Nov 232009

Pretty self explanatory. The band’s namesake does not have to be a real person.

For Bonus Points, please include a few words describing who the namesake is. I’ll start things off:

Lynyrd Skynyrd: The band members’ high school gym teacher.


  214 Responses to “Last Man Standing: Bands Named After Someone Who Was Never in the Band”

  1. Mr. Moderator

    Jethro Tull. He invented something related to harvesting cotton, or whatever it is they do with cotton, right? Played a mean flute to boot!

  2. buddy whelan

    Nixon’s Head

  3. Mr. Moderator

    cdm, are we allowed to name bands like Nixon’s Head, which don’t specify a particular Nixon? I mean, who’s to say whether that band was named after former Atlanta Braves’ third base coach Russ Nixon?

  4. Blondie? At least insofar as Debbie Harry wasn’t “Blondie”.

  5. Mr. Moderator

    My question stands for Blondie as well. I need an answer. I think I’ve got this Last Man Standing competition locked up!

  6. Derek and the Dominoes?

  7. Nice try Mod but I think we all know which Nixon you had in mind.

    I don’t think I would have accepted Blondie because even though “Blondie is a Band” I don’t believe that they named that band after Mrs. Bumsted.

    Oats is standing tall, until…

    Alice Cooper! Made up name or the name of a witch, depending on who’s story you believe.

  8. Mr. Moderator

    Pink Floyd, named after TWO blues guys, Pink Anderson and Floyd Council. I think that means it will take TWO moves to knock me off my perch – or another “twofer” contestant!

  9. Herman’s Hermits…I thought there was no story, but then I found:

    “Their name was derived from Sherman, a character on the Rocky and Bullwinkle show, and a rhyme about Herman the Hermit. “

    …and in checking I did come across a curious original:

  10. Mr. Moderator

    Uriah Heep, a character from David Copperfield…and a mean flute player!

  11. Ok… 80’s band “Danny Wilson,” then.

  12. Nice work on the double name Mod.

    And interesting find, eh.

    The Bo Radleys, named after a character in To Kill A Mocking Bird

  13. hrrundivbakshi

    Bob’s Revenge was actually named after Bob Hope, who was not in the band.

  14. John Wesley Harding, after the outlaw.

  15. Hank Fan

    Lynyrd Skynyrd (a.k.a. Leonard Skinner)

  16. Sorry Hankfan but I used that one in the original post. Ramone666 is standing tall.

  17. Mr. Moderator

    Dead Kennedys – none of them was ever in the band, as far as I can tell.

  18. sammymaudlin

    The Mr. T Experience

  19. Uncle Tupelo, not sure but maybe after Elvis?

  20. Emmet Swimming (named for Emmett Till)

  21. Hank Fan

    Sorry about naming Lynyrd Skynyrd, Mod. I need to read more carefully!

    How about Thelonious Monster, which I assume is named after the great Thelonious Monk.

  22. Jodie Fosters Army

  23. Belle & Sebastian, after two kids in a French children´s book.

  24. BigSteve

    Brian Jonestown Massacre

  25. sammymaudlin

    Camper Van Beethoven

  26. Bettie Serveert, after Dutch tennis player Bettie Stove.

  27. Engelbert Humperdinck

    (ok, I know it’s not gonna fly)

  28. Hank Fan

    Rilo Kiley (after an Australian-rules football player from the 19th century).

  29. alexmagic

    I’m pretty sure neither Jesus nor Mary were ever in The Jesus and Mary Chain, but I will defer if I’m wrong.

  30. mockcarr

    Hey, Mod, Russ Nixon’s daughter went to GWU when many of us were there, not that I would suspect Mr. V. Foghorn of anything in that regard.

    I say Cotton Mather and STAND when I do.

  31. Yes, Samantha Nixon went to G Dub. Kind of cute if I remember correctly.

    Jethro Tull – I forget what he did but wasn’t he an 19th century english dude?

  32. Sorry – didn’t see the first comment by Mr Mod.

    How about The Rembrandt’s?

  33. I used to work for a guy who was in a band called “Arbuckle,” signed to a label whose only hit was the song, “Popcorn.”

  34. BigSteve

    Franz Ferdinand

  35. The Valentinos, after Rudolph.

  36. underthefloat

    Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartment

  37. Mr. Moderator

    alexmagic, although you’re no longer standing tall, if Jesus is indeed within us all, then He was in Jesus & Mary Chain.

  38. Mr. Moderator

    The Lou Reeds, named after that guy whose new releases always manage to sound the way he intended his music to sound.

  39. alexmagic

    It’s a shame I didn’t save that answer for last, Mod. cdm’s official decision on whether or not Jesus would technically be in all bands might have gotten the Hall some press.

    Hootie & The Blowfish, as they made sure to point out as often as possible, were not members of the band, but the nicknames of two guys they went to school with who were too polite to tell their buddies how boring their music was.

  40. underthefloat

    That makes sense about Jesus. But could we get a ruling on if God was in “God’s favorite Band”?
    And if He was in the band. What happened when the group broke up…where did He go?

    Maybe U2?

  41. Lately David! There’s no “David” in the band. We had a David for a while, but we were Lately David before him and we’re still Lately David after him. As it is, we’re named after a character in a song. A song called “Lately David.” I used to announce as our theme song from our Saturday morning cartoon series.

    Okay. That’s just a cheap plug. Sorry…


  42. Mr. Moderator

    The Hollies, named after Buddy Holly.

  43. Was the namesake song from which you got the name “David” a song that you wrote? If so, no dice.

    Nice work as always, alexmagic. Didn’t John Lennon once claim that the Beatles were bigger that the Jesus and Mary Chain? Such arrogance…

  44. mockcarr

    It’s only by catching up this morning that I remember this, unfortunately – Tesla.

  45. The Coal Porters, after some songwriter who wasn’t in the band.

  46. Shakespeare’s Sister

  47. mockcarr

    The Smiths. Longest odds of not having someone with that name in the band.

  48. David is fictitious. It was a cheap plug, anyway…I never wanted it to count. I would have felt bad.

    The Dandy Warhols.


  49. Hmmm… I was thinking it should be named after someone specific, but perhaps that wasn’t evident.

    In any event, the Ramones,named after Paul McCartney’s alias for checking into hotels.

  50. Reagan Youth – no Ronnie there.

  51. Ciccone Youth, named after Madonna

  52. mockcarr

    I’ll steal what Hrrundi’s answer might be; Gogol Bordello. As a name, it’s still not as absurd as those short stories I read by the guy.

  53. Travis, named after Harry Dean Stanton’s character in Paris, Texas.

  54. Mr. Moderator

    A warning for anyone else who may want to make this play: I just read that Henry Cow was not, in fact, named after the composer Henry Cowell – so don’t think this will earn you a view from the top.

    Another ruling is needed before I can reclaim the top of the heap: You specify bands, cdm, but John Wesley Harding – and individual – was already accepted. Can we include solo artists with pseudonyms bases on the same convention? I thank you in advance for your consideration.

  55. Veruca Salt, named after a Roald Dahl character.

  56. Since Mr Mod explained how Pink Floyd came from Pink Anderson and Floyd Council, I’ll point out that former Groove Disques recording artist, Anderson Council are named for the same two artists who also were not in their band.

  57. BigSteve

    Thanks for mentioning Travis, because it reminded me of Gomez. I always get those two moderately interesting British bands confused:

    “The band played their first gig together in late 1996 in Leeds without a formal name. The band left a sign out which read ‘Gomez the gig’s in here” for a friend of theirs whose surname was Gomez to indicate that it was the site of their first gig. People saw the sign and assumed that the band’s name was Gomez – the name stuck.”

  58. Interesting question, Mod. That seems like it might open things up too much so I’m leaning towards not allowing them unless you can make a compelling case as to why they should be included. Are you thinking of Mr Zimmerman?

  59. BigSteve

    Was the Style Council (about which I agree with hvb) named after Floyd Council? No? Ok.

  60. Mr. Moderator

    I would recommend that we not allow solo artists, cdm. Along with Dylan I had Elvis Costello and Tom Verlaine ready to go. I don’t think solo artists’ pseudonyms are as relevant for this thread, but whoever suggested John Wesley Harding chose one of the coolest pseudonyms.

