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Names -> Band Name Origins -> R, Page 1

Do you know why a band picked out it's name? Feel free to let us know.

I can't verify all of these stories, so do take them with a grain of salt. I try and delete the ones that I know to be bogus, but I don't know the origins of every band name (and some bands intentionally tell different stories about picking their band name).

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Entries starting with R are split into multiple pages: 1 2 3

There are 4771 Band Name Origin entries on the site.

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R.E.M It stands for "rapid eye movement", which is the period in your sleep which lasts for 2 hours total. This is when you at your deepest sleep and your dreaming. The dreaming makes your eyes move faster then could possibly be controlled. Hence, the name, Rapid Eye Movement, when sleep professionals look at sleep patterns and dreaming they measure this in measurements called R.E.Ms. (20 R.E.Ms a second ect...) This was chosen because Michael Stipe has previously suffered from insomnia. pikel
R.E.M Well, they could not fully decide on a name so they fliped through a dictionary and landed on "rapid eye movement" or R.E.M. rem only stands for that nothing else, not "Rather's Eel Mongers" like some have said JEFF
R.E.M. Rapid Eye Movement is what it's called when your alseep in short it's initals are R.E.M. tada! John Mac
R.E.M. According to "Remarks - The Story Of R.E.M." by Tony Fletcher, the band had asked their friends to write names for the band on the outside wall of the converted church they were living in at the time. As Sidewinder pointed out, those names did include Cans Of Piss and Twisted Kites, as well as, ahem, Sl*t Bank, but R.E.M. was apparently among them. It is claimed by some that Twisted Kites was actually their name for their first gig, although the more widely held view is that they had no name. Despite the fact that R.E.M. commonly stands for Rapid Eye Movement, they chose the name because people could interpret an acronym any way they liked. neptunevsmars
R.E.M. A few years ago I saw an REM limited edition boxed set in a record shop and on the case it actually said "rapid EAR movement". Sam
R.E.M. According to my complete music guide to R.E.M., ChuckyG is right. They just got a random name from the dictionary. I don't think they even knew what it meant! Dominic L.
R.E.M. According to an article in Q magazine, Michael Stipe and co asked a group of people to scribble down possible names on a toilet wall. R.E.M. took their fancy! sidewinder
R.E.M. Your existing correspondent is wrong. Yes, under other circumstances, R.E.M. does stand for Rapid Eye Movement, but in the context of the band, it means nothing at all. They deliberately picked the acronym to mean nothing, so that listeners would have no pre-conceptions of what the music would sound like. Untruth
R.E.M. I do believe the others are wrong. REM is a medical term for Random Eye Movement. When you are dreaming, your eyes still move around as thought you are looking, albiet, with your eyelids closed. This eye movement is called REM. REM, the band, used to change the words to their songs when they sang, whatever Michael Stipe felt like singing at the time. If you think about it, it fits. Griffonwing
R.E.M. ChuckG is still right; it's from a dictionary, which likely but not necessarily stood for Rapid Eye Movement. The joke is that it stands for "Rather's Electronic Minstrels" because of the "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?" connection. But that's a joke. I don't know where "eels" is supposed to come in. That's just odd. Joe
R.E.M. On a VH1 documentary, I heard that Michael Stipe and the band were big fans of TV Personality Dan Rather. I'm not sure how they arrived with the rest of the meaning. But the name is actually short for Rather's Eel Mongers. flaming pie
R.E.M. It stands for 'rapid eye movement', the stage of deepest sleep when you are dreaming. I remember this from Rolling Stone about 1982 or '83. Kieran from Nevada
R.E.M. After trying to choose between names such as Can of Piss or Twisted Kites, Michael flipped through a dictionary and landed on R.E.M.--the name stuck. Note: R.E.M. is just a random name--it has NOTHING to do with rapid eye movement ChuckyG
R.E.M. It actually stands for nothing, but I heard Stipe saying how it reminds him on what his grandma was saying to him: Remember Every Moment. axie
Ra'Nia RegenerAtioN Idol of Asia Robert D. Arndt Jr.
Radiohead Name of a Talking Heads song bill
Radiohead I saw this on a FAQ site. One of the band member's mothers had neurological surgery when she was little, and they needed to put a metal plate in her head. Sometimes when driving in the family car, with the radio on, the plate in her head would interfere with the car radio signal. So they started to call their mom "Radiohead" ... once they formed the band, they decided to go with that name. They also kept old mom away from the Radio once their songs started to get airplay ! It's True !!! Steve
Radiohead It's the name of a Talking Heads song. Before they chose the name "Radiohead" (which was right after they were signed) they were called "On A Friday" because the only time they could practice was on Fridays. Kid A
Radiohead They changed their name from On a Friday, because it would spell OAF when shortened. B.I.L.L
Radiohead They got this name from a little known Talking Heads song on the second side of True Stories. Bobo
Radiohead They took their name from the Talking Heads song "Radiohead" on the Heads' album True Stories.  rynne
Radiohead I read in "Exit Music" (a Radiohead biography) that someone at Capitol or EMI gave the band a list of names, and they liked "Radiohead" the best. Also, the band was previously called "On A Friday", not because they only practiced on Fridays, but they could only played on Fridays. JES
The Ragdolls Ashley and Sarah love the movie The Nightmare Before Christmas. Sally is a Ragdoll so they both desided to name the band, The Ragdolls. Its like a female Good Charlotte w/ 2 lead vocals. Want to be signed to DC Flag Records Sarah and Ashley
Rage Against The Machine "The machine" is the government, and they are raging against the government potato
Rage Against the Machine To get more specific on the other entries, The term "Rage Against the Machine" comes from a speech infamous Communist Karl Marx in which he asked the people to "Rage against the machine."
Rage Against The Machine The lead singer, Zack de la Rocha, was in a band called Inside Out before joining Rage. The name Rage Against The Machine is the title of Inside Out's unreleased second album, not a song written by Inside Out. Clegnut
Rage Against the Machine Tom Morello said in Total Guitar magazine that they picked that name right before their first proper gig, he said they had a few names available but most of them were crap so he just made zack pick one. Ben Singer
Rage Against The Machine the 'machine' aka the political machine of america is what they're 'rage'ing against. these communist lovers despize the capitalist system, and want it changed. However in over 10 years of singing the have failed to change anthing. The group is extremely hypocritical since they disrespect people that profit from the capitalistic system, however they make millions each year. To sum that up for those of lesser intelligence: they're pissed at ppl that make a lot of money, yet they make a shitload each year. And if you do bring up the argument that they give some to charity, than two things: 1. fuck you, get a book, and start reading 2. theyt donate enough to get a tax benefit Don't getme wrong, i think their music is not too bad, but the morals that they are preaching are just wrong. however due to the 1st ammendment (for you dumbshits that freedom of speach) I will not make any vilified claims against them. Deus ex Machina
Rage Against the Machine Zack de la Rocha, the lead singer, was a member of a band before RATM that performed a song entitled "Rage Against the Machine." While the previous explanation is a perfectly valid one in terms of the band's ideology, this is a more concrete origin. Jordan
Rage Against The Machine zach de la rocha had a need to speak out about what he thought of the governement (the machine) and their decitions... needless to say from the name he didn't think very highly of their decidtions Jake Jacobs
Rage Against The Machine rage against the machine got thier name when zack had bought a computer and it kept freezing so he formed a band to destroy big corparations and get revenge for his broken p.c power*****
Rage Against the Machine Zach De La Rocha was in an old straightedge hardcore band from California. This much of the previous definition is true. However, the band - Inside Out - released several records (on southern CA's Revelation Records) and none of them contained a song entitled "Rage Against The Machine." The name can actually be traced back to a gentleman named Kent McClard who ran what was, for a while, the most respected DIY magazine (HeartattaCk) and record label/distribution (Ebullition Records) in the world of underground punk rock and hardcore. Kent and Zach were friends, and members of the same music scene, and both very vocal and active in anti-corporate issues. When Kent began writing HeartattaCk (which was then called "No Answers",) it focused heavily on political issues, and the cover of the first issue featured, in bold text, the phrase "RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE." Now, interestingly enough, Zach and Kent McClard had a falling out around this time and at this point Zach was still in a band called Inside Out. HOWEVER, Zach formed Rage Against the Machine years later without ever making an effort to even clear it with Kent, the man who had coined the phrase. This led to a lot of bitter backlash that's been well-documented by the man himself in any issue of HeartattaCk from 96-99 or so. Anyway, check it out, this is all true and completely verifiable. Jay
Rage Against the Machine It refers to a (hoped for) reaction of ordinary people against corporations and other inasive institutions that control our country. Kat
Rainbow Named by Ritchie after the club of the same name ("the Rainbow Bar and Grill") on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood, CA. Beavis
Rainbow Butt Monkeys The origin of this name comes from a house party in Burlington, ON Canada. The band was at a house party one evening. At this party several different chemicals substances were being consumed. Eventually has guest at the party dicovered an old Dr. Suess book. While reading this book in an altered state, the term Butt Monkey was formed. As the evening progressed, the word Rainbow was added, to bring us to the name Rainbow Butt Monkey. Which the band then used as an inside joke as they placed various high school coffee houses. Gord
Rainbow Butt Monkeys The lead guitarist was refering to a certain African monkey with a strangely coloured ass, but he couldn't quite remember the correct name, so he refered to them by their appearance.: "...ya know, those rainbow-butt monkeys."...Good one, James! Chrystal
Raising The Black From Black Sails, the TV show.
The Rakes It comes from the saying 'as skinny as a rake', because all the band members are, er, skinny! Little Pikachu
RAMEKEGA We used the first 2 letters of the original members' names, RAchel, MElissa, KElli and GAbrielle It was a a userid our dad had used for a game we used to play as kids called "Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego" It's pronounced "rah-me-kay-gah" and it just fit. We wanted to be known for our music first, then our name. If the music's good, the name will be known; if the music's not good ... forget you ever knew us! Melissa
The Ramjets As in Roger Ramjet & the American Eagles - a cartoon that lead singer Ewan Mitchell watched as a child. Were originally the full name of the show but decided to become related to Roger himself. $tav
Ramms+ien Rammstein's name is related to the ill-faterd airshow at a US airbase. They added an extra m to give the name a degree of separation and to elude to Rammenstein, 'ramming stone.' Spencer Gatsby
Rammstein there are 2 ways i have heard rammstein got their name, 1. the named it after the "ramstein air base" where there was a airshow accident in which people were killed, and 2. it literally means pushing stone (Ramm = Push, Stein = Stone). i am unsure which is true though luke
Rammstein I am not sure but I believe it's the air crash incident. I wanted to point out that there IS a beer called Rammstein. I drink it at the Great Brews of America festival every year in the Poconos. Beowulf608
Rammstein Loosely tranlate from German mean Ramming Stone John Miller
Rammstein Rammstein means the same as "Rammsteine". This is a security pile for a building. So terorist ar something like that 'll come closer to a building.  Jantje
Rammstein They named themselves after the air disaster at Ramstein, adding in the extra m to allow people to discern the two. Supposedly, in the song "Wolt Ihr Das Bett in Flammen Sehen" (Do you want to see the bed in Flames?) off the album "Herzeleid" (Heartache), they used actual recorded screams of people involved in the disaster throughout the song. Amanda
Rammstein There was a terrible accident at Ramstein Air Force Base during an air show. The name "Ramstein" was being said in the news on a daily basis for weeks, so they chose to add an extra "m" and use the name. cr3amy
Rammstein Rammstein added an 'm' from the US military base named Ramstein in what was then West Germany. A horrible plane crash occured at an airshow there August 28, 1988 where three planes collided, one crashing into the audience, killing 70 people including the three pilots involved in the collide. The only reason i know this is because i was there. What is eary is that my family and i would've been in the front had we not been held up in traffic. Ramstein dedicated or wrote a song about the crash.  Michelle
Rammstein The brand of beer is not exact. There is no beer called Rammstein, but in Switzerland, there is a company that ditributes beers from all countries. It is called Amstein (from the name of the boss - But a funny thing is that Rammstein and Amstein logos look almost the same. Slave Punisher
Rammstein i've seen it myself in many interviews with rammstein members that the name is from the airshow accident sheralee
Rammstein Rannstein got their name from the german word for "ramming stone", NOT from the german US Airbase, because the airbase is spelled with only one m (Ramstein) TobStarr
Rammstein Metal bands always had names like Death Metal or Napalm Death. The band wanted a name like that, but all the good names seemed to been taken. Then, in a town called Ramstein, a plane crashed and many people died. The band just added the second 'm' because that sounded much cooler. In an interview the band always says it's a brand of beer in Germany. : )
Rammstein German for RAMM (Ram) STEIN (Stone), A Ramming Stone Jadd
Rammstein The name Rammstein comes from the Air Show Accident in the 80's in the town of RaMstein where many people died. they added another m to be different. This is held true by many interviews of TILL (the singer)  Mike
Rammstein Rammstein is a town in Germany, where a flying show took place some years ago. Two planes crashed into each other and the pilots were killed. Miss Selfdestruct
Rammstein As a native German, I have to say: Ramming Stone??? No way! The story about the plane show is right. Rammstein even made a song about it. Not only the pilots died, but many spectators.  eyes of ruby
Rammstein It's from an airshow gone wrong in the early 80's in which the pilots and many spectators died. Till even claims this is true in several interviews. On the first album, Herzeleid, the last song Rammstein, is about this incident. THEdrummer
Rammstein the band named themselves RAMMSTEIN after a SONG they made ABOUT the plane crash incident that happened in RAMMSTEIN (where 80 people were killed). because the song ended up being sort of like "an anthem" (quoted by Rammstein) so they named the band RAMMSTEIN. That's that sorted!! someone who knows all about Rammstein
