Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History Daily: Origins of Band Names

Here’s something we haven’t done for a while: Stories behind where bands got their names.

  • Early in their career, Coldplay used the name Starfish. At the same time, a fellow university student was looking for a name for his band and had stumbled across a book called Child’s Reflections, Cold Play and thought that “Coldplay” would make a good band name. But then he decided against it, and told Chris Martin he could have it if he wanted.
  • Panic at the Disco originates from the lyrics of a song called “Panic” by a fellow emo group called Name Taken. “Panic at the disco” is phrase from the chorus.
  • Remember the band Chumbawamba? That came from the sound of 12 African drummers busking on the streets of Paris.
  • And Lizzie Grant became Lana Del Rey when she found that in Spanish, it means “the King’s wool.” She like the glamorousness of that, so she adopted it.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37835 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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