Pat Monahan: How We Chose Our Son’s Name

04/17/2012 at 01:00 PM ET
Lionel Hahn/Abaca

When Pat Monahan and his wife Amber recently welcomed their son, there was no need for the couple to play the name game.

The Train frontman’s sister-in-law Summer — and their baby boy — had already spoken.

“My sister-in-law was having these very intuitive, very intense dreams that [my unborn son] was visiting her and insisting that his name was Rock,” the singer, 43, tells PEOPLE.

After several episodes of baby boy revealing his name choice, Monahan admits they began to “take it real seriously” — especially when the expectant parents weren’t getting the message.

“She said that my son was coming to her and grabbing her face and saying, ‘Aunt Summer, my mom and dad won’t listen to me in their dreams. You need to tell them my name is Rock,'” he recalls.

“Then she had another one where he was wearing a [Colorado] Rockies uniform playing baseball. He was like, ‘Aunt Summer, look, my name’s on [my shirt].'”

Eventually, Monahan and Amber gave into the vivid dreams — and complied with their son’s request! — in an effort for Summer to get in a bit of shuteye.

“You just go, ‘Alright, this kid is going to get the name. Tell him to quit bugging you and get some rest!'” the new dad jokes.

Now proud parents to Rock Richard, Monahan insists that the given moniker has everything to do with his sister-in-law and nothing to do with his career. “We didn’t name him because of rock music,” he explains. “We felt like he should have a strong foundation name.”

As for big sister Autumn, the sibling bond between the 3ยฝ-year-old and the “sweet little guy” seems to be growing stronger every day. Still, despite the smooth transition, learning to spread the love is always on Monahan’s mind.

“There will be times where you give a smaller, younger child love and affection and then you look over at the other child and they’re watching you and you go, ‘And here’s the other half of my love…'” he says, adding, ultimately, his daughter is “very psyched” with the newest addition.

Train’s latest album, California 37, was released Tuesday.

— Anya Leon

FILED UNDER: Births , Exclusive , News , Parenting , Video

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Showing 58 comments

Katie on

Weird. That’s all I have to say!


Mom and Dad, my name is Douchebag, please call me Douchebag. My sister-in-law told me to name my son Douchebag, because she had those vivid dreams. NUTS!

Paige on

I love both Train and Pat (and so does my mom).

Interesting story behind the name choice.

kjc on

Cute story.

Ultimately it was the parents choice, so they had to have liked it.

Allie on

I am not that much of a believer in this type of stuff, but I heard a similar story from a friend who kept dreaming about the name and kept seeing it pretty much wherever she went. She didn’t really like the name in the first place, but at the end, she also gave in and gave her son the name.

paula on

That would be the day I would name my child from a dream of a sister in law. Couldn’t the parents choose a name for their own baby?

Lacey on

I think the sister-in-law just wanted them to pick her name choice.

Denise on


bh on

Rock? Seriously?

DaisyMoon on

Was Aunt Summer on any meds at the time of these intense delusions…um “dreams”?

Louisa on

It’s been done a few times….Rock Hudson, Rocket J. Squirrel, Rocky Balboa. It’s still good.

Brandy on

That would just creep me out… like there was some poltrigeist trying to break through to this side.. hahaha good luck with that, Pat.

TV on

Wow. I thought his name was Rocco because we heard his bandmate Jimmy Stafford referring to the baby by that name.

Vonnie on

Wow, none of you get it do you? Only a couple here and there…..hahaha! Who is making the big bucks here? Not any of you that are commenting negatively. Obviously none of the people that think this is funny have intuition? Insight? Belief? In that things can come to you in dreams…how many of you negative peeps have had a dream that seems so real that you actually wake up feeling u lived it? Huh, well, my guess is that every single negative person on here HAS and WiLL again! Enough said.

JM on

sounds like kind of a pushy sister-in-law. even if i had had a dream like that (something which incidentally means nothing, the kid was a fetus at the time in question) i probably wouldn’t go on about it to the parents of the child. i mean, tell it maybe as a funny story but not suggest that they should name their kid something that i saw in my dream. really odd….

Becky on

Some people might think they are crazy but I had a dream when I was pregnant with my daughter and her name in the dream was Sophia. I knew then that that should be her name ๐Ÿ™‚

Alisha on

That was their/his story that he decided to share with his fans etc. so if you guys have nothing nice to say about it then don’t say anything. How rude~

Shannon on

This is a strange story. Eek.

