A comprehensive guide to bands named after flowers, including The Violets, The Roses, and The Dandelions.
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Music has the power to evoke all sorts of emotions. It can make us feel happy, sad, nostalgic, and everything in between. And sometimes, it can even make us feel like we’re in love.
One of the most well-known examples of this is the Beatles’ song “Michelle,” which is about a French girl who may or may not have been named after the flower. (The jury is still out on that one.) But regardless of whether or not that’s true, there’s no denying that flowers have played a significant role in music throughout history.
From well-known bands like the Beach Boys and Hootie & the Blowfish to more obscure groups like Lilys and Daisy Chainsaw, there are dozens of bands out there who have taken their name from a flower. In some cases, the connection is clear (e.g., Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide”) while in others it’s more subtle (e.g., My Morning Jacket’s “One Big Holiday”). But regardless of how overt or covert the connection may be, these bands all have one thing in common: they were named after flowers.
In this comprehensive guide, we will take a look at some of the most well-known bands named after flowers as well as some lesser-known groups who have flown under the radar. So whether you’re a music fan who is looking for your new favorite band or you’re just curious about where some of these band names came from, this guide is for you.
The History of Bands Named After Flowers
Bands named after flowers are nothing new. In fact, they’ve been around for almost as long as there have been bands. The first band to be named after a flower was probably the Daisy Chain, who formed in Edinburgh, Scotland in the early 1960s. Since then, there have been hundreds of bands named after flowers, ranging from the well-known (the Grateful Dead, Cream) to the obscure (the Forget-Me-Nots, the Snapdragon).
Flower-named bands can be divided into two broad categories: those whose names are derived from the common names of flowers (daisies, lilies, roses), and those whose names are derived from the scientific or Latin names of flowers (e.g. Camellia, Rhododendron). There are also a few bands whose names are just flowery words or phrases (e.g. PetalHead, Daisy Chainsaw).
Whether they’re based on common or scientific names, most flower-named bands tend to fall into one of four broad categories: psychedelic rock bands, heavy metal bands, pop/rock bands, and punk/new wave bands. Here’s a brief overview of each category:
Psychedelic rock bands: These bands often take their name from a type of flower that is associated with psychedelic drugs such as LSD or magic mushrooms. Notable examples include the Blue Cheer and the Stone Roses.
Heavy metal bands: Many heavy metal bands take their name from dangerous or poisonous plants and flowers. Examples include Black Sabbath (named after a type of incense), Slipknot (after a type of knotweed), and Kyuss (after a type of desert plant).
Pop/rock bands: These groups usually choose floral names that evoke feelings of happiness and love rather than darkness and destruction. Some examples include the Beach Boys, Barenaked Ladies, and Belle & Sebastian.
Punk/new wave bands: Punk and new wave musicians often adopt stage names that shock or offend middle America. As such, it’s not surprising that several punk/new wave bands have chosen to name themselves after offensive or controversial flowers such as the Dead Kennedys (after JFK’s killer Lee Harvey Oswald) and the Butthole Surfers (after a type of sea creature).
The Psychology of Why People Name Their Bands After Flowers
If you’ve ever wondered why so many bands are named after flowers, there may be more to it than you think. A quick look at some of the most popular bands named after flowers reveals that many of them share a commonality: they all emerged during periods of social and political upheaval.
For example, The Byrds formed in the midst of the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War, while The Grateful Dead rose to prominence during the countercultural revolution of the 1960s. Even more recent bands like Arcade Fire and Beach House have been shaped by 9/11, the Iraq War, and the Great Recession.
So what is it about flowers that make them such attractive names for bands during times of turmoil? One possibility is that flowers represent hope and rebirth, two things that are sorely needed during periods of crisis. Additionally, flowers are often associated with youth and innocence, two qualities that can help counterbalance the negative aspects of upheaval.
Of course, not all bands named after flowers are born out of adversity. For some, it’s simply a matter of aesthetic preference. Others may see it as a way to subvert traditional gender roles (e.g., calling a band “The Roses” instead of “The Thorns”). Regardless of the motivation, one thing is clear: naming your band after a flower is often a signifier of something larger at work.
The Most Famous Bands Named After Flowers
1. The Grateful Dead – This band was named after a folktale called “The Unquiet Grave” which features a man who risen from the dead to haunt his grieving widow. The story goes that when she finally lays him to rest, she scattered flowers on his grave, giving birth to the term “Grateful Dead.”
