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How Rock’s 100 Biggest Bands Got Their Names

Certain trends emerge as you explore how rock’s 100 biggest bands got their names. They are often forced into taking the moniker that stuck, for instance, simply because somebody else had already claimed their earlier attempt at a fame-clinching title.

Far too many of them were also chosen without any real consideration for how long the members might have to live with their decisions. A number of them also evolved out of earlier versions of the same name, while others were sparked by offhanded comments – even, in the case of one legendary group, by a pithy put-down.

More than a few make no sense at all. Like what exactly is a Foghat – and what makes a finger “bad”? So, if you’ve ever wondered just what the genesis of Genesis was, the above list is for you. Click through the gallery to solve some of rock’s greatest labeling mysteries, many of which have long been steeped in urban legends, misinformation and half truths.

Did Bob Dylan take his mother’s maiden name? Were the Who almost called the Hair instead? And did you know Jethro Tull and Pink Floyd were based on real people?

They’re all here, as we count down how rock’s 100 biggest bands got their names — from AC/DC to ZZ Top. By the end, you’ll be able to cut through the legendary lies – and, maybe more importantly, become the most annoying rock know-it-all at any dinner conversation.

Next: Top 100 Classic Rock Artists

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