Spanish graphic design group Tata & Friends have turned the most famous of those obtuse names into a series of 24 punchy graphics, called Rock Band Icons. The yellow-and-black compilation of graphics play out like rock-and-roll themed flashcards. For example: see how quickly you can figure out which band is best represented by a seashell and a jelly jar.
On a more philosophical note, Rock Band Icons are a friendly reminder of how odd it is to sling around phrases such as “Sex Pistols” (it’s easy to forget how saucy the name is) or “Blind Melon” (how random is that?). Tacking up a Tata & Friends poster may just stoke some serious conversation about the history of rock and where bands got their names from. It’s no accident, for instance, that the Stones took their name from a track on a Muddy Waters LP–the blues band inspired them and some of the most legendary rock music of the 20th century.
Now let’s just see if the power of graphic design can explain the poetic etymology of Butthole Surfers.