For the better part of two decades, this Canadian indie rock band has thrived. The bandleaders are husband and wife Win Butler and Regine Chassagne. Four other members round out the group. Arcade Fire has produced five well-regarded albums and had plenty of success since they began in 2004.
Butler was tasked with coming up with a good name for the band and went back to the kid he came across while growing up. According to an interview, the kid had told Win about an arcade going up in flames – Win still doesn’t think the story is true, but at least it made for a good band name.
Be honest: you thought that Lynyrd Skynyrd was a one-man band with a goofy name. Not so – it's actually composed of seven members, which allows them to bury the listener in layered guitar sounds that have become their trademark.
None of the members have names that include either Lynyrd or Skynyrd. In fact, the name of the band came from an antagonist in their history. Members Gary Rossington and Johnny Van Zant went to high school together, and they had a gym teacher who sent both of them to the principal's office for the crime of having long hair. That teacher's name? Leonard Skinner. The man is now kind of immortalized thanks to this legendary band.
This group of storied musicians out of Seattle originally included Jack Irons, the founding drummer for Red Hot Chili Peppers. But members Eddie Vedder, Mike McCready, Stone Gossard, Jeff Ament, and Matt Cameron are all well-known in their own right.
This group originally called themselves Mookie Blaylock, after an NBA All-Star. They switched to Pearl Jam after attending a Neil Young and Crazy Horse concert. Jeff Ament has said that while the word Pearl was picked at more-or-less random, the Jam piece came from the same reason Rolling Stone chose their name: “Every song was like a 15- or 20-minute jam, so that's how 'jam' got added on to the name.”
There are two ways to think about The Beatles: the greatest band of all time, or the most overrated. However you see them and their individual members, there's no way to deny they made music magic every time they played together. Nothing says “powerhouse” like changing the musical landscape forevermore. But where did their world-famous name come from?
They first called themselves the Blackjacks, and then switched to the Quarrymen. In the end, they decided to follow in the footsteps of a band they all liked — The Crickets — and chose their own bug-themed name. The Beatles were here, baby, and they've never really gone away.
The answer to where early rockers Steely Dan got their name is sure to come as a surprise. The band began in 1972 with Donald Fagen and Walter Becker. Both of these founding members were avid readers and fans – Fagen even studied English Literature in college – and they found the kind of name they wanted in a novel by author William S. Burroughs, the 1959 “Naked Lunch.”
What does “Steely Dan” refer to? None other than a steam-powered bedroom toy called “Steely Dan III from Yokohama.” Yes, that's right, it was an adults-only toy the whole time. The entire band thought it was the perfect name.