must have been about 1970) one old man said that he had been the lake Bodom murderer, but the police proved that he could not have been it. So the murder was never solved. The victims names are Tuulikki Anna - a 15 year old female, BjíºŠí»¬und Maili also female and 15, Boisman Seppo 18 year old male and finally the one who has survived lake Bodom: Gustafsson Nils, male and also 18. The Children of Bodom. Stephen
Chili KumQuat The band wanted a name witch defined the style of music in every language. "Chili" for the spicy taste, "KumQuat" for the sweet & bitter taste. Charlyking.Repräzent
Chilli To keep the name of the group (TLC) after Chrystal got kicked out, they re-named Rozonda to "Chilli". She's saucin' it up. SaRiZ
Chimera Chimera, which takes its unique name from a mythological beast comprised of several disparate animals Andrew
Chimera Well, in Greek myth the Chimera was a cross between a serpent, a goat and a lion that was slain by Bellerophon. So they thought this would be a cool name. joe
Chinatown This band Chinatown is a Seattle based Thin Lizzy tribute band. They came about the name while rehersing the songs. One night after a few beers they were doing a mock interview of "Larry King Live". When the impersonation Larry King asked where are you guys from the band, (4 members) in unison answered "Chinatown!" At that point they all agreed that was going to be the name being that Chinatown was one of Thin Lizzy's great anthems. Austin Hagen
Chingy In St. Louis, "chingy" is slang for "flashy," so he adopted the word to reflect his persona DreddChild
Chingy He liked the sound of his bling bling, which went "chingy chingy". He just shortened it to chingy dude
Chiodos Chiodo is the last name of the 3 brother producers of the movie "Killer Klowns From Outer Space". Alex
The Chop Tops Originally it was a term used by 1950's greasers. They would take a 1949 Mercury lower it to the ground and then chop 5 to 7 inches off the roof of the car and then weld it back on to make it look more streamline. Hence the pharse "chop the top". Dan Fields
Christian Death It was a corruption of fashion designer Christian Dior's name by Rozz Williams and the original line-up of the REAL CHristian Death [ beware of pretenders; any future of Christian Death was snuffed out when Rozz passed away.) While Rozz Williams' early lyrics often featured themes that could be interpted as anti-religious [ often they were not ], the name had nothing to do with it. Cheers Kaenan
Christian Death The real meaning of the band Christian Death is what it means. It also makes refrence to Jesus Christ' death. Rozz Williams picked this name and later said he regretted choosing this name for the band.  Curtis LeBlanc
Christian Death The name Christian Death was a corruption of the name of designer Christian Dior.  trench_neo
Chrysanthemums the band was a studio project between alan jenkins of deep freeze mice and terry burrows the jung analysts. they would original to be called the square pigs but decided not to. they came up with the names chrysanthemums and egg plant, and decided that whatever name they called for the band they would use the other one for their record label. so they became the chrysanthemums on the egg plant label - ratehr than the egg plants on the chrysanthemum label.  thorsten loewe
Chubby Checker A takeoff on the then-popular Fats Domino. Dr. Bristol
Chumbawamba Here's the exact quote from the band's official site: "Chumbawamba doesn't mean anything. At the time we formed (early 80's) there was a rush of bands with obvious names. It was the time of 'peace punk' and you couldn't get across a youth club dance floor without bumping into a Disorder, a Subhumans, a Decadent Youth or an Anthrax t shirt. We liked the sound of Chumbawamba because it wasn't nailing ourselves down. Thatcher On Acid were a good band but it's lucky for them that Thatcher stayed in power for 11 years. If her influence had only lasted 18 months Thatcher On Acid's sell by date would have come and gone a lot sooner. We wanted a name which wouldn't date. " Set the Record Straight
Chumbawamba One of the band members had a dream where they were trying to decide between two restroom doors--one labelled "Chumba" and the other "Wamba". (According to the Book of Lists, anyway.) Alfvaen
Chumbawamba The band members have been QUOTED saying that the name was from the guitarist's dream of being in a club, and when he went to go to the bathroom, he didn't know which door to go through, because instead of 'men' and 'women', the doors said 'chumba' and 'wamba'. To tease him for having such a strange dream, they named the band Chumbawamba. Renae
