indie The 15 Greatest Bands Named After Real People  

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In honor of school principal Leonard Skinner, who inspired the name for classic rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, here are the 15 greatest, most famous bands in history that have been named after real people; along with a song from each band. The name origins of each of these great bands is pretty interesting, as you would expect. And no, Pink Floyd was NOT inspired by the character Randall "Pink" Floyd in the movie Dazed and Confused.

What are bands named after people? These could either be tributes to people they know, meaning teachers, fellow musicians, serial killers, it doesn't matter. Plus, what do you know about the Alice Cooper witch? Time to learn! Band names can be both weird and strange but hopefully accurately reflect what a band is at its core. Some of these groups might even have some songs named after people in their discography, who knows?! Things named after people are a fun way to commemorate and honor special individuals and this list of bands with people names has them all!
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Pink Floyd


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Originally called The Tea Set, the members of this iconic band showed up at a gig one night to discover that there was already another band on the roster who had called dibs on that title (Joan Rivers would have torn them apart!)

Thinking quick, Syd Barrett mixed the names of two blues musicians he loved, Pink Anderson and Floyd Council, to rename the band ‘The Pink Floyd Sound,’ and then later shortened the name to Pink Floyd.

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#2 on The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

#29 on Musicians Who Belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

#4 on The Greatest Classic Rock Bands

#9 on The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters

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Lynyrd Skynyrd


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Long ago, this name was explained as homage to a gym teacher named Leonard Skinner they had in high school, who would send them to the principal’s office because "their hair was too long."

Also Ranked

#50 on The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

#14 on The Greatest Classic Rock Bands

#42 on Rank the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame Inductees

#26 on The Best Rock Bands of All Time

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Legend has it that the band was named after Tom Fogherty’s friend, Credence Nuball, whose favorite beer was Clearwater. The beer was discontinued by the maker, but then was picked back up by another brewery; hence the Clearwater revival. Ta da.

Also Ranked

#45 on The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

#12 on The Greatest Classic Rock Bands

#26 on Rank the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame Inductees

#14 on The Best Rock Bands of All Time

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Dead Kennedys


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There is perhaps no more tragic American story than that of the Kennedy curse. It started with John, and has since set forth to kill off most of the well known Kennedy men, other than Ted, who evaded death due to sheer luck and stupidity, but eventually bit the dust because of brain cancer. On the cool scale, this name rates pretty high.

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#28 on The Best Political Musicians

#4 on The Best Punk Bands Of All Time

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#5 on Punk Bands with the Best Lyrics

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