This is the second part of band name stories. It features the band name origins of rock bands AC/DC, W.A.S.P., R.E.M., Third Eye Blind, Def Leppard, Crowded House, Deep Purple, Whitesnake, Deep Purple, Twisted Sister and grunge band Nirvana.
Stories Behind Band Names Part 2 feat. AC/DC, W.A.S.P., R.E.M, Deep Purple & More
If you are a rock band — new generation/ “Christian” rockers excluded – you celebrate sex, drugs, rock n’ roll, partying, booze and other forms of mischief. Australian hard-rock band AC/DC is no different so I am guessing people who read KISS as Knight’s In Satan’s Service are the ones who read AC/DC as Anti-Christ/Devil’s Children. Well, here the truth is a lot less stranger than fiction.
AC/DC comes from a label one of the band members saw on a sewing machine. When he looked it up, it turned out to have meant Alternating Current / Direct Current.
The meaning fits the band’s electric guitar riffs, songs (Thunderstruck comes to mind) and albums (T.N.T, High Voltage, Powerage, Flick of the Switch) perfectly. Don’t you think?
American rock/heavy metal band W.A.S.P. has been active since 1982 and has a name that would give conservatives a field day. W.A.S.P. reads We Are Sex Perverts (or altnernatively We Are Sexual Prophets). The band’s albums are relevantly titled as well. Their 1997 album is called “Kill Fuck Die”.
There is no secret meaning for the famous grunge band’s name. It is a Buddhism-related word meaning “freedom from the endless cycle of personal reincarnations, with their consequent suffering, as a result of the extinction of individual passion, hatred, and delusion”
R.E.M. reads Rapid Eye Movement — it is a state of sleep. Unsurprisingly, the band has several sleep-related songs such as Get Up (from the album Green), I don’t dream, I sleep (from Monster) Daysleeper (Up), and The Wake-Up Bomb (New Adventures in Hi-Fi).
Third Eye Blind
Although they aren’t as popular as they were in the mid-90s, American alternative rock band Third Eye Blind is still active. According to the band members, the third eye represents the mind’s eye.
Originally called Deaf Leopard, singer/songwriter Joe Elliot thought it would sound cooler and a lot less punk-like if they called the band Def Leppard instead. Deaf Leopard was inspired by a drawing (of a leopard with no ears) made by Joe Elliot.
Crowded House is an Australian alternative pop/rock band with a leading singer (Neil Finn) from New Zealand was actually inspired by the crowded house band members were living in together.
Rumor has it that the name Deep Purple was inspired by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore’s grandmother’s favorite Bing Crosby song Deep Purple, a number from 1939.
Whitesnake singer David Coverdale sang for Deep Purple from 1973 to 1976. David owned a white snake at the time which inspired his band’s name. David still performs Soldier of Fortune at Whitesnake concerts, a hit song from Deep Purple’s Stormbringer album (1974).
Twisted Sister members are heterosexual males but they dress up like drag queens, with even more make-up. Some people believe that the name came from a man watching one of their gigs and said that they looked like “a bunch of Twisted Sisters”.