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24 September 2014
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Were these bands so named after the front bottom? We explore the possibilities...

Who can resist a little snigger when mentioning this bunch of bizarrely-huge-in-the-States Brit-grungers. However, what their American fans probably aren't aware of is that they got their name not from some tribute to parts of the female form, but from growing up in Sheperds Bush in good old London, England. Still, we're not gonna tell 'em.

Titter! While we don't think for one minute that these '80s world music chancers considered the ramifications of choosing their name. 'Red Box' certainly smacks of a certain Carry On-esque verve. OK, we admit it, we're being puerile and have been since Simon Toulson-Clarke and Julian Close unleashed their first single, 'Lean On Me' in 1985. Staying in that puerile frame of mind then, you've got to admit, the prospect of a Red Box singing 'Lean On Me' probably had the less clued-up among us booking that ear-syringe session.

Courtney Love HoleHOLE
OK, provocative names are all well and good, but nothing gets the headline writers dribbling like a saucy name and newsworthy antics. Example? "Hole Splits", "Hole Come To End"; you get the picture. But the most unfortunate thing about having a band called Hole is having a frontwoman called Courtney Love, because in an era where we call Phil Collins "Phil Genesis", how can we say "Courtney Love Hole" and keep a straight face.

Smirk! With a name like this but you just know that this group hail from the punk era, when band names had to refer to all manner of unmentionables on pain of death. When you're elbow to elbow with the likes of the Sex Pistols and Sham 69, then any name is fair game. One of the more prominent all-girl punk groups, the Slits were up front about not being very musical, and hey, with album titles like 'Return Of The Giant Slits', they clearly weren't shy about their moniker either. It could have been worse though, their previous name was The Castrators. Ouch!

Oh! This '70s outfit's moniker is so blatant it's not even funny. However the fault can't be attributed to the self-proclaimed first all-girl rock combo. Reports have it that none other than George Harrison suggested the name to the band's producer. If the differences in the American and British meanings were hazy, the MusicWeb Encyclopaedia of Popular Music explains in full snooty butler fashion: "'Fanny' is rude in Britain, (referring to the female pudendum rather than non-gender-specific buttocks)" but just trying saying that to a biology class stuffed with 14 year olds. However, the band always pleaded ignorance over their risque name, and June Millington even asserted: "We really didn't think of the name Fanny as a butt, a sexual term. We felt it was like a woman's spirit watching over us." Course you did, June.

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