Pop Life

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

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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.

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Neph Basedow
Contact: Neph Basedow