Thursday, May 10, 2012

Origins of rock group names P - R

   



Pearl Jam
The band's first name was Mookie Blaylock" after the All-Star basketball player, but the name was changed to "Pearl Jam" due to trademark concerns. Eddie Vedder says "The name is in reference to the pearl itself,... and the natural process from which a pearl comes from. Basically, taking excrement or waste and turning it into something beautiful" and Jam, came later after seeing Neil Young play Nassau Coliseum. "He played, like, nine songs over three hours. Every song was like a fifteen- or twenty-minute jam," says Jeff Ament, "So that's how 'jam' got added on to the name. Or at least that's how I remember it". Eddie Vedder originally claimed that the name "Pearl Jam" was a reference to his great-grandmother Pearl, who was married to a Native American man and had a special recipe for peyote-laced jam. but now admits he invented it as a joke; BUT his great-grandmother was called Pearl. It may have no reference but pearl jam is sexual slang for semen.
Pet Shop Boys
One version holds that the name is a reference to their friends who worked in a pet shop in Ealing in England.  IAnother version is that in the underground gay disco scene there are darkrooms ("pet shops") where you don't know who it is you're doing it with.
Pink Floyd
Playing under multiple names, including "Tea Set", when the band found themselves on the same bill as another band with the same name, Syd Barrett came up with the alternative name The Pink Floyd Sound, after two blues musicians, Pink Anderson and Floyd Council.  For a time after this they oscillated between The Tea Set and The Pink Floyd Sound, with the latter name eventually winning out. The Sound was dropped fairly quickly, but “The” was still used regularly until 1970. The group's UK releases during the Syd Barrett era credited them as The Pink Floyd as did their first two U.S. singles.
The Pogues
Originally called Póg mo Thóin - Gaelic for "Kiss my arse"., it was shortened to The Pogues after complaints were received by the BBC.
Powderfinger
The band's name came from the song "Powderfinger" by Neil Young.
Procol Harum
The band was named after the pedigree name of a Siamese cat that belonged to a friend of Guy Stevens, the band's manager. The name was Procul Harun, which is Latin for "Beyond these things", but was written down incorrectly by Keith Reid. The band would say in interviews that the cat was a Burmese Blue, though all cats with the name are the Devon Rex breed
Queen
Were originally called Smile. Singer Freddie Mercury came up with the new name for the band, later saying: "Years ago I thought up the name 'Queen' … It's just a name, but it's very regal obviously, and it sounds splendid … It's a strong name, very universal and immediate. It had a lot of visual potential and was open to all sorts of interpretations. I was certainly aware of gay connotations, but that was just one face of it.”
Radiohead
Originally known as "On a Friday", the band was given two weeks after signing to Parlophone to change their name. The band renamed themselves after the 1986 talking Heads song "Radio Head" on the album True Stories, claiming it as the "least annoying song" from the album.
Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
The band name,'Red Jumpsuit Apparatus', was chosen by the band voting for random words they threw up on a wall
R.E.M
In the study of dreams, the abbreviation refers to rapid eye movement or that time during sleep when an observable movement of the eyeball occurs indicating that the person is in a dream state. Band member Michael Stipe has said that this is not why the band picked the name, that the acronym was picked randomly out of the dictionary.
REO Speedwagon
REO Speedwagon took its name from the REO Speed Wagon, a flatbed truck and fire engine manufactured by the REO Motor Car Company ("R.E.O." are initials of the company's founder, Ransom Eli Olds, who also founded Oldsmobile, once a division of General Motors.)
Righteous Brothers
The Righteous Brothers supposedly changed their name when a fan at one of their appearances yelled  "That's righteous, brothers”, righteous being a late 1950's slang term for great, cool etc.
Rolling Stones
From the Howlin' Wolf blues song "Rolling Stone" - Keith Richards was a fan of the version recorded by Muddy Waters.

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