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Cool Rock Band Names

Updated on March 17, 2010

Cool Rock Band Names

Cool names for rock bands are always a challenge for aspiring musicians. Possessing meaningful lyrics, big hair, groupees, and partially tuned guitars just isn't enough. Young crooners can't go on tour as "Fred's Band". You can't shoot up the charts with a CD titled "Windows 98."

What comprises a cool rock band name? Numerous studies have been funded by rock-n-roll think tanks in Cleveland, Ohio and Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Despite the advanced technology available to modern researchers, no definitive answer has been identified. Numerous theories have been put forward, but like macro-evolution they have all proven to be apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate.

Researching cool names for rock bands involves two fields of study; theoretical and applied. Theoretically, a stupid name like Oingo Boingo should be a non-starter. In the weird and wonderful world of rock-n-roll, things aren't always as they appear to be.

Applied research produces mixed results. Consider as an object lesson the (in)famous name chosen by the seminal blues/hard rock band of the '70's, Led Zeppelin. Almost, but not quite, all of their fans had, or have today, any clue of the taxonomy of the name. Nevertheless, the band enjoyed wild success on both sides of the pond.

The all-time coolest rock band name? Without question the name has to be one that conveys the intent and purpose of the band without getting in the way of the music or forcing the band into a specific genre. A band named "Happy Polka Time" would find it problematic to transition into the Hip Hop scene after topping the accordion charts. Context goes a long way toward quantifying kewlness. To learn the all-time coolest name, please read on. The answer will be revealed.

Not So Cool Names for Rock Bands

We can assert with some certainty the existence of a category of not-at-all cool rock band names. For example:

Private Wedding: is the venue reserved for an invitation-only event or are they hosting a cutting edge rockabilly blues orchestra? No way to tell; patrons just drive on by.

Closed for Business: no self-respecting club owner would risk this name on the marquee. Close friends of the band-mates surely recognize the name, but rock fans at large stroll past the storefront, assuming that place is no longer open. The payoff, assuming that the band overcomes their ill-fated naming choice by selling a theme song to a situation comedy or a mall opening, would be a name that everyone wants to repeat because it sounds so kewl, so counter-culture, so droll it's cool. By then, however, the club owner will almost certainly be liquidating his assets. Or her assets.

The Berlin Wall: The real wall having been torn down in 1989 and history not being taught all that much in school anymore, this name has precious little meaning to anyone under 40 years old. Basic laws of rock and roll tell us that the over 40 crowd doesn't buy new music anyway, regardless of how kewl the name might be.

No Unauthorized Smoking in the Military: This decidedly uncool name for a rock band commits the cardinal sin for a rock band name; it won't fit on a marquee. Club owners make the fatal mistake of shortening it to "No Smoking" or even more desultory "Smoking Military", neither of which retains the original intent of the name.

Obstruction of a Police Officer: A band name that mirrors a felonious offense might attract a strongly loyal following of tiny anarchists, but they'll never make on Good Morning America of Disney Radio. Anarchists don't have any money anyway.

The Lying Pelosis: Nothing spells doom quicker than a politically charged name that is too subtle for mainstream rock fans to grasp. Sure, Ms. Pelosi lied repeatedly about being told / not being told of waterboarding strategies, but how many rockers watch Fox News?

U2: A self-serving unintelligible moniker representing the most decidedly uncool name for a rock band. Having no redeeming social value or nuance, only a group of poseur musicians with no self-respect would choose such a name.

We also present some cool names for rock bands:

The Bathroom Light: Subtle, cool, basic; a perfect name for an alternative pop-rock combo. The name offers no undertones of profanity or hidden meanings, but it's easy to remember and it fits on a CD liner.

Keyboard Crumbs: Ever flip over your keyboard? What drops out would feed a small city. At least we'll never starve as long as we have computers nearby. This cool rock band name evokes images of stale unrecognizable food matter sticking to everything on your desk. A promising name for grunge rockers, anorexic folk trios, and electronic music performers.

The New Appliances: Everyone loves shiny new stuff in their homes. Garage doors, blenders, stainless steel refrigerators, and Popeil Pocket Fishermen come to mind when the DJ plays a song from "The New Appliances". The name is plural, so band-mates can refer to themselves as "appliances" and each musician could name him/herself after a popular product at the local Sears. In a twisted way, it worked for the Ramones.

Newt Gingrich Lied: True, this name is also politically charged, yet it presents two advantages. "Newt Gingrich" is a strange name that is fun to say regardless of political orientation. Mr. Gingrich was a member of the Republican Party and most rockers hate Republicans anyway. This cool rock band name unites rockers against a common, if only perceived, enemy.

The All-Time Coolest Rock Band Name

Selecting the all-time coolest rock band name was neither simple or direct. After much deliberation, we arrived at an obvious yet contentious choice; the band was comprised of Rich Danko, Levon Helm, Garth Hudson, Richard Manual, and Robbie Robertson. They called themselves, simply, The Band.

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    • profile image

      fiz 

      4 years ago

      rocking

    • nicomp profile imageAUTHOR

      nicomp really 

      4 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Can't believe I wrote this 4 years ago. 4 hits today. It's evergreen!