    Chickenfrank, I was worried about Andyr pulling out the Anderson Council. Well played. I hope you enjoyed your view from the top while it lasted. With that…

    Pere Ubu, named after Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi character.


  61. Josef K., after a Kafka character. No Josef in the line-up. LMS.

  62. Duran Duran

  63. No sign of Mr Mod’s ’70s sex kitten favorite Karen in:

    The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black

    Stop looking up my kilt down there.

  64. Clem Snide, named after a character who appears in several William Burroughs novels.

  65. No sign of an Elvis twin in Jesse Garon & The Desperadoes.

  66. underthefloat

    You AM I
    Neither You or I are in the band.

  67. Van Der Graaf Generator.

  68. underthefloat

    OK, seriously this time…
    I thought of another:
    The Nerk Twins – Jeff Murphy from the Shoes and Herb Eimerman. No Nerks in the band. They got the name from what Paul and John called themselves for one show. I think that’s the story.

  69. hrrundivbakshi

    The queen of England is not a member of the Queen Haters.

  70. Mr. Moderator

    In the early years of the band it could almost be argued that Alan Parsons was not a member of the Alan Parsons Project. He mostly produced and engineered records written and performed by some other guy and his band. Almost, I said. Hence, I am not LSM.

  71. Gang of Fou–after the four Chinese troublemakers, one of whom was Mao’s wife, I believe.

  72. sammymaudlin

    Combustible Edison

  73. Noah and the Whale – the “Noah” is the director Noah Baumbach,” who is not in the band.

  74. the melvins – named after one of buzz osborne’s bosses.

  75. Echo and the Bunnymen.

  76. BigSteve

    Dash Rip Rock.

  77. Does anybody remember… The Frampton Brothers?

  78. 2000 Man

    Mr. Mod, I believe you’re thinking of one of my hometown heroes, The New Lou Reeds. I believe they were the subject of my first thread here, and I still think they’re more entertaining than the Real Lou Reed, at least in this century. Consider your nez pinced.

    I’ll pick Steely Dan. I’m pretty sure there’s no actual metal dildo in the band.

  79. Mr. Moderator

    Yes, 2K, I earned that Pince Nez. Here’s one:

    Truman’s Water.


  80. BigSteve

    Frankie Goes to Hollywood

  81. Talulah Gosh, after actress Talulah Bankhead.

  82. In addition to Shakespeare’s Sister, there was also Trip Shakespeare (a band I like).

  83. The Traveling Wilburys.

  84. Paul Revere and the Raiders

  85. underthefloat

    Chesterfield Kings–not Kings

  86. Philly Faves: Van Gogh’s Ear

  87. Tonto’s Expanding Head Band

  88. Billy Pilgrim, ’90s duo named after the Vonnegut character from Slaughterhouse Five, obviously.

  89. this thread is getting dangerously close to suggesting “three dog night.”

    how ’bout the partridge family?

  90. Grant Lee Buffalo.

  91. hrrundivbakshi

    Jesus and Mary Chain

  92. Mr. Moderator

    Jesus was in Jesus and Mary Chain, Hrrundi. I think we already ruled on that.

  93. The Diane Linkletter Experience, a Philly-area band from the ’90s, featuring a few future Bigger Lovers.

  94. How about Teenage Jesus, of & the Jerks fame, Mr Mod?

  95. underthefloat

    The Beau Brummels-named after clothing design “dandy” from 19th century. OK, I admit their name came to mind but I had to check on where their name came from.

  96. Cheetah Chrome Motherfuckers-an italian hardcore band of which Cheetah Chrome (Dead Boys, Rocket From The Tombs) is not a member.

    beat me with the belt.

  97. The Grant Lee in Grant Lee Buffalo is Grant Lee Phillips, who is in the band.

    However, let me temporarily stand last with this shitty suggestion:


  98. BigSteve

    Someone already said Hootie. In any case — Cocteau Twins.

  99. Oops, missed the 1st Hootie.

    James Gang.

  100. mikeydread

    Frank Chickens.

    Well, no, you are two Japanese artists, Kazuko and Kazumi. You were hilarious when I saw you in Edinburgh dressed in tartan kimonos. Such were the times.

