Rock Names from Abba to ZZ Top: How Rock Bands Got Their Names

Adam Dolgins

Rock Names recently surfaced in a local bookstore’s bargain bin, and thanks to the alphabetical chapters and short snippets of information, one can discover the origin of monikers from the seemingly stupid (Foo Fighters) to the obscure (Better than Ezra, a reference to poet Ezra Pound in Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast.) The book also helps dispel some common myths and faux pas. While it will never be mistaken for church music, AC/DC is not an acronym for “after Christ, devil comes,” but was so named because it best described their high-voltage sound. And if you are guilty of referring to Jethro Tull as “he,” be advised that it refers to the entire band, but was named after an 18th-century agriculturalist who invented the seed drill.