Apparently, when Paul McCartney checks into hotels he uses the alias “Paul Ramon.” The Ramones, in a sort of pseudonym frenzy, adopted this cover name as their own, creating a fictitious family of fake McCartneys. Awesome.
7. Steely Dan
Steely Dan takes the cake for having a name that is both literary and highly pornographic. A Steely Dan, as described by William Burroughs in the seminal drug-addled lunatic bible that is Naked Lunch, is an enormous steam-powered dildo. It almost makes us want to give the band another listen.
Originally named “On a Friday,” the band was forced to change their name after signing with Parlaphone, who (wisely) thought it wouldn’t move much merch. “Radio Head” comes from a Talking Heads song, which Yorke proclaimed “the least annoying song” from the album True Stories.
9. The Grateful Dead
Accounts vary as to who it was, exactly, who landed on the name “The Grateful Dead,” but all of them go something like this: they were all sitting around doing psychotropic drugs and landed on it in the dictionary, possibly through a board game of some sort. And then they were all like, “far out, man” and someone laughed and passed the spliff. Apt, no?
10. Joy Division
You might think that the name Joy Division is an ill-fitting for such a gloomy band — or maybe slyly ironic. Turns out, it’s just kind of horrifying. Originally called Warsaw, the band renamed themselves to avoid confusion with another similarly-titled band and took the term “Joy Division” from the 1955 book The House of Dolls, which described Nazi-visited brothels in concentration camps. And the name for these sexual slavery quarters? You got it. Joy Divisions. Yow.