Rammstein  The TRUTH is the name of the German air base, Ramstein. They added the extra 'M' to change the meaning a little to "battering ram". Note their first song "Herzeleid".  Speiluhr
Ramones After watching a late night old western/cowboy movie called "The Ramones". They were a Mexican gang of thieves. Joey Ramone's orginal name for his band was Sniper, named after the guy in the tower in Texas that shot 10 people, calling each other Ramone was started as a joke like Im Joey ramone this is Dee Dee ( real name Calvin) Ramone but it stuck Micheal Jackson Ramone
Ramones An addition to "Ramones" There is a producer of jazz records, who has done thousands of bigband sessions, who is going by the name of Phil Ramone. He participated also recently in Rod Stewart's "Great American Songbook". He is on the scene for 40 years or more. Paul McCartney for legal or others reason played on an early Steve Miller record (late 60ies or early 70ies) by the name of "Ramon" whatever. It was Ramon not Ramone. Mc Cartney and Miller have done some stuff together on a Mc Cartney album about 3 years ago.  Bernhard Hausner
Ramones Paul McCartney used the alias "Paul Ramone" when he would check into hotels, incognito. Bass guitar player Douglas Colvin (aka Dee Dee Ramone) was a big fan of the Beatles and suggested the name as tribute to Paul McCartney. CrypticWizard
Ramones Dee Dee was a big Beatles fan and heard Paul once went by the last name Ramone. Dee Dee then adopted the name as a tribute and the band decided to make it the name. They all adopted the last name as well. seniff
Ramones The band took on the name after Paul McCartney's hotel alias but also the band members took on the name as a parody of all those "family" music acts of the time like the Brady Bunch, Partridge Family, Jackson 5, the Osmonds, etc. Did somebody say "Hanson"? ; - ) I Saw The Ramones Live 4 Times!
The Ramones Yes, Paul McCartney went by PauL Ramon in the early days of The Beatles. John went by Long John and George by Carl Harrison after Carl Perkins. Avram Fawcett
The Ramones The probable source for Dee Dee Ramone to learn of Paul McCartney's (May 1960) pseudonym "Paul Ramon" was undoubtedly The Hunter Davies official Beatles biography published in Sept. 1968. Earlier fan books did not contain this esoteric 1960 information. The Davies book quotes McCartney's rationale for this obscure name. Richard Kolkman
Ramones Dee Dee the bassist for the Ramones adopted the name Ramones from Paul McCartney. He used his nickname Ramon to get into hotels without being mobbed. alex
Rancid Marvin Krista pulled out a list of proposed names for the band and passed it around. Corky Mather looked at it and said samething like "These are all so rancid, man." Pete Mellon said, "Rancid. I like it." His brother, Dave, seconded the motion and that was that. Jack Keller
Rancid Two of Rancid's members, Tim Armstrong and Matt Freeman, we're in a legendary band called Operation Ivy. Operation Ivy's last tour was called "Operation Ivy Smells Rancid", and shortly after the tour, the band broke up. Two members (Tim and Matt) formed Rancid, naming it after the tour Kevin
Rancid A reference to a dead baby dug up from a Berkeley graveyard by friends of lead singer Tim Armstrong. They also named their first LP "Dead Baby" after this. Eduardo
Rapeman Named after a Japanese comic book (manga) "hero" who, well... Roderick
Rascal Flatts I heard from Gary himself that before they were famous, they would play in the "Fiddle and Steele Guitar Club" in Nashville, TN. They didn't have a name at the time and so they told the audience that if they have any ideas, to see them after the show. Well, after the show, a guy came up to them and said that he had a band in high school and they were called "Rascal Flatts". He said they could use that name if they wanted to. Miranda
The Rasmus I read that Rasmus is a form of "Erasmus", the Greek word for "beloved". Mandy
The Rasmus Well... There's a few theories. Aki Hakala (the drummer) once said in an interview that it's a slur of the two words, 'trash' and 'mosh', because both represented their style of music. Eero Heinonen (the bassist) also once said in an interview that it was named after a Swedish boy they knew named 'Rasmus' that used to be picked on. Lauri Ylonen (the lead singer) has also said in several interviews that it was simply a nonsense word that they thought sounded cool.  Hattu
The Rasmus They named their band after the Swedish word for 'snake.' Mr. Bun
The Rasmus They're from Finland and speak Finnish and English they wanted a name that sounded Finnish but has no meaning.  Angel Hakala
The Rasmus they found a word that doesn't mean anything but sounded finnish (they're from finland) and sounded cool. but it means NOTHING brat princess
The Raspberries In the "Our Gang" shorts, someone from the Gang would often comment "Aw raspberries". The band thought this would be funny. Critics thought it was a "bubble gum" type of music name. (Let's see - the critics didn't get it? What a shock!) RICK HOLLY
Rasputina From the name Rasputin. He is talked about in the book The Vampire Papers, but he was a real person. Prince Felix Felixovich Yussupov murdered him. Tori
Ratt They were called "Mickey Ratt", but shortened it to just Ratt in the early '80s. El Duderino
The Raveonettes The Raveonettes, a Danish band, got their name from the Buddy Holly song "Rave On." They added 'ettes' to be different. Jaosn Huitt
The Raving Bonkers Though 'Raving Bonkers' may not stand out as the most inspired band name for a wild bunch of surf-garage wildmen, there's the connotation that in Dutch 'bonken' means 'to f***' and, hence, a 'bonker' is someone involved in the act of f***ing. The band is Dutch, after all, so there.  Pete
Raw The band met for lunch at a sushi bar and tricked the very picky bass player into eating a hunk of fish, He hated it enough he quit before they even wrote their first song becouse he was so turned off by the RAW tuna. tiny dancer
Rayd They were going for something that sounded deadly. They narrowed it down between Raid and Sniper. In the end, they chose Raid. So that it wouldn't get confused with the bug spray, they changed the letter 'i' to 'y'. Casey
Razorlight The Cars song "Candy-O" contains the word "razorlight". Simon A
Reckless Love Originally a Guns N'Roses cover band called Reckless Life, the band decided to create their own original music, but liked the word "reckless", so, they just thought of a positive-sounding word to go with it. GlamRockNinjaLord
Red Hot Chili Peppers This actually comes from a joke about Chilly Willy and the Red Hot Peppers. I don't actually know the exact joke, if anyone does please could they email me at thanx George Bradley
Red Hot Chili Peppers It describes the essential mood of their music, according to one of the band members. Dr.h
The Red Hot Chili Peppers being a mix of funk thrash,punk and rap rock anthony said that red hot chili peppers was what the bands music sounded like .  kathy
Red Hot Chili Peppers It's claimed officially that they took their name sitting in a London restaurant called Chilly Willie and the Red Hot Peppers. Petya
Red Hot Chili Peppers The band was eating red peppers one day trying to pick a name for the band and as a joke said hey, our band should be called red hot chili peppers and it just stuck. brad
Red Hot Chili Peppers Actually, this was the name of a Robert Johnson song. RCHP even covered the tune on "Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magic". Steve Robinson
Red Hot Chili Peppers According to bassist Flea, the name describes the style of their music Dr. G
Red Hot Chili Peppers Contrary to popular belief, the band was NOT named after Chilli Willy And The Red Hot Peppers; as they didn't even know that such a band existed until after they had been called Red Hot Chili Peppers for quite a while. Chilli Willy did attempt to sue RHCP for stealing their name. This is discussed in Anthony Kiedis' autobiography, "Scar Tissue". d
Red Hot Chili Peppers Both Anthony Kiedis, and Flea, have stated that the name "Red Hot Chili Peppers" originated from a joke. Thier name pervious to RHCP was "Tony Flow & The Majestic Masters Of Mayhem" among others. Spaz Istic E.T.
Red Hot Chili Peppers They got their name from combining the names of two bars: Red Hot Peppers and Chili Willie's.  RHCP Grrl
Red Hot Chili Peppers Jelly Roll Morton had a hit with his 1923 version of Wolverine Blues. This stirred interest with the the Victor company who were just starting to get into the "race records" market and were looking for talent. Jelly Roll assembled a group of musicians who could play in the New Orleans style and called them the Red Hot Peppers. (enuff said) Nicolas Bastien McCallum
Red Hot Chili Peppers The band was formerly known as Tony Flow And The Miraculously Majestic Masters Of Mayhem. But the name was too long to be well known, so they decided to change it. When they had to perform but didn't know a new name yet they saw a flyer of a band called Chili Willy And The Red Hot Peppers. They changed it and The Red Hot Chili Peppers were born. freakystyle
Red Hot Chili Peppers they had many names before this though this was the best name to describe thier music. The bands sign 'the star of affinity' means to have in common.  Brody
Red Hot Chili Peppers According to an unseen interview that was aired on the internet for about a week or 2, they said that they all put down weird phrases and sentences etc. and picked one out of a hat. It was Flea's name. I know this is also the real reason as my cousin was Antony's Next door neighbour b4 they became properly famous.  Angharad

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