How did Weezer get their name? It’s such a quirky and singular moniker for a rock band that there must be some story behind the choice.
Longtime Weezer fans have pondered this since Weezer first burst onto the rock scene in the ’90s. And along the way, there have been hints and indications of the band name’s genesis.
But a legit answer was only publicly confirmed by Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo years later.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane, shall we? Going all the way back to the early days of dialup internet, listeners who searched “How did Weezer get their band name?” were usually met with one of two answers: That it was a childhood nickname for Cuomo because he had asthma and wheezed, or that it emerged from The Little Rascals character Wheezer, portrayed by child actor Bobby Hutchins in the Rascals’ mid-20th-century comedy shorts Our Gang — or some combination of the two.
So are one of these the correct answer?
How Weezer Got Their Name
Weezer’s band name was a last-minute decision, which may have influenced why Cuomo chose what appeared to be such a personal designation for the group — if it was his early nickname.
After all, Cuomo had first moved to L.A. from Connecticut with a glam metal band called Avant Garde — which, let’s face it, is a pretty run-of-the-mill band name and not personal at all.
But while hustling for L.A.-area shows in 1992, Cuomo reportedly gave a booking agent the name Weezer right before his then-new band was due to open for Keanu Reeves‘ group Dogstar at a club gig. It ended up being Weezer’s first show.
What Does Weezer Mean?
But how did Cuomo and his group — which at that time included current Weezer drummer Patrick Wilson with former Weezer members Matt Sharp and Jason Cropper — come up with the name?
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It turns out it was indeed a nickname that Cuomo’s father, onetime jazz drummer and later Episcopal bishop Frank Cuomo, had given to his son. And it was indeed after the Rascals character.
But the Weezer leader stopped short of confirming anything related to childhood asthma.
“I don’t know why,” Cuomo added of his dad’s coinage. “I asked him, ‘Why’d you call me Weezer?’ And he said it was after the kid in The Little Rascals — there was a character named Weezer. So I said, ‘Why him?’ And he said, ‘He’s the cool one.'”
Now you know how Weezer got their band name.
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