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Literary rock

Literary rock — Books inspire band names, including Beowulf, The Dharma Bums, and Steely Dan

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Teen spirit Ronnie G. plans to jam with his band this afternoon. But first, homework. Ron must memorize Act III, Scene 1 of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Let’s take a look at the little rake’s progress: ”For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come/When we have shuffled off this mortal coil.” Inspiration strikes. ”This mortal coil! Hey, what a great name for our band!” Sorry, Ron, that name is already taken. And here are nine more bands that did their English homework (or at least snagged a glance at their neighbor’s Cliffs Notes).

*BEOWULF Old English epic poem, circa A.D. 1000
*THE DOORS From William Blake via Aldous Huxley’s 1954 The Doors of Perception
*THE DHARMA BUMS 1958 Jack Kerouac novel
*PYLON 1935 William Faulkner novel
*THE BOO RADLEY’S Character in Harper Lee’s 1960 To Kill a Mockingbird
*STEELY DAN Sexual device in William S. Burrough’s 1959 Naked Lunch
*URIAH HEEP Character in Charles Dickens’ 1850 David Copperfield
*STEPPENWOLF 1927 Herman Hesse novel
*ELLEN JAMES SOCIETY Group in John Irving’s 1978 The World According to Garp