Building a reputation for your band can be challenging — and even these famous bands had enough trouble with it to warrant a name switch!
- The Beatles Originally called Johnny and the Moondogs, Lennon and McCartney’s schoolyard band then changed their name to The Quarrymen. They finally settled on the name of the Beatles after, according to John Lennon, “a man appeared on a flaming pie” and gave them the name.
- Led Zeppelin Jimmy Page first became known for his guitar skills in the band The Yardbirds. When he formed a new band after the breakup, he originally called it The New Yardbirds until he was presented with a cease-and-desist letter from a former bandmate.
- Queen Before adopting the glamourous and shockingly memorable band name, Queen was originally known by the bland name Smile.
- Bone Thugs-n-Harmony Who can forget the harmonizing hip-hop sounds of this incredible 90s group? Maybe you would have if they had stuck to their original name The Band Aid Boys.
- Black Sabbath The name Black Sabbath screams “Heavy Metal.” Ozzy Osbourne’s 70s hard rock band was first called The Polka Tulk Blues Band. It just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
- Red Hot Chili Peppers You might think this band name is already strange, but RHCP was once called Tony Flow and the Miraculously Majestic Masters of Mayhem. Try saying that five times fast.
- Beastie Boys This group wanted an original and primitive hip-hop/rock sound, but we’re glad they changed their name from the more offensive The Young Aborigines.
- Destiny’s Child In the 90s, this group’s name provoked a sense of mystery and style. More so than when they went by the name Girl’s Tyme.
- Pink Floyd One of the original acid rock sounds, this classic band probably would not have been as well known had they stuck with the name Screaming Abdabs.
- Van Halen When in doubt, go with the guitarist’s last name. Probably not very original, but it’s a lot better than the name Rat Salad.
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