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1960's-1980s Rock Band Name Meanings

Updated on May 26, 2014


There are thousand's of names of band's and many of them are original. But how did they ever come up with such wild, and extraordinary names. Look up your favorite band, and find out it's truly wild side. With a behind look at the meaning of a rock band's name.


The name for the band AC/DC, was originated when Malcolm and Angus Young, saw the initials on there sisters sewing machine. Which meant Alternating Current and Direct Current.


The band Anthrax, was formed in 1981, and consisted of Scott Ian, and Danny Liker. Inside of a textbook, they had read about a disease called Anthrax. The two decided that it was evil, enough to become the name of the band.

Black Death

The band called the Black Death, is noted as being the first all African-American heavy metal band. The band received its name, from Greg Hicks, after the death of a member.However there is a possibility that the name had originated else where. Do to the fact, of the middle ages cared a disease known as the black death. Which had killed of over 200 million people.


Black Sabbath

The band Black Sabbath, had a very difficult beginning with name's. They always seemed to get mixed up, with other various artists. The band understood the need, for an original name. The band began searching for originality, while at that time, there rehearsal studio was across form a movie theater. One day while Osborn was staring at the line at the movie theater. He noticed the movie was called Black Sabbath. After seeing the output for the show, they changed their name, to Black Sabbath.

However I personally have two problems, with what the band, has claimed. The first issue has to do with the fact of the mix-up of dates. The band states that the name of the band was originated in 1968. The movie however showed in 1963, and was a dead show, in fact it was so dead you could have probably heard crickets. I believe that the name came from, what is known as a black mass, or the hour of the devil.

Blue Oyster Cult

The name Blue Oyster Cult, was originated after a 1960s poem. The poem was written, by manager Sandy Pearlman.


The Coven, was a band that came out in the 1960s. The coven had released one top 40, which was on part due to the film Billy Jack, called One Tin Soldier.

The naming of the band, speaks pretty loud and clear. The band gained its name through witchcraft, and satanic acts. In the words of Jinx Dawson “ The satanic thing actually was something we were interested in and were studying at the time. When you're younger, you're looking for answers, and a lot of members of the band were looking into the same books at the same time. We studied it, we practiced it.” They had apparently practiced it to the point, of signing there name in blood on contracts.



The band cream consisted of Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, and Ginger Baker. These three members, where supposedly the cream of the crop.

Deep Purple

The band Deep Purple, was originated in Hertford, England in 1968. The origin’s of there name came from a 1920s piano hit, by Peter DeRose called Deep Purple.

Deep Purple

Def Leppard

Joe Elliott, had came up with the name Deaf Leapord, while thinking of various band names. Kenning's however thought it might sound a little punk rock. So they changed the spelling, and now you got Def Leppard. Not very amusing, but fact is fact.

Great White

The band Great White, was formed in Los Angeles in 1982. The origin of the name Great White, was formed after Kendall had stuck, his head out of a car window, while driving by a nightclub a kid had hollered “Hey! There goes Great White”. The rest is placed in stone.


Iron Maiden

The band Iron Maiden, is a rock band that was started by bassist Steve Harris, in 1975. Harris states that the name Iron Maiden, was originated from the novel The Man in the Iron Mask. Which was not only a hit film from 1939, but was also a novel written by Alaxandre Dumas. This movie was also redone in 1998, and stared Leonardo DiCaprio, Jeremy Irons, and Gabriel Byrne. Harris had felt a verbal connection, with the iron maiden.

The iron maiden, was also a torture device from the 1500's. When the door was shut, the person, would die. The hole at the bottom, allowed for the person to be dropped out of the device, and often feed to hungry alligators. That is, the meaning of Iron Maiden.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience

The name Jimi Hendrix Experience, was though up by manager Mike Jeffery.


The band Kiss, was originated in1973, although prior to 1973 the band was known as Wicked Lester. When Wicked Lester added, Ace Frehley, the band was renamed to kiss.

This name had occurred to Stanley, Simon, and Criss, while taking a cruise around New York City. While cruising they had a group conversation over the name of the band. Criss had brought up the fact that his previous banned was named lips, form there Stanley had came up with the idea of Kiss.

Ace, had created the new icon logo, making the ss stand out like lightning bolts. However they noticed while placing the new name, over the previous band's logo. It appeared like the Nazi SS, which is prohibited in Germany.

Judas Priest

The band, never gives a clear definition of the name. Personally when ever something, is afraid to be brought out, there usually is a good reason to drag the truth out. In order to do such I need you to bear with me, just for a little bit.

If we look at the Holy Bible, in Mathew 26:14-15, we can read this “14 Then one of the twelve, (disciples) called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, 15 And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? (talking about Jesus) And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver”.But who was the priest? This can be found in Luke 22:3 “Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve”. There you got, it Judas Priest is named after Satan.


Motley Crue

Motley Crue, was one of the best hair bands of the 1980s. Who got their name Motley Cure, after a German beer, they had been drinking at the time, called Lowenbrau. When you translate Lowenbrau to English, it means Motley Crue.

Led Zeppelin

The band Led Zeppelin, is infamous for its hit stairway to heaven. But apparently when the band first formed, Jimmie Page, had little hope for the band. In fact he said that the band would go down like a lead balloon. When there manager, had thought about the Hindenburg, and switched the word Zeppelin. Then, changed the word lead to led, for English pronunciation.

What is your favorite, Motley Crue song?

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Quiet Riot

The heavey metal band, Quiet Riot ws founded in 1973. There name however was founded in 1975, over a conversation that occurred between the band and Status Quo, an English band. The band had stated they would like to name a band “Quite Right”. However his thick accent made it sound like Quiet Riot, and soon became the name of the band.


The band Motorhead, was formed in 1975, and released there first album in 1977. The nameing of the band, was originated from a final song that Lemmy, had song for Hawkwind, his previous band.


The band Nazareth, is a Scottish band that originated in 1968. Nazareth, had took it's name from the first line of The Weight, where it states “ I pulled into Nazareth, and was feeling about half past dead...”. Which was written, by a group called The Band.


The band Rush, was formed in 1968, in Toronto Canada. The band had got there name, from the feeling they felt when on stage.

Toronto, Canada


The Scorpions, was founded in 1965, as the Nameless. But he name never suited just write, a few years later Shenker changed the name to Scorpion, due to there deadly sting.


The band Steppenwolf, was formed in 1967, and is well known for there musical role's in Easy Rider. The history of there name, dates back to 1968, and was suggested by John Kay. After he had read Hermann Hesse's, Novel Steppenwolf.


The band Tesla, states that the name Tesla was given to them, through the forms of a Ouija board. The person who had came, through was Nikola Tesla. The scientist who created alternative current.

Twisted Sister

Twisted sister is one of the biggest glam bands of the 1980s. They are notorious for there wild hairdos, fashion taste, wild concert behavior, and above all their name. The name was fashioned, after a Broadway play that Mel Anderson had seen called NY Dolls, and from there it was fashioned.

Twisted Sister

Van Halen

Van Halen, is an all American rock band that was created, in 1975, out of California. Many of there songs have hit the top 100 and many, have been in movies. There name, comes from the middle and last name of there guitarist, Eddie Van Halen.

What is your bands, name?

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