I love my job as a children’s librarian. Storytime is fabulous, ordering books is tons of fun, but I have to admit that shelving is not something I particularly enjoy. Recently, to pass the time while returning books to their homes, I looked at the titles and tried to decide which would make the best names for rock bands. Some of my favorites were:
In any case, this exercise got me wondering: what bands are actually named after children’s books? I looked into it and found eight bands with kid-lit-based names:
This 90s alternative rock band is named after the spoiled brat in Roald Dahl’s splendiferous book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Luckily, Veruca gets her comeuppance for being so rotten. She is deemed a “bad nut” by Mr. Wonka’s nut-sorting squirrels while on the factory tour and she is thrown down a garbage chute.
Silverchair, another 90s alternative band, is named for the sixth book in the Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis. There’s another theory behind the name (it’s a combination of two song titles), but we’ll stick with the literary one.
Belle and Sebastian
Scottish band, Belle and Sebastian, took their name from the 1965 French novel, Belle et Sébastien, by Cécile Aubry. The book is about a 6-year-old boy named Sébastien who lives with an adopted family in the French Alps, along with his beloved Great Pyrenees dog, Belle. I embarrassingly admit that before finding the etymology of the band name, I thought the group was a duo with singers named Belle and Sebastian.
No, these guys are not named after E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web. Rather, there is a book called The Girls of the Good Day Orphanage: Good Charlotte. Based on the super short description on Amazon, Charlotte is an orphan, and in the story, she meets a blue-haired girl who she believes to be a princess. Sounds a bit out there…kinda like the band, I suppose
The Black Crowes
More 90s alternative! The Black Crowes was originally named Mr. Crowe’s Garden after Johnny Crow’s Garden, a picture book by L. Leslie Brookes, first published in 1903. The story seems really sweet. Johnny Crow (he is a black crow) tends a garden full of animals, including pigs dancing jigs and beavers catching fevers. The band changed their name eventually at the suggestion of a producer.
The band, Toto, shared in an early-80s interview that they named themselves after Dorothy’s dog in L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Apparently they only planned to use the name for their demo tapes, but never got around to changing it.
British new-wave-turned-pop group Thompson Twins derived their name from Hergé’s popular comic strip, The Adventures of Tintin. Thompson and Thompson were an inept detective duo in the Tintin series. One might assume that the band also would have been a duo, but that was not the case. Thompson Twins had up to seven members at a time, though they were best known as a trio.
Originally called “Starfish,” Coldplay got their name from a friend whose band was named “Coldplay” but was willing to give Starfish the name. (A little confusing, I know.) The first Coldplay got the name from a collection of poetry called Child’s Reflections: Cold Play. This might be a bit of a cheat for the list because I’m not entirely sure that the poems are geared towards children. It has no reviews or samples on Goodreads or Amazon, so I’ll just go with it.
Can you think of any I’ve missed? What other children’s books might make awesome band names? Share in the comments!