Anonymous on

Lord people, give them a break. I had very vivid dreams to use Liam as my son’s middle name and we had a dreams are what you make of them. They obviously liked the name b/c they ran with it, but I don’t think that means the sister-in-law was “pushy.”

MJ on

Our 1st daughter’s name came to me in a dream when I was in my 4th month of pregnancy. My hubby and I did not discuss names at all. I told him about the dream when I had it and never discussed it again. After dropping us off at home following the birth, he went off to church. He called me to tell me that our priest had announced our baby’s name to the congregation and it was the same name in my dream. Long story short, it was what she was meant to have. Weird? No way, God’s work indeed!

Trena on

You know i have a nephew named Rocky i thought my brother and sister in law were nuts but you know what it fits him so well he is almost 7 and i can not imagine any other name for him so i love the name Rock and its a fun strong name

Nikki on

I know a few guys named Rock and it’s a pretty cool name no matter how the parents came up with it. My husband came up with our daughter’s name and my brother-in-law (& my daughter’s Godfather) came up with her middle name ~ I don’t see anything wrong with imput from others whether they are family or friends!

Congrats to the new parents!

Sandra on

So, what you are saying is because the sister in law had a dream that the child named himself Rock, he chose it? You have to be kidding me? Give the child the name that you and your spouse want, not someone else! Rock?????? Just as crazy as the majority of the other celebs kids names they give them! I feel for these kids when they are in school and someone asks “What kind of name is that or Why did your Mom and Dad name you that??? People don’t think of the child and the name they have given and all the ridicule when they grow up!

Hannah on

Crazy aunts… we all have one. ๐Ÿ˜‰

One Voice on

Heh. All I ever dreamed while I was pregnant was that my child was a Q-tip.

B.J. (the girl) on

I am the “strange” kind of person who thinks dreams can have meaning. My sister and I are close. If she told me she was repeatedly dreaming of my baby having a certain name, I’d definitely listen and not laugh it off.

I mean, our mom got both of our names from an actor/character on TV in the 80’s, is that much better? All those little Dylans born in the 90’s… Is it better to have a unique name, or one that every other kid in the class responds to?

notsosure on

He’s fat faced and he can’t sing. I’ve heard him live. AWFUL!

Karen119 on

The aunt is 3 and a half? And they let her name the baby? Good thing she picked a name that isn’t one of those nutty or old fashioned names celebs often choose for their children. Anyone out there remember Dweezil Zappa? And now we not only have a Tallulah Willis but also her half sister, Mabel.

kathy on

You really read that and thought the aunt was 3 1/2 years old? The aunt’s name is Summer and the 3 1/2 year old sister is Autumn.

Mommy on

My son’s name is Roccie (which is the Italian spelling of Rocky). It is a family name….he is the 6th in line with that name. It suits him very well.

CONGRATZ to them and I love the name no matter how it came to them.

Sassy on

I dreamt of my youngest son even before my oldest son was born. It wasn’t until I looked into his eyes that he was boy I dreamt of. It can happen. pat monahan can name OUR kid whatever he wants…..

JIowa on

My son’s name is Rockwell, which he is always called Rock. I think it’s an awesome name, but now that a celebrity used it, I’m very disappointed, particularly this awful singer.

DaisyMoon on

Karen119…they’re both named after seasons, but only the older sis to the new baby is 3-1/2, not the aunt.

Lolabrickita on

Good thing the baby isn’t a fan of the Middle. Otherwise his name would be Brick.

Anonymous on

“Pushy sister-in-law?” Whatever. I thought it was loving and cute. Guess negative people will always be able to see negative things in any situation.

Leslie on

Good name. Solid. Has a nice sound to it.

Leslie on

Oh, and I could never be a celebrity. My skin isn’t thick enough.

Anonymous on

MJ- I don’t quite understand your story. You let the priest name your baby?! And why would your husband drop you off at home after you had just had a baby and go right to church?

As for this article….When was Rock born? I looked in the archives and couldn’t find a pregnancy announcement or a birth announcement!

Anonymous on

Oh, and to those people complaining about Rock’s name…He can always go by Richard later in life if doesn’t like Rock. ๐Ÿ™‚

Jillian on

The aunt 3 1/2…what??? Their daughter is 3 1/2!

