CLOSE

8 Bands Named After People Not In The Band

Bands like Van Halen, The Alan Parsons Project, Phish and Santana all are named after members in the band. But what about bands named after people NOT in the band? Here's a look at eight of them:

1. Pink Floyd

There’s a record executive in the song “Have A Cigar” that says, “Oh, by the way, which one’s Pink?” Thing is, of course, this was the band responding to (and mocking) the often-asked question. But in reality, the name of the band comes from band member Syd Barrett, who took bluesman Pink Anderson and combined it with another bluesman named Floyd Council. So if you’re ever trying to come up with a good name for another successful rock band, you might consider Anderson Council.

2. Lynyrd Skynyrd

Nope, Mr. Skynyrd never played for the southern rockers. In fact, the band named themselves after their gym teacher and basketball coach, Mr. Leonard Skinner. After Skinner died, one of the surviving members of the rock band had this to say: "Coach Skinner had such a profound impact on our youth that ultimately led us to naming the band, which you know as Lynyrd Skynyrd, after him. Looking back, I cannot imagine it any other way.”

3. Hootie and the Blowfish

While some think that front man Darius Rucker was Hootie and his bandmates were the Blowfish, the truth is that Rucker was both Hootie and the Blowfish! As for the meaning: there was a kid in Rucker's high school nicknamed Hootie because he looked like an owl. There was another kid with puffed up cheeks that they called Blowfish.

4. Tilly and the Wall

Nope, no Tilly in this band. The name comes from a kids’ book, according to an interview with one of the dancers, who credits her time as a grade-school teacher prior to joining Tilly for the idea. “It’s actually the title of a children’s book. It’s just about outsiders overcoming obstacles, that kind of story,” she says. “We didn’t even think about the story that much, but it ended up fitting our band really well.”

5. Belle and Sebastian


No Belle. No Sebastian here. Just some band mates inspired by a 1960s novel by Cécile Aubry about a six-year-old boy named Sébastien and his dog Belle,

6. Freddy Jones Band

Sorry to disappoint again, but not only is there no Freddy Jones or Jones Freddy in the band, but apparently the band has never definitively revealed the name's source.

7. Aiden

This Seattle-based band doesn’t have an Aiden. Instead, the band members named the group after a character in the 2002 film The Ring.

8. Alice Cooper


They were first called the Earwigs, then Nazz, before settling on Alice Copper. The name is said to have been inspired by their Ouija Board, which put them in contact with a spirit named Alice Cooper. When lead singer, Vincent Furnier, went solo, he took the name for himself.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
science
Scientists Analyze the Moods of 90,000 Songs Based on Music and Lyrics
iStock
iStock

Based on the first few seconds of a song, the part before the vocalist starts singing, you can judge whether the lyrics are more likely to detail a night of partying or a devastating breakup. The fact that musical structures can evoke certain emotions just as strongly as words can isn't a secret. But scientists now have a better idea of which language gets paired with which chords, according to their paper published in Royal Society Open Science.

For their study, researchers from Indiana University downloaded 90,000 songs from Ultimate Guitar, a site that allows users to upload the lyrics and chords from popular songs for musicians to reference. Next, they pulled data from labMT, which crowd-sources the emotional valence (positive and negative connotations) of words. They referred to the music recognition site Gracenote to determine where and when each song was produced.

Their new method for analyzing the relationship between music and lyrics confirmed long-held knowledge: that minor chords are associated with sad feelings and major chords with happy ones. Words with a negative valence, like "pain," "die," and "lost," are all more likely to fall on the minor side of the spectrum.

But outside of major chords, the researchers found that high-valence words tend to show up in a surprising place: seventh chords. These chords contain four notes at a time and can be played in both the major and minor keys. The lyrics associated with these chords are positive all around, but their mood varies slightly depending on the type of seventh. Dominant seventh chords, for example, are often paired with terms of endearment, like "baby", or "sweet." With minor seventh chords, the words "life" and "god" are overrepresented.

