Mar 132012

I’m shocked that we’ve never done a Last Man Standing on the following subject: bands named after novels, including characters in novels. Bands named after works of non-fiction do not qualify. Bands named after plays, a short story, and poetry collections do not qualify. Bands named after works of literary criticism do not qualify. The band name must come from a novel, excluding the name of the author of the novel.

Beside Soft Machine, I’m sure you can think of a few bands who do qualify. Game on!


  86 Responses to “Last Man Standing: Novel Band Names”

  1. cliff sovinsanity

    Here we go…

    The Grapes of Wrath

  2. ladymisskirroyale

    Ok, next up: The Go-Betweens named after the (singular) novel by L.P. Hartley.

  3. ladymisskirroyale

    Also, The Boo Radleys (if you don’t know this character, you failed English Lit).

  4. cherguevara

    The Shipping News

  5. ladymisskirroyale

    The Velvet Underground

  6. I’ll play Steely Dan, named after a dildo in Naked Lunch, just so some smug Steely Dan (the band) fan can’t do so first:)

  7. ladymisskirroyale

    Not much character development in a dildo…although it is 3 dimensional.


  8. cliff sovinsanity

    Veruca Salt from that novel about a kid and some kind of chocolate factory

  9. Hank Fan

    Pylon (named after a novel by William Faulkner)

  10. MOBY GRAPE!!!

    Oh, wait…Yeah, I didn’t do very well in Lit.


  11. NOT ELIGIBLE (unless proven otherwise): The Waves (later Katrina and…). Although it’s one of my favorite novels, I suspect the book/band names are coincidental.

  12. ELIGIBLE: The Sneetches.

    DUH! How fast I violated my own rule. The Sneetches is a collection of short stories. Players beware!

  13. As I Lay Dying – from the William Faulkner novel of the same name.

  14. BigSteve

    Tom Jones.

  15. Uriah Heep.


  16. Boo Radleys – from a character in To Kill a Mockingbird.

  17. ladymisskirroyale

    Steppenwolf. Achtung, baby.

  18. Sweet Thursday – also the name of a 1954 John Steinbeck novel.

  19. ladymisskirroyale

    I think it’s not a coincidence. According to Wikipedia, Katrina joined an earlier band, The Waves. One of their lot eventually left to join…The Soft Boys. Literary folk!

  20. ladymisskirroyale

    Ruling please: Love and Rockets, named after the (graphic) novels/comics of the same name by Jaime Hernandez.

  21. Good question. Because that term “graphic novel” annoys me, let’s say no. It’s a comic book for adults.

    It’s OK, adults, that you still enjoy reading a comic book.

  22. cherguevara

    The Bible, pending ruling whether it is fiction or non-fiction. 🙂

  23. tonyola

    “Graphic novel” for a comic is the same sort of euphemism as “action figure” for G.I. Joe. Sorry, but G.I. Joe is a doll.

  24. tonyola

    1960s psychedelic band Gandalf – no point for guessing where the name comes from.

  25. Aerosmith is an intentional misspelling of the Sinclair Lewis novel “Arrowsmith”.

  26. diskojoe

    The late 80s NYC band A Confederacy of Dunces, which I got into because 1. They was named after my favorite novel & 2. they were Kinks influenced.

  27. cherguevara

    The Doors are named from a book by Aldous Huxley

  28. mockcarr


    Well, maybe I’m in the minority of classifying it as fiction.

  29. mockcarr

    Eh, I guess that’s a short story if you consider the Old Testament the collection

  30. mockcarr

    Aerosmith gets bad marks for spelling Sinclair Lewis’ book.

  31. cherguevara

    Heaven 17 got their name from A Clockwork Orange

  32. ladymisskirroyale

    The Bad Seed(s).

  33. 2000 Man

    None of mine are cutouts, and I’ve got them all! Some I bought the day they came out. You sure picked a strange song, though.

  34. 2000 Man

    Blood Meridian. They’re an offshoot of Black Mountain. They’re named after a novel by Cormac McCarthy.