Where did Mj say the priest named her baby?!?! They named their baby and the priest mearly mentioned the same name they had in their dream….making it feel it was meant to be at Gods way ๐Ÿ™‚ not sure if you are aware but you have to name your child before you leave the hospital…so, how could the priest have done the naming anyways? And what’s wrong with her husband going to church after bringing them home?!? Geeze it’s not like he was bar hopping! For many people regular attendance is a must.

Rock is a bit over 5 months old.


Guest on

Fyi… Rock is a very old french name… My 17 yrs old brother is named Rock. It is common where i come from, but usually ppl spell it Roch. (my mom wanted to be different).
I think it is very pretty and strong, no matter where itcame from

T2 on

Rock Richard. Seriously? You know what the nickname for Richard is, right??

Julie on

Women in my family have dreams like this all the time. I can’t count the number of times my sister ‘announced’ a new pregnancy in the family before the parents-to-be had told anyone, on occasion before they even knew. I dont know if its some sort of premonition or just a high sense for human emotion and kind of gets the idea of baby planning w/o the parents have to say anything. I wouldnt blindly believe her if she told me the name kept coming up in dreams but Id strongly consider it.

Jude on

To each their own, but ‘Rock’ in German means ‘skirt’.. Just sayin’.

Dee on

Congratulations to you and your family, Train! you and your band are the BEST!

mmc2013 on

I don’t have a problem with the story, dreams can have meaning. I have a problem with naming your kid ROCK! Like “go kick rocks,” “dumb as a box of rocks” or “stuck between a rock and hard place?” Poor kid! He will one day say, “Hey how come Autumn got a normal name!?”

VerBer on

That is actually kinda creepy. Don’t mind the name, but the dream thing is giving me the heebie jeebies.

dawn on

Call me scumbag Aunt LULU cause that is what I want to be called. Please tell my mom and daddy to call me that………..

Jax&Sarah4life on

My g/f (soon to be wife) call her son Rockie. He’s like our little Rock, because we wouldn’t have met without him. I don’t know too many kids that will randomly run up to a stranger and say “Mommy Mommy that one!!” LOL. Sooo cute!! I had to share! Congrats to the parents. Rock is a good, solid, strong name. Dreams are the window to our souls.

tori on

Love Pat but name is stupid and so is the reason for it!!!

jaci on

douche-bag. love that comment. too funny.
this is a wierd story. Rock is gonna laugh his butt off when he’s old enough to understand this story.

Amber on

I’ve met Pat and have been in his presence many times and he is one of the biggest morons in history. This story about the baby name is so ridiculous. His in-laws are all suffering with addiction but in complete denial. Pat exudes the highest level of narcissism and borderline personality disorder. He is so extremely rude to his staff. His sense of entitlement is despicable. I have never seen a person who has achieved some success with such stupidity as he exhibits. His behavior on stage and who he presents to be when he is working or at a meet and greet is a complete act. He could care less about fans and is an egotistical maniac who is obsessed with greed. The treatment he exhibits toward his staff is inhumane. He is so rude that it’s shocking that he’s someones father and husband. It’s obvious by how poorly he treats people that he is carrying a significant amount of anger from what haunts him from his past. What a sad way to live. One day he will realize that no one cares about his next record and he will be alone because of all of the people he’s treated poorly in life. Karma will have knocked on his door. Maybe This’ll Be My Year, but probably not Pat.


I’m reading these comments and some of you just don’t get it. He is a poet a philospher a dreamer and he gets it. I love that he gave his son the name his son was meant to have. He is so kinda shy for a famous guy. Weirdly sweet LOL

A on

Why can’t people just see a story for what it is. Why do you have to criticize anything that you can possibly criticize. Pat is a good person with strong family values, try seeing that instead. he is giving his children the love every child needs. He felt strong enough about the dreams his sister-in-law was having to name his son a unique name. Honestly…the son of Pat you think someone is going to pick on him for his name?

Brainiac on

I don’t know why the name is getting so much negative attention. It’s been done before, and I think it’s a cool name. If you’ve seen any other interviews with Pat, you would realize he didn’t name it after his music genre of choice. He’s not that pig-headed, even if he recently seems to think he is. Can’t you guys just let it be? It was his choice, and they are all happy. How do you think all this negative attention is making him feel? Rock stars have feelings too, you know.

Mia on

Hey I say, if the name was ok with Pat and his wife, then why not? ๐Ÿ™‚ it’s a very cute story ๐Ÿ™‚

Peter Son on

This is to the poster named Amber. Get over yourself Ginean. Transparent at best. You couldn’t keep your man or your children. Now who’s the one with the problem.
Go supervise your floor

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