Using their data, the researchers also looked at how lyric and chord valence differs between genres, regions, and eras. Sixties rock ranks highest in terms of positivity while punk and metal occupy the bottom slots. As for geography, Scandinavia (think Norwegian death metal) produces the dreariest music while songs from Asia (like K-Pop) are the happiest. So if you're looking for a song to boost your mood, we suggest digging up some Asian rock music from the 1960s, and make sure it's heavy on the seventh chords.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Photograph by John Robert Rowlands. © John Robert Rowlands
arrow
Pop Culture
Take a Sneak Peek at the Brooklyn Museum's Upcoming David Bowie Exhibition
Photograph by John Robert Rowlands. © John Robert Rowlands
Photograph by John Robert Rowlands. © John Robert Rowlands

David Bowie was born in London, and spent his final years in New York. Which makes it fitting that an acclaimed traveling retrospective of the rocker’s career will end at the Brooklyn Museum in 2018, five years after it first kicked off at London's Victoria and Albert Museum.

Following a whirlwind global tour, “David Bowie is” will debut at the Brooklyn Museum on March 2, 2018, and run until July 15, 2018. Curated by the V&A, it features around 400 objects from the singer’s archives, including stage costumes, handwritten lyrics, photographs, set designs, and Bowie’s very own instruments.

Together, these items trace Bowie’s evolution as a performer, and provide new insights into “the creative process of an artist whose sustained reinventions, innovative collaborations, and bold characterizations revolutionized the way we see music, inspiring people to shape their own identities while challenging social traditions,” according to the Brooklyn Museum.

“David Bowie is” has received nearly 2 million visitors since it left the V&A in 2013. Due to its overwhelming popularity, the show is a timed ticketed exhibition, with priority access reserved for Brooklyn Museum members and certain ticket holders.

Tickets are on sale now, but you can take a sneak peek at some artifacts from "David Bowie is" below.

Photograph from the David Bowie album cover shoot for "Aladdin Sane, 1973

Photograph from the album cover shoot for Aladdin Sane, 1973

Photograph by Brian Duffy. Photo Duffy © Duffy Archive & The David Bowie Archive

Striped body suit worn by David Bowie during his "Aladdin Sane" tour in 1973

Striped bodysuit for the Aladdin Sane tour, 1973. Design by Kansai Yamamoto 

Photograph by Masayoshi Sukita © Sukita/The David Bowie Archive

Cut up lyrics for "Blackout" from David Bowie's album Heroes, 1977

Cut up lyrics for "Blackout" from Heroes, 1977

Courtesy of The David Bowie Archive. Image © Victoria and Albert Museum

Original lyrics for “Ziggy Stardust,” by David Bowie, 1972
Original lyrics for “Ziggy Stardust,” by David Bowie, 1972
Courtesy of The David Bowie Archive. Image © Victoria and Albert Museum

A 1974 Terry O'Neill photograph of musician David Bowie with William Burroughs.
David Bowie with William Burroughs, February 1974. Photograph by Terry O'Neill with color by David Bowie.
Courtesy of The David Bowie Archive. Image © Victoria and Albert Museum

Original photography for David Bowie's 1997 "Earthling" album cover

Original photography for the Earthling album cover, 1997

Photograph by Frank W Ockenfels 3. © Frank W Ockenfels 3

Print after a self-portrait by David Bowie, 1978
Print after a self-portrait by David Bowie, 1978
Courtesy of The David Bowie Archive. Image © Victoria and Albert Museum

One of David Bowie's acoustic guitars from the “Space Oddity” era, 1969

Acoustic guitar from the Space Oddity era, 1969

Courtesy of The David Bowie Archive. Image © Victoria and Albert Museum

An asymmetric knitted bodysuit designed by Kansai Yamamoto for musician David Bowie's 1973 "Aladdin Sane" tour.

Asymmetric knitted bodysuit, 1973. Designed by Kansai Yamamoto for the Aladdin Sane tour.

Courtesy of The David Bowie Archive. Image © Victoria and Albert Museum

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios