Sunday, June 3, 2012

Band Name Origins: S


'Innocent Criminals' wanted to change thier name to "Sliverchair" ~ "Sliver" by Nirvana, and "The Berlin Chair" by the Australian band, but Chris Joannou mis-spelled it, some say on the copyright form, others say when he wrote it down so as not to forget the name. Another story is they changed their name to Silverchair, supposedly after visiting a psychic.
Simple Minds
Taken from a line in the David Bowie song "Jean Genie".
Simply Red
The group adopted the name Red (after front man Mick Hucknall's nickname, denoting his hair colour).  The name Simply Red came about when the manager of a local venue was confused about the band's name and Hucknall replied that the band's name was "Red, simply Red." The resulting misnomer was printed on publicity posters as "Simply Red," and the name stuck.
The Smiths
In a 1984 interview Morrissey stated, "I decided to call ourselves "The Smiths" because it was the most ordinary name, and I think it's time that the ordinary folk of the world showed their faces."Also the band have stated that it was a reaction against names they considered fancy and pompous such as Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. Another theory regarding the origin of the band's name suggests that it was an ironic joke to give the band a quintessentially English name when all of the band members were of Irish descent. 
Spandau Ballet
The band was originally called The Makers but changed its name to Spandau Ballet after a friend reported having seen it as a graffiti on a toilet door at a club in the German city of Spandau.  There have been conjectures as to whether it means:
1.     The contortions of Jewish concentration camp victims when executed by gas. (There was, however, no concentration camp in Spandau).
2.     The jerky movements of Nazi war criminals when they were hanged in Spandau Prison.
3.     The movements of soldiers gunned down by the infamous WW1 German machine gun known as a "Spandau" 
Spice Girls
A manufactured group, they were originally called Touch.  They wanted to call themselves something hot, exotic and unpredictable .  Geri Halliwell thought of Spice but they also needed a word to appear younger and more innocent (marketing for younger audiences), so Girls was added.
Oz group Spiderbait used the name Candy Spuds for only one gig and then used Spiderbaby.  When they were signed they needed to change their name in that Spiderbaby was already in use by an American group.  It was therefore changed to Spiderbait.
Steely Dan
Taken from William Burrough's book Naked Lunch. In it Steely Dan is the nickname given to a giant steam-powered dildo.
Band leader John Kay has stated that the band made a demo tape and had to come up with a name.  The young man who lived next door to where they rehearsed suggested Steppenwolf, a book written by Herman Hesse.  None of the band had heard of it and it was adopted as a temporary name but ended up being kept.
Gordon Sumner used to wear a yellow/black striped shirt when in a jazz band, people said he looked like a bee. The Sting nickname grew from that.
Stone Temple Pilots
Originally called Mighty Joe Young, but their lawyer told them this name was already being used by a local blues musician. They changed the band's name to Shirley Temple's Pussy, but then changed the name again due to record label pressure. They liked the initials STP (from the STP Motor Oil Company logo) and eventually settled on the name Stereo Temple Pirates, but just prior to their first record it was suggested to change Stereo to Stone, and Pirates (which sounded imposing) to Pilots, and they became officially the Stone Temple Pilots in 1990.
Named after a book called 'Autobiography Of A Supertramp', written by W.H.Davies in 1910.
Swinging Blue Jeans
Originally an early 60’s skiffle group called the Blue Genes, they switched to Rock ‘n Roll and changed their name to Swinging Blue Jeans, reflecting what they wore, after being booed of the stage in Germany in 1962.

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