The 1980s was a decade known for its unique and sometimes bizarre pop culture. From music to fashion to movies, the 80s was a time of experimentation and creativity. In the music world, many bands embraced this spirit of individuality and quirkiness, resulting in some of the weirdest band names in history.

The ’80s were an era of fun in the music and film industry, as well as in art. Dozens of new techniques and styles emerged in all these areas, and they were inspired by a variety of things and social events. From wars to social injustice to sexual freedom and liberation, the 80s had it all.

Bands found inspiration in a wide variety of sources, like art, books, or games. A famous band The Gamblers was inspired by card games like blackjack or poker which is not as easy to play as it seems so many play with a poker chart. In any case, this article will guide you through the top 10 weirdest band names from the 80s, in our opinion. 

The Dead Milkmen
The Dead Milkmen were a punk rock band from Philadelphia that formed in 1983. Their name is a play on the phrase “dead man walking,” but with a funny twist, which is very expected for the time. The band’s lyrics often tackled social and political issues, but they did so with a playful tone.

Butthole Surfers
Founded in Texas in 1981, Butthole Surfers were a psychedelic rock band with a name that shocked and amused, which was most likely their primary goal. The band’s frontman, Gibby Haynes, has said that the name was inspired by a conversation he had with his father about the effects of LSD on the human brain.

When you think about it, it kind of makes sense. Still, it’s best if we trust the Butthole Surfers rather than finding out ourselves as drugs are illegal and dangerous.

The Flaming Lips
The Flaming Lips are an American rock band that formed in Oklahoma in 1983. Their name is a reference to an old British poem, which includes the line “the flaming fire that lights the eye.” The band is known for their eclectic sound and eccentric stage shows, but also, for a love for classical poetry, as it seems.

Devo was a new wave band from Ohio that formed in 1973 but rose to fame in the early 80s. Their name is short for “de-evolution,” a concept they explored in their music and lyrics. The band wore matching outfits and energy dome hats, creating a distinctive visual style that was as memorable as their music.

Again, this kind of thinking and aesthetics fits the 80s vibe perfectly.

The Dead Kennedys
The Dead Kennedys were a punk rock band from San Francisco that formed in 1978. Their name is a provocative statement that references the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy. The band’s music was known for its social and political commentary, often challenging the status quo.

Skinny Puppy
Skinny Puppy was a Canadian industrial rock band that came to life in 1982. Their name is a reference to a friend’s dog that was so thin it looked like a “skinny puppy.” The band’s music was characterized by its use of synthesizers and samples, creating a dark and eerie sound. An acquired taste, some would say.

The Replacements
The Replacements were an alternative rock band from Minnesota founded back in 1979. Their name is a nod to the fact that they were seen as a replacement for the more popular bands of the time. The band’s music was known for its raw and emotional quality, often exploring themes of disillusionment and frustration. Still, they knew not to take themselves too seriously.

Public Image Ltd.
Public Image Ltd. was a post-punk band formed by John Lydon, better known as Johnny Rotten from the Sex Pistols. Their name is a reference to the idea of creating a public image that is different from one’s true self. The band’s music was experimental and eclectic, incorporating elements of funk, reggae, and electronic music.

The Meat Puppets
The Meat Puppets were an alternative rock band from Arizona that formed in 1980. Their name is a reference to the fact that they felt like they were being controlled by the music industry. The band’s music was known for its unique blend of punk, country, and psychedelic rock.

The B-52s
Finally, probably a more well known one, the B-52s are a new wave band from Georgia that formed in 1976. Their name is a reference to the bouffant hairstyles that were popular in the 1960s, and that stems from the shape of the aircraft Boeing B-52. The female members of the band, Cindy Wilson and Kate Pierson, wore the hairstyle often and it also became the band’s signature look.

To sum it all up, the ’80s were a weird time, to say the least. Still, if you’re reading this, it probably means you’re into it. Why don’t you check out our other top-10 listicles to learn more about all things retro?