    • profile image

      Addie 

      5 years ago

      Coooooollllllll b

    • profile image

      jj 

      6 years ago

      all those band names were stupid

    • profile image

      McDave 

      6 years ago

      best band names ever: The Who, the Grateful Dead and theClash

    • HomerMCho profile image

      HomerMCho 

      6 years ago

      Great names.

    • profile image

      ROCK GODS 

      7 years ago

      Best Rock Band Name Ever:

      THE CLASH

    • nicomp profile imageAUTHOR

      nicomp really 

      7 years ago from Ohio, USA

      @mcrawford76: Great names! You be the lead singer and I'll play bass.

    • mcrawford76 profile image

      Matthew I Crawford 

      7 years ago from Greeley, Colorado

      If I ever started a band I would call it "In Stores Now" and the first album could be called "Coming Soon" Could you imagine how funny it would be listening to a DJ trying to explain that one?

    • profile image

      wonder of broken things 

      7 years ago

      cool

    • nicomp profile imageAUTHOR

      nicomp really 

      7 years ago from Ohio, USA

      @bre : I'm as shocked as you are.

    • profile image

      bre 

      7 years ago

      THIS IS SO STUPID! U2 IS A COOL BAND AND NAME, AND ALWAYS WILL BE, NO MATTER WHAT KINDA RETARDED STUFF U THINK.

    • profile image

      zoey 

      7 years ago

      dont like them!!

    • profile image

      bobtheu2fan 

      7 years ago

      how can u hate on u2? seriosly u2 is the best

    • LeahPutz profile image

      LeahPutz 

      7 years ago

      I think Motley Crue is a pretty cool band name. And Bombadil. Led Zeppelin is probably the best though. In my opinion.

    • BennyTheWriter profile image

      BennyTheWriter 

      7 years ago from Northeastern U.S.A.

      Nice hub! That name by the way, "The Definite Articles," is definitely funny to the people who get it :)

      Interesting list of names. I disagree with you on U2, but I kind of agree about The Band!

    • giltemp1 profile image

      giltemp1 

      8 years ago from Nashville, TN

      I know that my band, Free Beer, kept us out of several clubs way back when...not many owners wanted that night listed in the paper; definitely got 'em there, but soon turned 'em ugly...

    • lukeyg83 profile image

      lukeyg83 

      8 years ago from Leicester

      My old band were called The Definite Articles, which we thought was very funny!

      Best name ever has to go to the B-Sharps from The Simpsons though.

    • stuff4you profile image

      stuff4you 

      8 years ago

      How's this for a band name - "Bill Gates & Family"

    • profile image

      ridzzz 

      8 years ago

      i need some good n cool name for my friends group !!!!

      can any one help me ???????????

    • nicomp profile imageAUTHOR

      nicomp really 

      8 years ago from Ohio, USA

      @Stan Fletcher: Thanks, coach.

    • Stan Fletcher profile image

      Stan Fletcher 

      8 years ago from Nashville, TN

      Surprised you didn't start a riot with your U2 comment. Music is subjective, which sucks, because everyone should realize that my opinions are right. That aside, great hub.

      If I'm ever in a metal band, we're going to be called 'Satan's Asscrack'.

    • Tara Tufford profile image

      Tara Tufford 

      8 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

      Another cool rock band name...Def Leppard! Even as a kid when I would hear their name, I was thinking a 'deaf leppard'? What? Does such a thing even exist? It caught my attention as a child, and as I grew up I came to love the band:) Still one of my favorites!

    • d luck profile image

      d luck 

      8 years ago

      really cool name, but how about 'The Storyteller', cool band from sweden. what do u think?!

    • profile image

      fefebabe2 

      8 years ago

      wow really cool stuff,who knew U2 wasn't a cool name.

    • profile image

      Marcos 

      8 years ago

      Dang.I liked the new appliances,but it's surely taken for a band name by now.

    • profile image

      Meow Man 

      8 years ago

      Cool names rock

    • gusripper profile image

      gusripper 

      8 years ago

      Cool hub my friend. I never thought that the name of a band can be a conversation spot.But i have to add that first of all the name must can be shouted from the crowd.Take for example the best name is JUDAS PRIEST-In a concert at Germany about 50000 people shouting with rythm PRIEST PRIEST PRIEST PRIEST it was fantastic

    • nicomp profile imageAUTHOR

      nicomp really 

      8 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Those are great names!

    • Kosmo profile image

      Kelley 

      8 years ago from California

      Of course I'm an old guy, but I think U2 is a perfectly good name for a rock band. At any rate, good idea for a hub! (Excellent use of vocabulary too) By the way, Windows98 would be a good name for a mainstream rock band, though certainly not for a black metal group. Some of the best names for rock bands are: the Doors, the Rolling Stones, Pearl Jam, Black Sabbath, Soundgarden, Nine Inch Nails and, the best, White Trash. Later!

    • nicomp profile imageAUTHOR

      nicomp really 

      9 years ago from Ohio, USA

      @emohealer: mental research ;)

    • emohealer profile image

      Sioux Ramos 

      9 years ago from South Carolina

      Alot of research went into this. I must be way out of the times, haven't heard of any of them except U2.

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