  101. mikeydread

    Dexy’s Midnight Runners.

    Prolly sounded better than Kevin Rowland’s MR’s. And to call themselves Dexedrine’s MR’s would have given the game away.

  102. Bram Tchaikovsky

  103. Philly group – Ty Cobb

    I am LMS!

  104. Toto

  105. hrrundivbakshi

    Now THAT’s funny, Cher!

  106. mungo jerry – apparently a character from a ts eliot poem

  107. The Bobs

  108. The Loud Family (family name in 1970s PBS “reality” show An American Family; w/ Lance Loud, later of the Mumps)

  109. Balaam and the Angel

  110. Mr. Moderator

    The Verlaines.


  111. Babe Ruth

  112. Crazy Horse

  113. alexmagic

    As a clarification on an early entry: the guy from Paul Revere & The Raiders actually was named Paul Revere, wasn’t he?

    The Trashcan Sinatras – neither Frank Sinatra nor Top Cat were in the band.

  114. Mr. Moderator

    Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show – the guy with the eye patch was NOT Dr. Hook, or even Captain Hook.

  115. mockcarr

    Jefferson Airplane. I don’t buy this crap about split matches being the origin, more likely Blind Lemon.

  116. Alex – ah, you’re right! I thought Mark Lindsay was “Paul Revere.” Crazy Horse is a good one.

    Dali’s Car

  117. underthefloat

    Paul Revere was the name of the keyboard player and founder of the group. It was his birth name and thus the gimick. It was not Mark Lindsey. I think Paul Revere and the Raiders still play without Mark Lindsey, as they have for years. Which strike me as extra lame.

    I’ve got one:

    The Real Tuesday Welds


  118. SF Bay Area and Lookout! Records band The Winona Riders was named for the actress.

  119. shonuffnyesido

    The Elvis Brothers

  120. The pre-Fuzztones band called Tina Peel

  121. Les Rita Mitsouko

  122. The Delgados were named after Tour de France winner Pedro Delgado.

  123. The Johnsons

  124. Going to the Philly faves well one more time:

    May Pang

  125. Mr. Moderator

    XTC/Jellyfish-inspired Einstein’s Sister.

  126. The Fabulous Fondas

  127. Mr. Moderator

    Way to further represent the ’80s Philly scene, petesecrutz. I’ll have to stand a bit taller, however, with Pavlov’s Dog.

  128. Named for Buddy Holly were The Hollies

  129. The Mod already beat you to it cher.

    Some of these names are starting to sound a bit too, oh shall we say, “local”? I played in a band called Don King’s Hair in San Francisco, but I’m not throwing that into the ring because we didn’t record or have anything more than a few club gigs. So going forward, if the band didn’t record, please look deep within your heart and ask yourself “Is this really the caliber band that I should bring up during a heated competition in these esteemed halls?”

    Of course, if you guys want to go No Holds Barred, then I say I am last man standing with Don King’s Hair.

  130. Faust

  131. Oops again, then. Named for a couple of characters from Tin Tin comics: The Thompson Twins

  132. I hear ya on the localism, but a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do to be the Last Man Standing!

    Dickey Doo and the Dont’s – Named for secret behind-the-scenes cheerleader Dick Clark.

  133. Alright then, John Train (an alternate identity that Phil Ochs adopted, and who then claimed to have killed Phil)

  134. A Philly nod to the RTH crew, though possibly subject to a producer disqualification: The Ritchie Family.

  135. The Archies

  136. Gonna have to go to the judges for this…

    T. Rex

  137. At the risk of being accused of protecting my position as Last Man Standing, I am going to have to rule against entries from the animal/dinosaur kingdom. To allow those types of entries would just open the flood gates for the Fleet Foxes, Grizzly Bear, the Eagles, etc.

  138. I agree, that’s a bad road.

    I know Combustible Edison has been taken, but I don’t think there’s a “Head To Toe” rule in effect here. Again, subject to a ruling:

    Edison Lighthouse

  139. The belt is yours, eh.

  140. I thought the Archies, while a cartoon band, were named for their animated front man.

  141. mockcarr

    The Carrie Nations from Beneath the Valley of the Dolls.