2. Jefferson Airplane – This psychedelic rock band took their name from a Blues Project song called “High Flying Bird,” which features the line “feed your head, turn off your mind, relax and float downstream.” The name refers to the fact that many of the band members were heavy drug users at the time (specifically LSD).
3. The Byrds – This folk rock group was originally going to be called “The Pilgrims,” but they changed it to “The Byrds” after reading an ancient Chinese poem called “The Odes of Chen Zi” which mentioned a group of birds flying in formation.
4. Creedence Clearwater Revival – This swamp rock band was named after bassist Stu Cook’s mother’s maiden name (Clearwater) and drummer Doug Clifford’s maternal grandmother’s middle name (Revival). They chose “Creedence” because it sounded similar to cane sugar and they wanted something that would evoke images of the bayous of Louisiana.
5. Pink Floyd – This legendary progressive rock band got their name from two blues musicians: Pink Anderson and Floyd Council. They originally wanted to call themselves The Pink Floyd Sound (after Syd Barrett saw some flashing lights while tripping on acid), but they dropped the “Sound” part after realizing that there was already another band called The Tea Set.
The Best Bands Named After Flowers
Few things in life are as pleasant as a beautifully bloomed flower. The colors, the smells, the way they make you feel- flowers just have a way of brightening up any day. It’s no wonder that so many people love them, including some of our favorite bands!
From The Beatles to The Beach Boys, many popular bands have taken their names from floral inspiration. And while some chose more literal monikers (we’re looking at you,daisy chains), others went for something a little more creative with their naming conventions.
In honor of National Flower Day, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best bands named after flowers, along with a little information on each one. So sit back, relax, and enjoy this guide to bands named after flowers!
1) The Byrds
Named after founder Roger McGuinn’s 12-string Rickenbacker 360/12C64 guitar, which he affectionately nicknamed “the Byrdland.” The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991.
2) The Velvet Underground
Founded by musician Lou Reed and artist Andy Warhol in 1964, this group was originally named “The Warlocks” before changing to “The Velvet Underground” at Warhol’s suggestion. The name is derived from Michael Leigh’s 1963 novel about sexual addiction, Venus in Furs.
3) Pink Floyd
A play on the names of two blues musicians from the early 20th century- Pink Anderson and Floyd council. Originally founded as simply “The Pink Floyd Sound” in 1965, they later dropped the “Sound” from their name. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.
4) Jefferson Airplane
This psychedelic rock group was originally named after singer/guitarist Paul Kantner’s girlfriend at the time, Schifflett AIRPLANE engineer Jefferson Jackson Berkeley. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.
The Worst Bands Named After Flowers
While many bands take their names from interesting or even meaningful places, some end up with names that are just downright strange. And among the strangest places that bands have chosen to name themselves after are flowers.
Here are some of the worst offenders when it comes to bands named after flowers:
1) The Dandelions – This band was actually named after a type of weed, which is already not a good start. But what really makes them one of the worst offenders on this list is their music, which is completely uninspired and unoriginal.
2) The Petunias – Another band that chose a name based on a type of weed, The Petunias were also notable for their terrible music. In fact, they were often compared to elevator music, which is not exactly a compliment.
3) The Geraniums – Like many of the other bands on this list, The Geraniums chose their name based on a type of flower that is known for being rather unremarkable. And unfortunately, their music was just as forgettable as the flower they were named after.
4) The Lilies – Again, we have another band whose name is based on a flower that is rather drab and uninteresting. But what really makes The Lilies one of the worst offenders on this list is their complete lack of originality; they sounded exactly like every other indie band out there at the time.
5) The Chrysanthemums – Last but not least, we have The Chrysanthemums, who may very well be the worst offender on this list. Not only is the chrysanthemum a rather dull and uninteresting flower, but their music was also incredibly derivative and boring.
The Future of Bands Named After Flowers
The future of bands named after flowers looks promising. With the popularity of shows like Riverdale and Pretty Little Liars, there is a new generation of potential fans who are looking for music that is both edgy and pretty. These shows feature characters who are entangled in dark and often dangerous love affairs, and the music reflects this. Bands like The 1975 and Hozier have found success by creating atmospheric soundscapes that are perfect for driving late at night or lying in bed with a broken heart. Given the popularity of these shows, it seems likely that more bands will follow suit and begin incorporating darker themes into their music.
What does this mean for the future of bands named after flowers? It is possible that we will see a shift towards darker, more mysterious sounding names. Alternatively, we could also see a return to simpler, more innocent sounding names as a way to contrast the darkness of the music. Regardless of what direction these bands choose to go, one thing is for sure: they will continue to create beautiful music that speaks to our hearts.