The Who2 Blog

History and Band Names

From History Today, a list of famous bands named for historical people or events.

Bands on the list include Franz Ferdinand, sharing the photo frame with Archduke Franz Ferdinand, that Austro-Hungarian ruler who got shot so that World War I could finally begin.

Of course, “famous” means different things to different music fans. Chances are more people have heard of Jethro Tull or U2 than have heard of Brian Jonestown Massacre or The Durutti Column.

Some other suggestions on the list: Uriah Heep (named for a Charles Dickens character), The B-52s (World War II aircraft), Joy Division (Nazi unit) and Gang of Four (post-Mao revolutionaries).

And because we all know that history repeats itself, check out this other article from History Today, from 2009, “Ten Historically-themed Bands.” At least back then they included Englebert Humperdinck (19th century German composer and then crooner of 1967’s “Please Release Me”).

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