  35. mockcarr

    Big Brother and the Holding Company

  36. shawnkilroy

    from the movie, not the novel.

  37. shawnkilroy

    The Ellen James Society is a band named after a cult in the book The World According to Garp

  38. BigSteve

    Pince nez alert! Although Huxley was a novelist, The Doors of Perception was not a novel but a book about his experiences taking mescaline. The title comes from a passage in William Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell: “If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things through narrow chinks of his cavern.”

  39. Was that a novel or an element of one? I did not know that.

  40. H. Munster

    The Amboy Dukes

  41. mockcarr

    Orwell’s 1984, Big Brother Is Watching You.

  42. mockcarr

    A John Dos Passos novel – Manhattan Transfer

  43. cherguevara

    Marillion, modified the JR Tolkien novel title “Silmarillion” to avoid lawsuits.

  44. BigSteve

    The Memphis indie band The Grifters were named after a Jim Thompson novel (that became a very good Stephen Frears film).

  45. machinery

    DC mod band — A Modest Proposal.

    always love that name.

    although it may be considered “a satirical essay.”

  46. George Dorn Screams – George Dorn was a principal character in Robert Anton Wilson’s The Illuminatus! Trilogy.

  47. The Egyptian Book of the Dead is fiction, right? “In the land of the dark, the ship of the sun is driven by the Grateful Dead.”

  48. machinery

    Post of the month contender.

  49. ladymisskirroyale

    Titus Andronicus!

  50. ladymisskirroyale

    Nice one!
    Does the band have a singer? Or do they just mouth the words?

  51. cherguevara

    The Fall, from Camus

  52. H. Munster

    The Shangri-Las

    Named for the enchanted land in James Hilton’s novel “Lost Horizon”

  53. cherguevara

    Fandom band, “harry and the potters.”

  54. From the Children’s Book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

    This comment was deleted by Steve Lukather.

  55. shawnkilroy

    ha! gross.

  56. Cinderella (the hair metal band)

  57. So funny that I can’t sanction the Nez Perce for this one. Toto is Latin for “all and all”. I only know that because there was a restaurant by that name here.

  58. ladymisskirroyale

    You mean a member of the Pince Nez Indian tribe?

  59. ladymisskirroyale

    Motorcycle Boy – named for an S. E. Hinton character. Does that mean there’s a band called Pony Boy?

  60. cherguevara

    Charlotte Sometimes

  61. H. Munster

    The Searchers
    Named for the John Ford/John Wayne movie adapted from the novel of the same name by Alan LeMay

  62. Something tells me Holly Golightly isn’t her birth name.

  63. cherguevara

    Belle & Sebastian

  64. “I will fight no more forever.”
    – Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce.

  65. Other way round: Kimberley Rew formed the Waves after the Soft Boys broke up.

  66. Tangential: indie label Harriet Records (early Magnetic Fields, etc.) was named after Harriet the Spy.

  67. The Reivers.


  68. cherguevara

    Trout Fishing In America.


  69. cliff sovinsanity

    Clem Snide – character in Burrough’s novels.

  70. ladymisskirroyale

    I thought that was a comic and graphic novels were considered verboten.

  71. ladymisskirroyale

    Spy in the House of Love – Anais Nin!

  72. I didn’t realize their name was from one of those things. Yes, they will have to be entered in a future LMS for bands named after graphic novels.

  73. cherguevara

    Alsan get their name from Chronicles of Narnia.

  74. ladymisskirroyale

    (New) Riders of the Purple Sage.

  75. H. Munster

    Vanity Fare
    They had a hit with “Hitching A Ride” in 1970 or 71.
    Just for the record, “Hitching A Ride” is a cowbell song, but it’s on the list at

  76. I was holdin’ that one in reserve!

  77. Wind in the Willows

  78. H. Munster

    Richard and the Young Lions.
    1948 novel by Irwin Shaw

Lost Password?

twitter facebook youtube