January 22, 2009

From Page to Stage: Band Names Based on Books

Posted by at 7:26 am in Reads | Permalink

Everyone knows that the band Veruca Salt took their name from a character in Roald Dahl's book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. But did you know that the band Good Charlotte also got their name from the title of a children's book (Good Charlotte, from the Girls of the Good Day Orphanage series by Carol Beach York)?

Good Charlotte_7098727    Goodcharlotte

Fine, maybe you already knew that. I'm, like, a zillion years older than you, so I never knew. But thanks to the miracle of the internet, I just learned that fun fact! AND I also just discovered that the indie music group Belle and Sebastian is another band who borrowed their name from a children's book (a French book by Cécile Aubry called Belle et Sébastien).

Of course, this got me thinking about other children's book characters and titles that might make good band names, and here's the list that I came up with:

The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles

I've always loved this fantasy novel by Julie Edwards (actually famed actress Julie Andrews writing under a pen name!), and this is the first title that came to mind for an awesome band name. Yeah, it's on the long side, but I'm sure they could shorten it to just “the Whangdoodles” for ease. I imagine them as a glam rock band, strutting around onstage in shiny outfits topped off with feather boas.


Taken from Suzanne Collins' fantastic series The Underland Chronicles, I think Underlander would be the perfect name for a metal band.

Brenda Tuna and India Ink

You've probably never heard of it, but Buffalo Brenda by Jill Pinkwater was one of my absolute favorite books when I was younger. It follows the hilarious (mis)adventures of best friends Brenda Tuna and India Ink Teitelbaum as they navigate the strange waters of high school; thanks to Brenda's wild personality, they dive in headfirst by taking over the student newspaper and orchestrating an expose, then planning a secret campaign to adopt a buffalo as the school mascot. Anyway, I think Brenda Tuna and India Ink sounds kind of like a duo of female folk singers, don't you?

Dear Dumb Diary_7874208
Dear Dumb Diary
I can't decide about this one. A power girl rawk band or a pop group? Either way, any musicians using this name would have to combine a lot of lip gloss with a little bit of edge. Or is it the other way around: a lot of edge with a little bit of lip gloss? Any fans of Jim Benton's series want to weigh in on this one?

The Four-Story Mistake

The title of this novel by Elizabeth Enright actually refers to a house, but obviously, as a band name, it would be most apt for a group with four people in it. I'm thinking an indie rock quartet.

Miss Nelson Is Missing

Remember those wacky Miss Nelson picture books by James Marshall? Punk. Most definitely punk.

So those are my ideas for band names based on children's books. What are yours?

— Karen, STACKS Staffer

  1. Abby

    Um, how about, from the Maximum Ride series by James Patterson, Avian Hybrid? Can’t you see, like, a light metal band called Avian Hybrid?*
    Also, I think Lyonesse would be a cool name for a rock band. Queen Bee could be an all-girls band. Stonekeeper, from Amulet, could be another rock band. The Good Neighbors or Kith I could totally see as a punk rock/metal band.

  2. Gabbie

    Shiloh, Project Mulberry, The Shadow Club, Speeding Bullet, Downsiders, The Dissidents, The Outsiders (or Ponyboy or Sodapop), Rumble Fish, Stargirl, or The Secret Language of Girls.

  3. Gabbie

    I LOVE all this stuff with the book titles. OK, here’s mine: Any book from the Ink-trilogy, The Shadow Club, The Outsiders (or the name Ponyboy or Sodapop from that book), Speeding Bullet, The Dissidents, Downsiders, Swindle, Stargirl, Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie, Space Station Seventh Grade, Crash, Maniac Magee, and Shiloh.
    I know it’s a lot but they’re all good band names! (in my opinion)

  4. Erik

    I’d listen to a band called The Pernicious Knids…
    Oh, and just as a point of interest – Edwards is Julie Andrews’ actual married name (she’s married to director Blake Edwards).

  5. Karen, STACKS Staffer

    @Nancy: What a great idea! I never would have thought of that. I just saw online that one of the titles is The Clue of the Whistling Bagpipes. I wonder if a band by that name would actually involve bagpipes or if that would be the mystery — like, why is the band called that if they DON’T play bagpipes?

    @sockmonkey4: I also love the book Mandy! I definitely still have a copy on the shelves of my childhood bedroom. Maybe I’ll re-read it the next time I’m visiting my parents.

    @alexandra: Shhh . . . Don’t spoil it! ;-)

  6. PugHugs

    The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles is just an awesome, awesome name for anything. Especially a band. And The Four Story Mistake would be a cool name too.
    Oh, and GLU4EVER: There are a bunch of bands with names based off of Harry Potter, they’re called wizard rock bands.

  7. Nancy

    I think any of the old Nancy Drew titles would make a great band name. “Password to Larkspur Lane” could be a new-age group…

  8. alexandra

    haha. i would def go see The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles or Miss Nelson Is Missing.
    wasnt she really just in disguise tho, not missing?

  9. sockmonkey4

    i think Mandy, also by Julie Andrews, would be a really good band name. Either an all girl band or an all boy band, like good charlotte, would be good.

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