  142. Crabby Appleton – The group is named after the character of the same name from the Tom Terrific cartoon.

  143. Mr. Moderator

    We played with (and stayed with, at their house) this band in Buffalo circa 1988: The Jack Lords.

  144. Shimmy Disc band, “The Mabuses” – and I wonder if anybody else knows that album.

  145. Courtney Love
    K records had put out an EP and a couple singles by the duo in 1989 and 1990.

  146. The Jean-Paul Sartre Experience

  147. Van der Graaf Generator
    named after the inventor of an electrostatic generator which uses a moving belt to accumulate very high electrostatically stable voltages on a hollow metal globe on the top of the stand.

  148. Band called “A Wilhelm Scream,” for the character in the film “Distant Drum” who is eaten by an alligator. The scream is now a film joke, having been used in over 100 movies.

  149. BigSteve

    The Carrie Nations are a great suggestion, but I must pince nez: it’s Beyond the Valley of the Dolls not Beneath. I saw it for the first time a couple of weeks ago, and I highly recommend it. The Strawberry Alarm Clock cameo is groovy.

  150. Mr. Moderator

    Someone may have mentioned Van der Graaf Generator earlier, petesecrutz. This LMS is getting hard to keep track of!

    I always loved the band name Jean-Paul Satre Experience.

    Let me climb a top the mass of humanity with Spock’s Beard, a band that’s always terrified me based on name alone.

  151. Mr. Moderator

    Wait a second, if we’ve ruled out bands named after beasts, shouldn’t we also rule out bands named after aliens? If they count, isn’t Klaatu named after an alien? I will only accept aliens if this leaves me Last Man Standing.

  152. Sorry, Mod-man: Pablo Cruise!

  153. No aliens.

    Gene and Paul’s pre-KISS band Wicked Lester.

    The belt, please.

  154. mockcarr

    BigSteve, I consider myself nez pierced.

    Jane’s Addiction.

  155. alexmagic

    I was waiting to use The Mekons, myself. I find this sudden “no aliens” rule to be offputting and I am filing a prostest for comparing sentient beings from other planets capable of interstellar travel with animals.

    But I’ll still take the belt with the Bee Gees, who were not named after the Brothers Gibb, but after the DJ and promoter who helped launch them, both of whom shared the initials B.G.

  156. John Cougar Concentration Camp

  157. hrrundivbakshi

    Mockcarr and I were in a band called Where’s Jay, named after a handyman who worked in an apartment I lived in.

  158. hrrundivbakshi

    But more seriously:

    SpinArt recording artists and 90s jangle-poppers Suddenly, Tammy.

    I am the Last Man Standing!

  159. alexmagic, I don’t want to risk having aliens come in and take the belt from honest hard working non-aliens.

  160. How about “Kurt Vile” – or is that a pseudonym?

  161. Mr. Moderator

    Doesn’t Vile claim that to be his real name? Beside, he’s a solo artist, and we’ve already ruled them out of this LMS.

    I do, however, have what’s most likely THE FINAL WORD ON THIS SUBJECT: The O’Jays, named in tribute to radio disc jockey Eddie O’Jay.

    Take that, eh! I’m once more LAST MAN STANDING!

  162. Atilla – Billy Joel’s first band.

    I AM LMS!!!!

  163. mockcarr

    Flogging Molly. I believe Ms. Malone was flogging cockles and mussels. Which has to be some archaic euphemism.

    In what order do I stand?

    Why, LAST, of course!

  164. Shellayan Orphan, named for the poet.


  165. Not so fast buddy boy!

    Aerosmith – named after Sinclair Lewis’ Martin Arrowsmith.


  166. To your post I say BOO.

    Boo Radleys, that is.:P

  167. The Sid Presley Experience

  168. Judas Priest

  169. alexmagic

    I don’t think Judas Priest was ever an actual person/character, just a “Jesus Christ!” euphemism.

    But it doesn’t matter either way, as I intend to reclaim the title of Last Man Standing through applied logic:

    The band “Them” must have been named after people not in the band, otherwise, the name of the band would have been “Us”.

  170. BigSteve

    Guys, Cntrl-F is your friend.

