Save Ferris: Pop-Culture Origins Of 16 Famous Band Names

Save Ferris: Pop-Culture Origins Of 16 Famous Band Names

This one's for the pop-culture junkies. For those who, like us, are tickled by all forms of pop media, whether it be literature, film or music... this list encompasses them all. A surprisingly high quantity of bands have named themselves after books, songs, and films; some are obvious, some took a little digging, and (many) others simply urged us to seek out myriad (evidently) highly inspirational low-budget horror films.

Duran Duran: Drawing inspiration from the 1968 steamy sci-fi film Barbarella, the New-Wave pioneers borrowed their name from the movie's mad scientist, Dr. Durand Durand, whom Barbarella (Jane Fonda) is assigned to retrieve from planet Tau Ceti, in order to save the earth.

Veruca Salt: This '90s (partial) female powerhouse fancied Roald Dahl's bratty creation so much, they named their band after her. Of course, Veruca Salt the character, from Dahl's beloved book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and 1971 film adaptation Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, was a "bad egg," but her name - and attitude - live on in the band, which continues making music despite front woman Nina Gordon's 1998 departure.

Titus Andronicus: One wouldn't guess these gritty hard rockers would draw inspiration from the most floral of flowery wordsmiths - Shakespeare - but leave it to them to choose their namesake based on the poet's gooriest of tragedies, (The Lamentable Tragedy of) Titus Andronicus, penned in the late 16th century.

Mogwai: These Scot-rockers, who play Warehouse Live May 17, have released albums on some of indie-rock's hippest labels (Sub Pop, Matador, etc.), but they borrow their name from one of the cutest beings of '80s filmdom. Not to be confused with actual Gremlins, Mogwai musn't get wet, be exposed to sunlight, or be fed after midnight. The cute ones are always high-maintenance.

Modest Mouse: Despite a rumor we heard years ago, that Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock chose his alliterated band name based on a speech-therapy exercise he was forced to repeat as a child, Brock actually chose the name "Modest Mouse" via a passage from Virginia Woolf's "The Mark on the Wall," rearranging words from the line "the minds of modest, mouse-colored people."

The Fratellis: In homage to perhaps the single best movie of the '80s, The Goonies, the gleeful Glasgow rockers named their band after the film's dimwitted villains.

Mudhoney: The Seattle grunge pioneers named their band after a 1965 Russ Meyer film, which was based on the novel by Raymond Friday Locke. The band had allegedly never even seen the film when they chose their name in 1988.

Black Sabbath: The heavy-metal Brits aptly named their band after the 1963 Italian horror film of the same name.


Save Ferris: Pop-Culture Origins Of 16 Famous Band Names
Jim Bricker

Lady Gaga: Whether it's accurate or just a thoughtful PR story, Lady Gaga, aka Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, attained her stage name via producer Rob Fusari, who, via a text to the singer, recommended the Queen song "Radio Ga-Ga" as her new moniker. Evidently, Fusari's phone auto-corrected the name into "Lady Gaga," and the rest is history.

Radiohead: It's hard to believe these innovators borrow from anyone, but they did, and early-on. After forming in the mid-'80s under the original name "On a Friday," the day the band rehearsed in the music room of Oxfordshire's Abingdon School, where they met," they soon after changed their name to Radiohead, inspired by Talking Heads' 1986 True Stories track of the same name.

Save Ferris: Pop-Culture Origins Of 16 Famous Band Names

Save Ferris: Perhaps the most iconically recognizable of bands' pop-culture loans, this late '90s Orange County ska band took their name from '80s teen classic Ferris Bueller's Day Off, an expression on a water tower forever etched in our minds.

Say Anything: Speaking of iconic '80s teen films, "like the origin of any unlikely hero, Say Anything was forged from conflict," reads the band's Web site bio... which could almost double as a character description of the stereo-holding, trenchcoat-wearing, hopeless romantic Lloyd Dobler, from Cameron Crowe's 1989 film and clear inspiration to the band.

White Zombie: Leave it to Rob Zombie to name his band after a 1932 "evil voodoo" horror film.

The Doors: The band suitingly took their name from Aldous Huxley's 1954 book The Doors of Perception, a hazy tale detailing the author's psychedelic mescaline-induced trip.

My Bloody Valentine: The Dublin shoegazers adopted their romantically gory name from a low-budget 1981 Canadian slasher film of the same name.

Goldfinger: Easy enough; these pop-punks borrowed their name from the third film in the James Bond series, 1964's Goldfinger.

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