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Names -> Band Name Origins -> Y, 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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There are 4605 Band Name Origin entries on the site.

Name
 
Origin
 
Submitted by:
Y+T Short for Yesterday And Today, this band, formed in San Fran in 1973, took their name from a Beatles album Bobo
The Yardbirds The band members decided to change the name of the band which was at that time the Metropolitan Blues band. Keith Relf wrote a list with alternative names and the band members decided to choose Yardbirds, which was an expression for hobos hanging around railway yards waiting for the next train (also a nickname for prisoners) and also a homage to legendary saxophonist Charlie "Yardbird" Parker.  nykr
The Yardbirds Jazz musician Charlie Parker was nicknamed "Yardbird" and did a recording called "Yardbird Suite." But Yardbird is also prison slang used in general to describe prisoners in the exercise yard, and more likely the origin of the band's name. Rufus
Yardbirds... They took the name from the book 'On The Road'.... The term referred to hobos  George 'The Duke' Feist
Yazoo Yazoo is also the name of a small town and county in the Mississippi Delta (as well as a river) where the Blues originated. SKD
Yazoo (Known as Yaz in North America) Singer Alison Moyet chose this because it was the name of an American Blues label - little heard of in the UK. Obviously, the complications arose when they attempted to crack the American continent and shortened it to Yaz. dan
Yeah Yeah Yeahs Contrary to overspeculative hipsters, Karen O says that it's just a common New Yorker phrase, as in "whatever/ok". Wookie
Yello The name has nothing to do with the colour. They got this name from when a friend of their's said, "Hello" like "Yello". Coolio
Yellowcard Yellowcard got their name from a phrase they used in high school. Whenever somebody did something "stupid" at a party, such as drop a beer on the carpet, they enforced soccer rules and gave them a "yellow card" for committing a "party foul." Cathryn
Yellowcard Everytime someone did something wrong, someone would say, "You got a yellow card." So the name just eventually stuck with them. We two peoples.
Yellowcard Yellowcard is something people call some person that screw up in a party (like dropping a drink). So they named their band after the word. Sethy
YellowCard In highschool these guys played a drinking game called yellowcard and uhh ya you know wowzer mcWowpants
Yellowcard Normally yellow card refers to a soccor foul, but since the guys used to have parties so often, they would warn people by giving them yellow card's. They made it out to mean 'party foul'. So if someone spilled a beer on the carpet, that was a "yellow card". When they needed a band name, theie minds wander over to "Yellowcard" and it just kind of clicked. Caitlyn
Yellowcard the teachers know your tardy when you give them a yellowcard. you get it from the office and it tells what time you came in.  salaam
Yellowcard They were all good friends and spent a lot of nights boozing together in high school. It was kind of a joke at first; they would give people yellow cards at parties, instead of giving them a party foul. Kinda like the ref would give in soccer. Yeah so, it has kind of a cool connotation to it of being like sort of a warning to people, maybe it's like a warning to the world of rock 'n roll  justme
Yellowman Yellowman is reference to the reggae legend band leader, a black albino, and his yellowish appearance.  Stevie I
Yes Actually, there's a number of record sleeves (lie "Beyond and Before") with liner notes that state that Peter Banks (1st guitarist) coined the band name. For the same reasons as above - but with the annotation that at the time he said "well, if you don't like it, let's keep it until we have a better name". 30 years on, in the same sleeve notes, he says: "any suggestions?" Eric
Yes Chosen by original guitarist Peter Banks, with the idea that a name with only a few letters would stand out on posters. Udo
Yes The band had been called 'Mable Greers Toyshop', but Jon Anderson suggested to Chris Squire that a name change was needed. Pete Banks came up with the name because it was short and a very positive word. brotherofmine
Yes Suggested by original guitarist Peter Banks. It stuck because it was short and memorable, and because it allowed the band's name to be printed larger on concert posters. Adrian
Yes They picked the name because they thought that's what everyone should say to their music. Marvin The Paranoid Android
Yes Jon Anderson, the lead singer of the perennial progressive rock giants, said in an interview that he chose Yes back in the late 60s because it was a short word and would look huge when printed on flyers. Also, it was forward-looking and positive (but business first, kiddies)... Chris Pitchford
Yes In 1968, as Jon Anderson and Chris Squire were preparing to form their new band, which would perform beautiful vocal harmonies along with very intricate instrumentation, they decided to name the band YES, as it was an easy name to remember, as well as the fact that the word YES has positive connotations to it, just as would their music. Wesley Woo Woo
Yesterdays Tomorrow the guy who made the band was named matt young...matt young came out of the closet the day b4 the band started(yesterday)...and he sain no 1 will know untill tomorrow...so he sed the band should be called yesterays tomorrow because h had gay pride eric
Ylvis It is actually came from their surname, YlvisÃ¥ker, jason a.
Yo La Tengo translates to "I have it" from Spanish - said to be the phrase called out by Hispanic baseball players when fielding a pop fly ball. Singer/guitar player Ira Kaplan got the expression from a book he was reading about baseball called The Five Seasons.  Robert D. Arndt Jr.
Yo Lo Tengo Several members of the band are big fans of the New York Mets and the name comes from a funny story about the 1962 Mets, the worst baseball history in the 20th Century. Elio Chacon was their eager young shortstop who knew no English. Because of this, he often ran into (and sometimes knocked down) the centerfielder Richie Ashburn when a fly ball went between the infield and outfield. Charley Neal, the Thirdbaseman noticed this issue and told Ashburn that anytime a flyball was in question he should yell "Yo Lo Tengo" (I've got it) and Chacon will backoff. The next time a ball like that came Ashburn's way, he yelled "Yo Lo Tengo!" but was still knocked down-- this time by Frank Thomas, the leftfielder. Charles and Ashburn never let Thomas in on the Yo Lo Tengo strategy. Neil Spagna
You Know Who Group One hit and a supporting LP in the mid-'60s, this New York group tried to pass itself off as part of the English Invasaion in the footsteps of The Who and the Guess Who (originally Chad Allen and the Expressions from Canada, who were trying to change their omage). The group wore masks and capes on the album cover to promote the "mystery." Country Paul
You Know Who Group This was actually The Four Seasons. They wanted to see if they could have a hit under another name. Peg
You-Know-Who Group Actually the Four Seasons were the Wonder Who, not the You-Know-Who. The YKW Group was four guys in masks and capes who pretended to be British, which they were not. We almost booked them, but got the Guess Who by mistake. Some mistake!! True Story ! Johnny B.
Youngblood Hawke They named themselves after a novel by Herman Wouk. Brian Kelly
Youngstown they were named after their home town of Youngstown Ohio Micki
Youngstown No suprizes here... their hometown was Youngstown,Colorado.  ~mick~
Youth Of Today They wanted the most generic "pro kids" name they could think of. It is generic but also enduring.  Frazier

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