Chumbawamba Despite what a lot of people have said, I'd like to dispell some of the myths about the name before I get to the real decision. Firstly, an experiment with monkeys is not probable as all the band members are activists who do not believe in cruelty to animals. Secondly, the dream myth/the men's and women's in a foreign country/slang for men and women is completely wrong. The myth gained momentum from an article published in '97 on a CNN website. The reputation of the publisher led people to think it was true, whereas it was absolutely wrong. The truth lies in (possibly) two things: the first was directly quoted from an interview in a book where Danbert (Nobacon) said he and Boff (Whalley) when they were younger (1979) sat down at a typewriter. Boff blindfolded Dan and told him to bash the keyboard. The word that came out seemingly was either Chumbawamba or a word similar to it after the insertion of appropriate vowels. The second is quoted from an article written last year by Boff (Whalley) where he reminisced about the first time they went to France as The Mirror Boys to busk overseas and groups of African tribal dancers were in the same public square as them shouting nonsensical phrases like "Chumba! Chumba! Chumba! Wamba! Chumba Wamba!" and drowning out their acoustic performance. This is the honest truth. And a word to the people who are spelling the name as "Chumbawumba"- that's the wrong spelling. And to the people saying that it was a Star Wars referebce- The band aren't into Sci-Fi. Will
Chumbawamba This band alladgedly got their name from that experiment where they got a load of chimpanzees on typewriters to see if they'd eventually, by the law of averages, write the complete works of Shakespeare. The best thing they wrote was the word 'Chumbawamba'. Chrissy
Chumbawamba there are many reasons why they chose this name. they were trying to think of a band name so 2 members of the band went to the typewriter and the first guy wrote one word and then took the paper out so that the next guy couldn't see what he had written and then the other guy wrote a word and they put them together and oddly enough they rhymed. then one night one of the band members had a dream where he was going to go to the bathroom and on one door iinstead of saying "ladies" it said "chumba" and then on the other door where it should have said "men" it said "wamba". grace
Chumbawamba They ACTUALLY got the band name based on a dream that the guitarist had. He had a dream in which he was at a club where the bathrooms said "Chumba" and "Wamba" instead of Men and Women. They decided because of the general mix of men and women in the group, it was an appropriate name. Martin
Chumbawamba I heard in a radio interview one time that Chumbawamba is a slang term for the roll of fat on the back of a bald man's head. darkdaimon
Chumbawamba the band went to a concert in a foreign country. After the concert they all had to go to the washroom. On the men's door it said Chumba and on the womens door it said Wamba, they thought it was a cool name so they called themselves Chumbawamba. nicole
ChumbaWamba One of the band members had a dream wherein there were a lot of freaky people dancing about and shouting "Chumba! Wamba!" over and over again. Chumba means man, and Wamba means woman. Alli
Chumbawamba The name came from a dream that one of the band members had. Chumba is Brit slang for Men's room, and wamba is slang for women's room. In the dream the band member went to the rear of a club, and there was only one door that read Chumbawamba. He told the rest of teh group about it, and it eventually became the band name. Bob
Chumbawumba Ever hear the saying 'if you give a chimpanzee a typewriter it will eventually write Shakespeare ? Well some scientist type blokes decided to give it a try....Chumbawumba is one of the 'words' the chimps typed ! Lee
Chumbawumba Chumbawumba is an exclamation of one of the Ewoks in Return of the Jedi, whilst falling over having seen C3PO... TKD_Tigger
Chumbawumba In 1978, a group of scientists in nevada tried the 'thousand monkeys with a thousand typewriters' bit. Of the 18,000 words written after ten months, only two were pronouncable: "Elorytham" and "Chumbawumba". The band chose one of them. Joe Mahon
Chumbawumba On the BBC new program, "Have I Got News For You" they said it was called Chumbawumba because it evolved from "Chimp eat Banana". JOHN

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