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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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.

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#14 on The Best Rock Bands of All Time

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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."

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Marilyn Manson


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For those of you who don’t know about two of the most famous names in popular American pop culture history and have never turned on any kind of electronic media, you may wonder what this name is all about. And in case you're wondering, yes, this glowing box in front of you WILL steal and then eat your soul.

Anyway, this band name is a piecing together of the names Marilyn Monroe (popular, classic Hollywood icon) and Charles Manson (popular leader of a horrific mass murdering "family.") This naming convention actually extends to everyone in the band who created their stage names much the same, like Twiggy Ramirez, Ginger Fish, and Daisy Berkowitz. It’s fun because it’s super creepy.

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Tesla


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If you’re going to be a metal band, your name has to be pretty damn hardcore, so this group decided to steal the name of Nikolai Tesla, a 19th century electrical engineer and scientist who specialized in working with electrical currents and magnets. You don't get David Bowie to play you in a movie if you're not 100% badass.

Here's the studio version of their greatest hit, "Love Song": Tesla - Love Song

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#19 on The Best Hair Metal Bands Of All Time

#3 on The Best Bands Named After Historical Figures

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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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Jethro Tull


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This band went through a ridiculous number of names in the early days, because no one would give them a repeat booking. Their booking agent’s assistant suggested the name Jethro Tull for one such show, and the band went along. It was this performance that they just so happen to get the attention of the club owner who wanted them to play a repeat show. So who is Jethro Tull? He is, in fact, an 18th century English agriculturist and inventor of the seed drill.

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Alice Cooper


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When Vincent Furnier’s band originally came to LA, they were called The Nazz. As they were signing to a record contract, they learned there was already a band called Nazz, so it was back to the drawing board. What better way to make the decision than to consult the almighty Ouija board?

So the story goes that during the session with the occult, Vincent learned that he was the reincarnated soul of Alice Cooper, who was a woman burned at the stake during the Salem witch trials for practicing the black arts.

In the end, not only was the band’s name changed, but Vincent made it his stage name and persona to match his ancestry/destiny.

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