- The Boo Radleys. This name of this alternative-rock band comes from Harper Lee’s famous novel To Kill A Mockingbird. (In the book, however, Boo Radley is pretty reclusive—not exactly a rock-and-roll star.)
- Steely Dan. This was the name of a dildo in William S. Burroughs’s Naked Lunch.
- The Doors. See Aldous Huxley’s book The Doors Of Perception, which, in turn, referenced William Blake’s quotation, “When the doors of perception are cleansed, things will appear to man as they truly are…infinite.”
- My Chemical Romance. Before Mikey Way was bassist for the band My Chemical Romance, he worked at Barnes and Noble, where he noticed the book Five Tales of Chemical Romance by Irvine Welsh. Bandmate Gerard Way added the “My,” to make it more personal.
- Titus Andronicus. Titus Andronicus is one of Shakespeare’s most bloody, violent works.
- Der Plan. British author Gordon Rattray Taylor used this phrase to describe what distinguishes humans from animals in The Biological Time Bomb.
- Heaven 17. In Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange, Heaven 17 is the fictional band name mentioned by a woman browsing records.
- Marillion. The band’s original name was Silmarillion, after a J.R.R. Tolkien book, but was eventually changed to avoid legal problems.
- Modest Mouse. The Mark On The Wall, by Virginia Woolf, includes the line “…and very frequent even in the minds of modest, mouse-coloured people.”
- Of Mice & Men. This name comes from one of John Steinbeck’s most famous works, Of Mice And Men. Steinbeck was inspired by a Robert Burns poem, To A Mouse, which contains the line, “the best-laid schemes of mice and men/Go often awry.”
- The Velvet Underground. Inspired by Michael Leigh’s book about sadomasochism, The Velvet Underground.
- Billy Talent. “Billy Tallent” is a character in Michael Turner’s Hard Core Logo.
- Opeth. In Sunbird, by Wilbur Smith, Opeth is the name of a Phoenician city in South Africa whose name means “City of the Moon.”
- As I Lay Dying. The San Diego-based Christian metalcore band lifted their name from the 1930 novel As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner.
- Steppenwolf . Taken straight from Hermann Hesse’s Steppenwolf. If you’ve read the book, you know Hesse refers to the protagonist’s animalistic nature as a “wolf of the steepes.” Gabriel Mekler, the producer for the band’s debut album, suggested the name.
- Veruca Salt. Who could forget snotty little Veruca Salt from Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?
- Oryx and Crake. Oryx and Crake is a post-apocalytpic novel by Margaret Atwood.
- The Romany Rye. Luke MacMaster was inspired to use the name because he likes the protagonist of George Borrow’s The Romany Rye—a young man who joined a band of Gypsies.
- Belle & Sebastian. From Belle et Sébastien, a children’s book by French writer Cécile Aubry.
- Gogol Bordello. The gypsy punk band from New York City’s Lower East Side didn’t pull their name from a book title, but from the Ukrainian-born Russian author Nikolai Gogol. Gogol is famous for forging a path for writers like Kafka and Dostoevsky, and the band intends to do the same, merging Eastern European music into the English-speaking world. (Is anyone else reminded of The Namesake?)
- Nine Stories. Before Lisa Loeb was Lisa Loeb, she had a band named Nine Stories while attending Berklee School of Music in Boston—a name is inspired by the J.D. Salinger book written in 1953.
- Silverchair. The group was inspired by C.S. Lewis’s The Silver Chair, the sixth installment of the Narnia series.
- Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Nick Cave might have been referring to the 1956 movie The Bad Seed when he named his Australian alt-rock band, but seeing as he’s a writer, it’s likely he was talking about the book.
- Pylon. Pylon is the name of a William Faulkner novel, first published in 1935.
- Soft Machine. William S. Burroughs wrote the book Soft Machine, “a surreal space age odyssey through the wounded galaxies,” which is the first book in his “cut-up trilogy.”
- Genesis. Duh. (We can also thank Genesis for Avenged Sevenfold, who pulled their name from the Genesis line, “If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, Truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.”)
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Bands named after books
From the Barnes and Noble Blog: