1. Modest Mouse comes from the Virginia Woolf story The Mark on the Wall. There’s a quote that says, “Even in the minds of modest, mouse-coloured people…”
2. a-ha got their name because it means the same thing in multiple languages.
3. Duran Duran took their name from the villain in the movie Barbarella – Dr. Durand-Durand.
4. R.E.M. was named when Michael Stipe opened the dictionary and randomly pointed to a word.
5. The Pogues were originally called Pogue Mahone, which is Gaelic for “kiss my arse.” It was shortened later.
6. The Bay City Rollers, are, as you might suspect, named after Bay City, Michigan. But none of the band members are actually from Bay City (They’re Scottish); the city was just plucked from the map.
7. The Killers took their name from a fictional band. The “band” was featured in the New Order music video for their song “Crystal”.
8. 10,000 Maniacs adapted their band name from the horror movie Two Thousand Maniacs.
9. Steely Dan is named after an… erm… adult toy… in the William S. Burroughs novel Naked Lunch.
10. Flight of the Conchords came about when Bret, one of the band members, had a dream about flying guitars that looked like Concordes. He was telling the other band member about it and the name was invented. They went with “Chord” instead of “cord” as sort of a tribute to the Beatles who used “beat” instead of “beet”.