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9 Bands Named After People Who Aren't Members: Lynyrd Skynyrd, Pink Floyd, And More

 

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When you hear about an artist such as Elvis Costello or Billy Joel, it's safe to assume that these are solo artists. Some bands, however, adopt names such as these that would confuse people into thinking they're solo acts, or even duos. Here are nine bands that are named after people who aren't in the band.

1. Lynyrd Skynyrd

The name of Southern rock pioneers Lynyrd Skynyrd was a tribute to their high school gym teacher Leonard Skinner, who would often clash with members Ronnie Van Zandt, Gary Rossington, and Bob Burns about their long hair, which was against school policy.

2. Clem Snide

Much like Steely Dan, alt-country band Clem Snide takes its name from the William S. Burroughs novel Naked Lunch. Unlike Steely Dan, however, Clem Snide is the name of one of the novel's characters (for more information on what Steely Dan actually is, consult this previous Music Times list).

3. Coheed & Cambria

When I first heard of Coheed & Cambria about ten years ago, I had assumed it was a duo. However, I soon learned that Coheed & Cambria is a four-piece band named after two characters from The Amory Wars, a comic book series written by lead singer Claudio Sanchez, the story of which is told through the band's music.

4. Belle & Sebastian

Much like Coheed & Cambria, I assumed early on that Scottish indie pop band Belle & Sebastian was a duo, though this assumption was far from the truth. Though the name Belle & Sebastian was first used as the title to a children's novel by French writer Cécile Aubry, Belle & Sebastian singer Stuart Murdoch also used the names for a comic strip he would write, about a hipster couple living in Glasgow.

5. Jethro Tull

Though it might be natural to assume that the lead singer of Jethro Tull is named Jethro Tull (similar to Alice Cooper or Marilyn Manson), the band was actually named after one of the leading figures of the 18th century British Agricultural Revolution.

6 & 7. Gregor Samsa/Josef K

I've placed these two bands together because they're both named after the main characters in Franz Kafka's two most famous works: The Metamorphosis, about a man named Gregor Samsa who mysteriously turns into a cockroach, and The Trial, about a man named Josef K who's put on trial for reasons that are never revealed.


8. Mr. Bungle

Before he became world famous as the lead singer for Faith No More, Mike Patton formed the bizarre avant-garde metal band Mr. Bungle, which took its name from a '50s educational film.

9. Pink Floyd

Despite the fact that they were one of the biggest bands in the world by the mid-70s, even record executives assumed that one of the four members of Pink Floyd was named "Pink" (as famously addressed in their song "Have A Cigar"). The name was actually taken from two American blues musicians: Pink Anderson and Floyd Council.

What other bands are named after people who aren't in the band? Let us know down in the comments section!

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