Because I have a never-ending fascination with important decisions made out of spite or whimsy, especially if said decision has millions of dollars and handfuls of lives riding on it, here are four bands/performers with names that were coined because fuck it.
1) Led Zeppelin
According to this Rolling Stone article, the originator of the name Led Zeppelin is still in question. What isn’t in question is how it started– with a snarky comment made by either Keith Moon of The Who, or bassist John Entwistle. When members of The Yardbirds posed the idea of forming a new super-group after the collapse of their old band, the idea was shot down by either Moon or Entwistle, saying it would;
“Go over like a lead zeppelin.”
Zeppelin, mind you, because apparently lead ‘balloon’ wasn’t big enough to encapsulate how hard he believed it would fall on its face and catch ablaze.
And if by fall Moon meant that the band would rock so hard it would come screaming down from the heavens like the fiery angel of metal returned to earth for judgement day, then yah. It totally did.
2) Daft Punk
If Professor Google can be trusted, as well as an article written by Complex, Daft Punk was given their name by an overly surly music critic, who thought he would take a few jabs at the up-and-coming electronica powerhouse then known as Darlin’. Because nothing validates your taste in music like showing your disapproval in a group years before they would dominate a Disney movie, and by sheer forced of mad beats transform it into their own personal 90-minute music video.
Instead of taking his rant as an insult, calling their music “daft punky trash” and “background music for sports coverage” the beloved cyborg eardrum-slaying duo turned this backbiting bit of journalism into the most successful franchise to incorporate fake Cylon helmets. And the band known as Background Music for Sports Coverage was born!
Oh, wait, it was the other one wasn’t it?
3) Crystal Method
Aside from turning everyone’s face into wax replicas of themselves after the air condition gives out, crystal meth is also famous for jacking up users, until they’re pumped enough to finally scrub all that pesky tile grout away with a toothbrush. So it only makes sense that a band would name itself after the most hated drug in America, which is incidentally so evil it was invented by Nazi’s.
That last part isn’t a joke.
But when asked during a Loveline episode if their handle was a reference to the Walter White Special, Ken Jordan and Scott Kirkland claimed that at the time of their early recordings they were still working at the same grocery store, and were so poor they were bumming rides off a girl they both knew, named Crystal. A friend asked how they were getting home one night, and in jest they replied; “The Crystal Method.”
Moondog learned to play music as a child by banging on a pair of drums. Made of cardboard.
He was later introduced to the Tom-Tom (a type of non-cardboard drum) while sitting in the lap of an Indian chief during a ceremonial dance. Moondog was not Native American.
Moondog lost his sight at the age of 16, whilst fiddling around with dynamite blasting caps.
In 1942 Moondog was given a scholarship to study in Memphis Tennessee, and continued his musical education by braille and sound alone.
Eventually Moondog donned his viking helmet, spear, and cloak, and became the famed jazz musician and viking of New York streets, living like some insane, infamous bum who could knock out jazz standards like Rutger Hauer could slay melons and skulls in Blind Fury. He is still considered a master of jazz by critics, and a casual image search will turn up hundreds of black-and-whites of him jamming on street corners dressed as Odin.
And his choice of name? Completely random. As Moondog said it, he wanted to honor a houndog who “used to howl at the moon more than any dog I knew of.”