1. The Doors – UCLA
Ray Manzarek and Jim Morrison famously met as film students.
2. Dave Matthews Band – UVA
Dave was bartending in Charlottesville at their start.
3. Phish – University of Vermont
The band started in 1983, and the current lineup came to life in 1985 before Trey Anastasio and Jon Fishman transferred to Goddard College to continue studying music composition, and Trey produced the work that would lay the further foundation for the band — The Man Who Stepped into Yesterday and the land of Gamehendge.
4. Ra Ra Riot – Syracuse
The sextet grew by heralding the scene at chilly Syracuse’s on-campus venue before moving the band to Brooklyn.
5. Jukebox the Ghost – George Washington University
Their irresistible piano-based power pop came straight from close to Capitol Hill.
6. MGMT – Wesleyan
The first band from the Connecticut school to open floodgates of innovative genius in post-grad Brooklyn among classmates such as Das Racist, Bear Hands, Fort Lean, and Amazing Baby.
7. Vampire Weekend – Columbia University
Meeting “‘cross the campus” clearly provided a wealth of wonderful source material for their music.
8. Reptar – University of Georgia
The golden southern road paved by the legendary likes of R.E.M. and Widespread Panic is now proudly tread by these electrifying and insanely lively pop party starters.
9. Hootie and the Blowfish – University of South Carolina
Your favorite spontaneous sing-along band started as a popular bar-and-party act a whole eight years before they went on to make the 16th best-selling album in U.S. history.
10. Talking Heads – Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)
David Byrne, Tina Weymouth, and Chris Frantz formed the band in 1974 while studying art and played onstage in New York at CBGB within a year. If only their never-to-happen reunion would come together that quickly…
11. Public Enemy – Adelphi University
Their first single ever was technically a demo floating to the campus radio station by Chuck D in 1982. Yeaaaaaaaaah boy.
12. Hall & Oates – Temple University
True story – these two met while escaping a spontaneous gang war that broke out during a band competition. Clearly this Philly campus is a place for making dreams come true!
13. Better Than Ezra – LSU
They ruled Baton Rouge from the time they formed in 1988.
14. The Pixies – UMass Amherst
Joey Santiago and Black Francis started wondering where their minds were back in 1986 when they shared a wall as dorm room neighbors, then Francis moved the band to Boston after studying abroad.
15. The Strokes – NYU
The late ’90s and early 2000s were a special time in New York City as Julian Casablancas and Albert Hammond, Jr. joined forces as freshman roommates in an apartment. An entire scene featuring the likes of The National, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Interpol followed.