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Music Reference

The Band Name Book

by (author) Noel Hudson

Boston Mills Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2008
Reference, Popular Culture, Trivia
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2008
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.


What's in a name? Ask the lead singer.

A big, open-it-anywhere book created for music fans and pop-culture followers of all ages, The Band Name Book explains how (or where) the best-named bands in history got their names. Those names are profound, clever, silly, provocative or downright obscure. This entertaining book is full of information and trivia about bands from the dawn of rock 'n' roll right up to today's Internet-based independents.

The Beatles are here, as well as Led Zeppelin, Pearl Jam, Nine Inch Nails and the Goo Goo Dolls. But the best fun is found with rock history's lesser-known groups, in Web-savvy contemporary bands, and with true originals. Among their names:

  • Atomic Rooster
  • Arctic Monkeys
  • The Lemonheads
  • The Formaldebrides
  • The Soup Dragons
  • Pavlov's Woody
  • Arcade Fire
  • Big Al and the Kaholics
  • Hectic Watermelon
  • Smorgasborgnine.

The Band Name Book includes entries on thousands of bands from more than 30 countries, divided into dozens of entertaining and irreverent categories with special notes on name origins, genres and best album titles. There are profiles of notable bands. And there's even a list of "Names Still Available" for each category.


About the author

Noel Hudson has published fiction and non-fiction in books, magazines and newspapers and has written for television and radio as well. The well-traveled author of Unforgettable Canada: 115 Destinations has edited more than 300 books on every aspect of Ontario life. Hudson makes his home in Guelph, Ontario.

Noel Hudson's profile page

Editorial Reviews

As cliché as it sounds, this is one of those books that makes you say, I'm surprised no one's thought of writing about this before..... Certainly to be treasured, read and re-read by trivia whores and music minutiae maniacs--and many others besides.


If you've ever wondered where some of those wacky names that band call themselves come from, then "The Band Name Book" by Noel Hudson is a great resource. It is a colourful, encyclopedia-style read.

The Sudbury Star

[Hudson's] easy-to-navigate structure cleverly organizes his book with a three-tier system that will take readers on an informative and often funny journey... This is a good-looking book, with heavy paper and a hefty feel, and beautiful, vibrant colors.

Under the Radar

Noel Hudson of Guelph, who has played in a few bands himself, produced this highly amusing book explaining hundreds of weird and wonderful band names used around the world... Hard to resist.

The Guelph Mercury

Easily digestible snippets [make] an irresistible addition to any pop-culture library.

The Globe and Mail

Great gift for the teenagers.

Muskoka Today (Gravenhurst ON)

This frisky compendium of band-name album-cover artwork, trivia, tidbits and liberal dashes if this and that, it translates into hours of browsing by rock lovers of all ages.

American Profile

The Band Name Book is great bathroom material, or a nice addition to your coffee table.

Great gift for teenagers.

Muskoka Today

This entertaining book is full of information and trivia about bands from the dawn of rock 'n' roll right up to today's Internet-based independents.

My Reluctant

The Band Name Book lists an impressive number--many hundreds of them--with brief descriptions and background information.


If you've ever wondered where some of those wacky names that bands call themselves come from, then The Band Name Book by Noel Hudson is a great resource. It's a colourful, encyclopedia-style read.

Sun Media

An entertaining and fun look at thousands of band names and their origins from around the world. There are 30 categories. Some are fun, some are cute, a good number are not printable in a family newspaper.

The Hamilton Spectator

The Band Name Book delivers the scoop on how pop and rock bands (both famous and obscure) got their names.

Uptown Magazine (Winnipeg) Holiday Gift Guide 2008

If you've ever wondered where band names come from, "The Band Name Book" offers up thousands of stories about just that... It's a fun bathroom book. It also offers up the very handy public service of compiling "Names Still Available," including Pump Action Satisfaction, Bayonet Profit, Chin Picnic and Roamin' Orgies.

The News and Observer (Durham NC)

General audiences will...enjoy the colorful photographs of album covers, band members and associated artwork.

Book News Inc.

The mother of all list books....There are thousands of names here, some recognizable but most bewilderingly obscure, given the great handles their members came up with... And if you get tired of reading about Shot Down in Ecuador, Jr. and Haircuts That Kill, album covers and thumbnail photos of groups and band posters give you something visual to digest.

Vancouver Sun

Any musicians laboring over just the right name for their latest endeavor should stop what they're doing and pick up Noel Hudson's The Band Name Book, a cheeky compendium...that catalogs, by category, some of the most peculiar monikers in the music business...and how the artists arrived at their final choices. The best part? Hudson helpfully outlines which band names have not been taken.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

After getting through maybe two pages, I'm sold that this is a GREAT read for any music fan...It's all here, folks. Sure you could always look on the internet, but here's something that will grace your coffee table, make your friends think you're cool, and avoid porn pop-ups altogether.

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