Band Names

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This is Celia Hirschman with On the Beat for KCRW.

When Shakespeare said, A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, I don't think he was thinking about rock and roll.

Band names have often followed a trend of style, subject and hipness, but it's rather surprising to recognize their commonality.

For instance, take animal names. In the Bear family, there are bands named:

Grizzly Bear Minus The Bear
Polar Bear
Fozzie The Bear
And Tiger Bear Wolf

Bears are not the only animals represented in rock & roll. There are a few birds as well:

The Doves
The Black Crows
The Eagles
Flock of Seagulls
Counting Crows
And Swans

The feline family is well represented as well with bands like

Loose Fur
The Multiple Cat
My Cat Is An Alien
The Cat Empire
and The Pussycat Dolls

Beyond the animal family, there are a number of other categories that bands gravitate towards. Colors are big favorites, and leading that pack, of course is the color black, with:

The Black Keys
The Black Spoons
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Black Flag
The Black Heart Procession
Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Black Eyed Peas
and my personal favorite, Godspeed You Black Emperor

Then of course, there's:

The Red Hot Chili Peppers
Green Day
The Blue Nile
and the White Stripes

It's particularly interesting to note the macabre side of rock and roll. There's:

The Dead Kennedys
Dead or Alive
The Dead Boys
The Grateful Dead
and the often quoted band, And You Will Know Us By The Trail of The Dead

Then there's The Gun Club
Guns 'N Roses
Ninja Gun
and The Killers

Cities are popular too. From Miami Sound Machine to LA Guns. From Of Montreal to The Watery Graves of Portland. Of course, there's Boston, Chicago, Kansas and What Made Milwaukee Famous. Interestingly, there are no bands named Santa Monica.

There are those bands that have taken on other people's names, such as:

Young Einstein
Hitler SS
The Jesus and Mary Chain
MC 900 Foot Jesus
Teenage Jesus and the Jerks
Elvis Hitler
and Marilyn Manson

And what Rock & Roll Royalty isn't complete with out a name befitting of its greatness?

Ask Prince
King Missile
Princess Superstar
and Princess One Point Five

Some bands prefer to keep count of things:

From Zero 7
and Remy Zero
to Two Gallants
and Two Minute Miracles
Then there is Fun Boy Three,
and 3 Doors Down
Radio 4
and Four Freshman
plus Ben Folds Five
The Five Blind Boys of Alabama

And finally, my number one favorite band name of all time

I Love You but I've Chosen Darkness

This is Celia Hirschman with On the Beat for KCRW.