    And btw Molly Hatchet:

    “The band, founded by Dave Hlubek and Steve Holland, took its name from a prostitute who allegedly mutilated and decapitated her clients.”

  171. Judas is a real “character.” It counts.

    Zuzu’s Petals

  172. Mr. Moderator

    BigSteve, I must Pince Nez you: unless your keyboard is some special make, you should have written, “Guys, Ctrl-F is your friend.” The Control key is abbreviated “Ctrl,” not “Cntrl.” [Mr. Mod adjusts his specs.]

    Alexmagic, I’m tempted to move that you be declared LMS for the logic and humor behind your suggestion of Them, but instead I will take my rightful place at the top of the heap with the following:

    Mingus Dynasty, composed of former members of Charles Mingus’ band but never having included the deceased Mingus himself.

  173. Don Caballero, from the SCTV character.

    I am LMS for at least three minutes!

  174. Dow Jones and The Industrials.

    Wikipedia confirms that both Dow and Jones were people:
    “The Dow is one of several stock market indices, created by Wall Street Journal editor and Dow Jones & Company co-founder Charles Dow. The average is named after Dow and one of his business associates, a statistician, Edward Jones.

  175. NYC one-album-only (major label) mid-90’s band, Lincoln, two members of this band are now in TMBG. Named for the guy on the penny.

  176. The Bastard Sons fo Johnny Cash


  177. Boss Hogg

  178. Ellen James Society, who take their name from a John Irving book.

  179. Death of Samantha

  180. It’s getting brutal in here!


  181. Gnarles Barkley!

  182. BigSteve

    Neither member of the Neptunes is the Roman god of the sea.

  183. KingEd

    Thee Mighty Ceasars

    Lick my boots!

  184. BigSteve

    Eddie & the Hot Rods

  185. It pains me to use a band that I despise to seize the belt but Luscious Jackson, named after former Philadelphia 76er Lucius Jackson.

  186. BigSteve

    Creedence Clearwater Revival

  187. Kings of Leon, which has three brothers whose father called himself Leon.

  188. Mr. Moderator

    CCR…huh? I didn’t know they had a biographical element to their name.

    That said, the band’s original name, The Golliwoggs, was based on a children’s book character:

    LMS! Thanks for the lift, BigSteve.

  189. mockcarr


    Not neato.

  190. Captain Beyond

  191. Trip Shakespeare

  192. Dang! Already taken.

  193. Grace Pool is a character in Jane Eyre – and a band.

  194. Rapeman is a character from a Japanese comic book (or something like that)

  195. My last grasp for the belt is…..
    Eve’s Plumb

  196. Sigur Rós are named for the singer’s younger sister, whose first name is one word, Sigurrós.

    It is not easy to be the last man standing. Let me enjoy it for five minutes, will ya?

  197. There is still a bit of life left in me. I respond with…
    H.P. Lovecraft (named for the famous horror writer)

    My pants now are held up.

  198. stamey/easter progeny bullwinkel gandhi. i’d almost call localism on myself, but i don’t live in either the south or the east.

    almost a twofer if it wasn’t for that darn trademark.

  199. jeangray

    Did anyone claim the Brian Jonestown Massacre yet???

  200. Pussy Galore.

    I am the last man standing, yes indeed!

  201. alexmagic

    Ringo Deathstarr

  202. Louis XIV

  203. alexmagic

    The Sun-Rays were named after Murray Wilson who, despite being a genius too, was not actually in the band.

  204. If local is fair game, then I formed a band with my friend and we called ourselves Robert Brenton. We named it after character in David Lynch’s Wild At Heart.


  205. If local and non-existent is fair game, I always wanted to form a band to play hard-rock versions of Burt Bachrach tunes and call it Dionysus Warwick.

  206. NY Power Pop band, The Churchills.

  207. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I, for one, am thankful that Cher managed to drive a stake through the heart of this thread with his last answer. Safe travels.

  208. Ok, but who is going to be in my band?

  209. Mr. Moderator

    Check it out: Townsman gus whitney comes outta nowhere to stake his claim atop the hill. Well played, and welcome aboard!

  210. saturnismine

    Nobody has said “Marilyn Manson.” Of course, Charlie was in his own band, but Marilyn wasn’t, right?

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