1. The Bangles - They were originally called the Bangs. However, that name was already in use by another band, so the band added -les, in tribute to the Beatles. A second story is that the band had been informed that they needed to change their name en route to a show in Las Vegas; one of the band members scrawled "Bang-less" on a napkin and the "Bangles" were born.
2. Beastie Boys - The name Beastie is an acronym standing for "Boys Entering Anarchistic States Towards Internal Excellence"
3. The Beatles - A tribute to Buddy Holly and the Crickets. Beatles is spelled with an A because rock and roll was called "beat music" in England at the time. Also a reference to "The Wild One", in which one character confronts another after the latter's extended absence, telling him that "the beetles [girls] missed you!"
4. Bee Gees - A contraction of "Brothers Gibb"
5. Black Sabbath - Inspired by a 1963 Boris Karloff horror film of the same name.
6. Blink 182 - The band was originally called Blink but an Irish band ( Blink by the same name threatened legal action. The band added the completely random number 182 to the end of their name.
7. Celibate Rifles - the opposite of Sex Pistols.
8. Daft Punk - from a music review that described a record from their first group (called Darling) as "a bunch of daft punk".
9. Depeche Mode - Inspired by a French fashion magazine of the same name. It translates to English as "Fast Fashion" or "Fashion News"
10. The Doors - Jim Morrison took the name from a book about mescaline called The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley, which in turn took its name from a quote by William Blake (If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is: Infinite.).
11. Duran Duran - Taken from the name of a character, Dr. Durand-Durand from the cult Science Fiction film Barbarella.
12. E Street Band - Bruce Springsteen's band was named after E Street (E, not East) in Belmar, New Jersey, because the band used to practice at the E Street home of David Sancious' mother. (Belmar's 10th Avenue was the subject of Springsteen's song "Tenth Avenue Freezeout".)
13. Foo Fighters - Foo fighter was a nickname for Unidentified Flying Objects during World War II by Allied pilots.
14. Fountains of Wayne - Named after a New Jersey lawn ornament store.
15. Guns n' Roses - From the names of the co-founders Axl Rose and Tracii Guns.
16. Iron Maiden - named after the original Iron maiden, a torture device. Often erroneously thought to have been a reference to Margaret Thatcher.
17. Led Zeppelin - After being told by friend and fellow musician Keith Moon that the band would go over like a "lead zeppelin", the band distorted the spelling (so that the name would be pronounced like the metal lead, rather than lead singer) and took the name.
18. Metallica - Named after an underground metal magazine from the early 1980s.
19. Moby - Richard Melville Hall (a.k.a. Moby), took his stage name from the book Moby Dick, which was written by his great-uncle, Herman Melville
20. Oasis - after a nightclub in their hometown of Manchester, England in the 1960s associated with early performances of The Beatles.
21. Pink Floyd - The band was originally called The Pink Floyd Sound, after blues musicians Pink Anderson and Floyd Council. Fans later abbreviated the band name to Pink Floyd, which stuck and became the official band name.
22. Radiohead - They originally used the name On A Friday, a name referring to the only time where all band members were able to practice. Radiohead was taken from a Talking Heads song.
23. R.E.M. - The name was selected by band members out of a dictionary, because they liked the sound and ambiguity. It refers to the rapid eye movement phase of sleep.
24. The Rolling Stones - The band was named after the song Rollin' Stone by Muddy Waters, one of the band's idols.
25. Savage Garden - Their name is taken from The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice.
26. UB40 - Named after the U.K. Social Security form for unemployment benefit.