Punk Rock Monikers: Hey, Snake, How's It Going? : Monitor Mix Remember in junior high or high school, when you sat around thinking of your punk name? Or when you were forming your band and everyone wanted to change their last name to the same thing — you know, like the Ramones — or tried to get their new l...
NPR logo Punk Rock Monikers: Hey, Snake, How's It Going?

Punk Rock Monikers: Hey, Snake, How's It Going?

Remember in junior high or high school, when you sat around thinking of your punk name? Or when you were forming your band and everyone wanted to change their last name to the same thing -- you know, like the Ramones -- or tried to get their new last name to form an alliteration with their first? Puns, of course, were also encouraged.

Even if you yourself weren't seeking out a new identity, everyone knows someone who woke up one day and asked people to start calling them "Spike," or whose last name went from "Smith" to "Comet" in a matter of hours.

I mean, why wouldn't you want a punk name when some of the greatest players from the most incendiary and influential bands gave themselves the coolest monikers ever? Joe Strummer, Bono and The Edge, Lux Interior and Poison Ivy, John Doe, D.J. Bonebrake, Iggy Pop, Johnny Rotten, Pete Shelley, Tom Verlaine, Stiv Bators, the list goes on and on.

As for me, the most obvious punk name would have been Carrie-Oke, but it was already taken by an acquaintance down in the Bay Area. (Thank God!) "Carrie Kinney" stuck around for a while, but my grandparents' guilt trip was too much, and I settled on my given name.

Please share the craziest or coolest punk and alternate names of people you've known over the years, your own punk name (if you have or had one), and some of the best and worst famous punk names of all time. For example, remember when Kim Deal went by Mrs. John Murphy on Come on Pilgrim and Surfer Rosa? Amazing.