Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Origins of Names of Groups and Performers, A-B


Abba is "father" in Hebrew but the band claims that to be unintentional - rather it is an acronym for the first names of the band members: Agnetha, Björn, Benny and Anni-Frid (Frida).
1)  It is said that one of the band members saw it on an appliance and thought it had something to do with power. (It does mean "alternating current / direct current".)  The band used it not realizing it was also slang for bisexual- the band claims NOT to be bisexual.   
2)  In the vogue of other anti-everything bands it stands for Against Christ/Devil's Children.
Joey Kramer came up with the name Aero. One day he and a friend were just throwing out words to go at the end of Aero and his friend said Smith. So that stuck
Air Supply
5 years prior to the band's signing, Graham Russell saw the name in a dream.
Alice Cooper
Alice Cooper was a band before one of its members started a solo career under the same name. Allegedly, Alice Cooper was the name of a spirit members of the band came in contact with through a ouija.

B 52’s
The beehive hairstyle popular in the 1950's (worn by band members) was called a B-52 after a type of large US Air Force bomber plane with that designation.
Bachman-Turner Overdrive
A combination of band members last names and the magazine Overdrive. The band's name had previously been "Bachman-Turner".[
Backstreet Boys
The Backstreet Market was a store in Florida where the guys used to hang out.
The Band
According to guitarist Robbie Robertson, Bob Dylan's backup band resisted all conformity, even in naming their ensemble. After landing their own recording contract, record company executives pressed them for a group name, but had to settle for simply "The Band". 
Beach Boys
Before being known as the Beach Boys, they were known as Carl and the Passions, Kenny and the Cadets, and The Pendletones (which was a type of striped shirt  that they wore). When their first single, Surfin', was released the name 'Beach Boys' was put on the disc by thye record company as being more topical and more in keeping with the nature of the song.
1) Original member Stuart Sutcliffe came up with The beetles , as a play on Buddy Holly's group The Crickets who they loved. They were using the name The Quarry Men and sometimes The Silver Beetles - later it became The Beatles emphasizing the Beat aspect of music (and poetry?).
 2) Lennon lists the influence of the film "The Wild One", which featured a motorcycle gang called the Beetles (this is, however, unconfirmed). John Lennon is generally credited with combining Beetles and Beat to come up with The Beatles spelling. Lennon was also fond of saying he had a vision as a child of a flaming pie in the sky that said "You are Beatles with an "A"
Bee Gees
60's soft-rockers now best known for disco. "Saturday Night Fever" - some say the BG comes from "Brothers Gibb" since they were brothers named Gibb... however an article on the group suggests that they used the names of 2 friends that helped them get started: Bill Goode and a DJ named Bill Gates... The former seems more likely.
Big Bopper
Jiles Perry Richardson a disc jockey, called himself 'The Big Bopper' because of his 240 pound frame and a 'bopper' was someone who was really into rock and roll back in the 1950s.
Black, Cilla
A reporter for the local paper, while writing a favourable review accidentally called her Cilla Black instead of Cilla White.
Black Crowes
It was originally named Mr. Crowe's Garden, after a favourite children's book. They sang under that name until they signed with Def American Records in 1989. They renamed themselves at the suggestion of a producer.
Black Keys
According to an interview onn NPR’s Fresh Air, the name came from a schizophrenic artist named Alfred McMoore that the band members knew; he would leave incoherent messages on their answering machines referring to their fathers as "black keys" such as "D flat" when he was upset with them.
Black Sabbath
"Black Sabbath" was originally just one of the songs of a called Earth. However, when they found that they were getting confused with another local band by the same name, they adopted the song title as their band name. Black Sabbath was also the name of a fairly well known (at the time) 1963 horror movie by Mario Bava.
Blink 182
Blink 182 supposedly has NO meaning at all but the band fosters stories on origins.  Sample: used to be just "Blink" but was threatened by a lawsuit from a little known Irish band with the same name, so they added the 182 which is the number of times the f-word was said in one of the members favorite movies.
Blood, Sweat and Tears
Founder Al Kooper came up with the name when on the phone with a promoter, while gazing at a Johnny Cash album cover, Cash's "Blood Sweat & Tears" album. Another version is, the title was chosen by Al Kooper, inspired after a late-night gig in which Kooper played with a bloody hand.
Bon Jovi
From the New Jersey bandleader Jon Bon Jovi, whose real name is John Bongiovi, Jr.
Boomtown Rats
Taken from the gang in Woody Guthrie's 'Bound for Glory' novel.
David Bowie
Born David Jones, he changed his name to avoid confusion with David (Davy) Jones of The Monkees. He took his last name from the Bowie knife, which he had a love of as a child.

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