The Grateful Dead.
If you stop to think about it, the name is sorta weird. Even a little scary.
But, boy, is it memorable.
Originally calling themselves the Warlocks when they formed a band in 1964, the musicians realized they needed to come up with a new name a year later when they found out that there was another band by the same name that had recorded a single. The guys debated names, coming up with ideas such as "Mythical Ethical Icicle Tricycle" (Garcia) and "His Own Sweet Advocates" (Weir). When they were unable to find a name they agreed on, they gathered at Phil Lesh's house around a copy of Bartlett's Quotations, read out a thousand possible names, but couldn't agree on anything. Then Jerry Garcia opened a copy of Funk and Wagnall's New Practical Standard Dictionary (1956 edition) and randomly pointed to a page. There, staring back at him, was grateful dead. Several members immediately fell in love with the name and wanted to use it. Others were a bit wary. But all agreed it was memorable, so they decided to use it.
The dictionary defines the term as a type of ballad involving a hero who helps a corpse who is being refused a proper burial, a theme found in many cultures. For the Grateful ...