George Harrison

10 Bands You Never Knew Were Named After Novels

There’s nothing better than when two art forms come together. Multiple musicians were so inspired by books that they named their bands after the title or characters in the story. Here are ten of the most popular acts that were inspired by literature:


1. The Velvet Underground


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The Lou Reed-fronted art-rock band took its name from the popular 1960s novel about masochism by Michael Leigh, The Velvet Underground


2. Modest Mouse


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Seattle rock band, Modest Mouse, took their name from a line in Virginia Woolf’s story Mark on the Wall. The line reads: “…Very frequent even in the minds of modest, mouse-colored people.” They chose that name for its ambiguous meaning. 


3. Big Brother and the Holding Company


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The band that helped establish Janis Joplin as a 60s culture icon took its name from the dictators in George Orwell’s dystopian masterpiece, 1984


4. Genesis


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The Progressive rock outfit took its name from the first book of the Old Testament.


5. The Doors


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It should come as no surprise that the classic rock band known for its lyrical content were well-read. The Doors took their name from Aldous Huxley’s The Doors of Perception, which is about Huxley’s experiences with mescaline.


6. Steppenwolf


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Canadian rock band, known for “Magic Carpet Ride” and “Born to be Wild”, named themselves after Swiss author Hermann Hesse’s novel with the same name.


7. Catch 22


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This third-wave ska band took its name from Joseph Heller’s 20th-century satirical classic Catch 22.


8. Titus Andronicus


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The New Jersey punk group took its name from the Shakespearean play written over 400 years before the band formed. 


9. Opeth


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The Swedish Heavy Metal band took its name from the novel Sunbird by Wilbur Smith. Opeth is the name of a South African city in the novel that means “City of the Moon.”


10. Belle and Sebastian


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This group took its name from the children’s book Belle et Sébastienwhich is about a young boy and his dog who live in the French Alps. 


Do you know more bands whose names are inspired by books? 


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