When it comes to being in a band, the music is an essential aspect of it. You want to connect with millions around the world. When it comes to finding a band name, each name has a crazy story. One band used a a bad high school experience for their own name.

What’s your name?

Like many bands, Lynyrd Skynyrd got their start in high school. They didn’t originally meet up in class, though. They were all baseball players on rival teams. After discovering they loved riffs more than runs, they started practicing together all of the time.


Things started to get serious, and they decided to take a chance at being an actual band. Finding a name a bit challenging at first. They originally called themselves My Backyard before taking on a more refined name with The Noble Five. The band suddenly dropped that moniker and rebranded themselves The One Percent. The name was inspired by patches worn by biker gangs in the ’70s.

Gimme three steps

With a then concrete name, the band were ready to showcase their skills. The only problem is their name caused some problems at shows. People joked that the group only had one percent of talent during their performances.

Neal Preston

Angered by this, they quickly decided on a new name. They turned to their gym teacher Leonard Skinner for inspiration. Skinner’s rough dress code rules forced lead guitarist Gary Rossington to quit school. “We’re gonna play for y’all tonight, but we’re gonna change our name, though. Everybody who wants to change it to Leonard Skinner applaud, everybody who don’t, don’t,” Ronnie Van Zant said during a show. As expected, the crowd of fellow high schoolers cheered, and the decision was final.

Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd

The band tweaked the name to Lynyrd Skynyrd, and they were off to the races. As their popularity soared, Skinner’s did, too. At first, the teacher hated having so much attention drawn to him.


Following his death in 2010, Skinner’s family stated that he became used to his newfound fame. “He made a lot of new friends. That in itself really brought a lot of wonderful people in our family’s lives, simply because they were Lynyrd Skynyrd fans, and they wanted to meet Dad. They loved him. They’re part of our extended family now,” his daughter Susie Moore said. Naming your band after a teacher today could get you expelled. For Lynyrd Skynyrd, it brought them countless fans and major accolades.