REFERENCE

The Big Book of Rock & Roll Names: How Arcade Fire, Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, Vampire Weekend, and 532 Other Bands Got Their Names

Abrams Image. 2d ed. ed. May 2019. 304p. illus. ISBN 9781419732591. pap. $19.99; ebk. ISBN 9781683353379. REF
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Television writer and producer Dolgins discusses how more than 500 bands, from the 1950s to the present, ended up with their names. Explanations range from mundane (the Indigo Girls found their name in a dictionary) to amusing (Chubby Checker’s wife suggested that moniker as a play on Fats Domino). Dolgins doesn’t detail his research in updating the book from 1998, and sometimes waffles with “said to have been” (the Ravens), “reportedly” (XTC), and “credited with” (Pearl Jam), but overall the anecdotes have an authentic ring.
VERDICT A music lover’s walk down trivia lane, with occasional four-letter input when quoting band members. For large public libraries.

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