The following band names aren’t all awful, but they’re undisputedly confusing as hell. See for yourself:
!!!. The only logical way to pronounce !!! is “exclamation point, exclamation point, exclamation point.” But no one has that kinda time. Rather, it’s been suggested you pronounce the dance-punk band as “Chk Chk Chk,” because that vowel-less alternative is so much better. How confusing/ridiculous is the !!! band name? You can’t even fuckin’ Google it!!!
Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe. All four members of Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe were, at one time or another, in Yes, only they couldn’t be called Yes because one of the guys not in this band-that-sounds-like-a-law-firm owned it. They didn’t even bother with commas between the names. ABWH stuck with the name for one sucky album and then bagged it.
Asia Featuring John Payne. No one in Asia Featuring John Payne—including John Payne—had anything to do with the only Asia songs you know (e.g., “Heat of the Moment,” “Only Time Will Tell”). Payne was just part of some table scraps version of the band and continues to tour using the name despite the fact that Asia—featuring three-fourths of the band that had everything to do with “Heat of the Moment” and “Only Time Will Tell—still exists.
The Band. The Band used to be Bob Dylan’s backing band, thus the super clever band name. Of course, saying you like The Band is a little like someone on a sitcom saying they’re taking classes at State.
Ben Folds Five. Yes, Ben Folds Five is alliterative and Ben Folds Three isn’t, so maybe hire a guitarist and flutist and, boom, this trio is now a quintet. Problem solved.
Catherine Wheel. Wikipedia “Catherine Wheel” and you’ll get a whole lotta things unrelated to the now defunct ‘90s group. We’re partial to the 18th century torture device ourselves. That said, it still sounds like solitary chick, not a four-piece all-male prog-rock band.
Hootie and the Blowfish. The confusion over this band name has reached epic proportions. Even Key & Peele got in on the act. Everyone just assumed that singer Darius Rucker was Hootie (because, why wouldn’t they?) and that the sidemen were Blowfish. None of that was true, but never let the truth in the way of a good story.
Mansun. This Brit-pop act truncated The Verve song “A Man Called Sun” to get its name, but this was six years after the shock-rock outfit Marilyn Manson had formed (due diligence, guys). Sadly for Mansun, most people refer to “The Beautiful People” band as Manson, but it’s nice that we still remember their faux-pas.
The The. We get that The The band name is a slag at the myriad “The” band names, and that you’ll no doubt double over in hysterics for all of eight seconds upon hearing it. But if you like The The and then decide to inform others you do, you’ve sown the seeds of a very long “Who’s on First?” exchange.
The Whigs. The Whigs formed 16 years after The Afghan Whigs did. See where we’re headed here? And if you’re a fan of The Afghan Whigs, you’ve no doubt referred to them as—wait for it—The Whigs (like, say, The Stones or The Dead fans do). We think we’ve made our point.