A-Z of Names in Rock
provides the answers to one of the great questions in
contemporary music: “Why are they called that?”
yet so often it goes unanswered.
read a music magazine, listen to the radio, watch MTV or surf
the Internet and it won’t be too long before you end up
baffled at the variety of ridiculous names which bands and stars
insist on calling themselves.
were The Beatles called that?
did Nirvana, Oasis, Blur, Pulp and Suede arrive at their
should a band whom everyone knew decide to stick to the name
did she become Madonna?
How did he become Moby?
of the teen idols: Take That, Wham!, Duran Duran, Boyzone?
did Paul Hewson become Bono?
And his group become U2?
Did they ever work as Pet Shop Boys?
or what really inspired Bob Zimmerman to become Bob Dylan?
Reginald Dwight to
(Sir) Elton John?
Dave Jones to David Bowie?
Harry Webb to (Sir) Cliff Richard?
Who, or what, are
Why should anyone wish to
embarrass their fans who had to ask for records in shops
byThrobbing Gristle or The The?
Or embarrass themselves by naming The Morons?
is a Sex Pistol?
A Led Zeppelin?
What is a Stone Rose?
An Aztec Camera?
A Rolling Stone?
A Manic Street Preacher?
A Prefab Sprout?
A Strawberry Alarm Clock?
Or a Quiet Riot?
the book to see that the replies given are sometimes
controversial, often hilarious, frequently revealing and usually
enthralling to these musicians’ followers.
should solve many arguments and satisfy the curiosity of those
who are baffled at the variety of occasionally ridiculous
choices that musicians select to call themselves.
should allow you to effortlessly explain the origin of band/star
aliases - to amaze your friends and win new ones at parties ...
and has enough “did you know/ not a lot of people know that”
bizarre facts to bore the pants off anyone who isn’t
interested in music.
lot of pub quizzes include name questions so it could be useful
for entrants to such contests as well as addicts of Trivial
goldmine of useless information will prove an education on
subjects as varied as prehistoric dinosaurs (T. Rex), Gaelic
swear- words (Pogue Mahone) medieval torture machines (Iron
Maiden), U.S.A. television comedy shows of the 1960s (The Lucy
Show) novels (Moby, Grateful Dead), movies (Travis, Sleeper),
birdwatching (The Orioles, The Nightingales) science fiction
(The Human League) and bizarre sexual practices with rodents
(allegedly, The Pet Shop Boys).
is a much-needed book: for the millions who have followed David
Bowie/ the Sex Pistols/ the Velvet Underground / Frankie Goes To
Hollywood/ etcetera without knowing the full story behind the
name… here is an entertaining A-Z of answers.
works are badly-dated or confined to listing real names of
individual stars, without answering the more interesting
question of where the new stage name comes from. Many newspaper
and magazine articles on new bands indulge in lots of irrelevant
material such as identifying their favourite foods, drink or
hairdresser without answering the question of why they chose
their crazy nom de noise.
author travelled thousands of miles, scanned countless yellowing
newspaper clipping and contacted many record companies and
agents in a bid to reveal some answers in the 2,440 entries.
result deals with mainstream rock and pop for the most part.
Many artists from other genres, such as soul, reggae, country,
blues, folk, jazz, heavy metal, grunge, rap and so on are also
included where they are particularly well-known or where there
is a good story behind their name.