Some Terrible Original Names of Now Famous Bands
A great write up at rollingstone.com of bands that started off with bad names.
There are interesting specifics for each entry so it's really a plethora of fascinating tidbits if you're into the history of rock n' roll...like us.
We're sure glad Creed changed their name from Naked Toddler. Eww. When Creed first got together in the mid Nineties, guitarist Mark Tremonti showed his band mates a newspaper clipping containing a story about an abducted "naked toddler" and convinced them it would a good handle. Singer Scott Stapp said, "The name didn't go over well. Girls hated it and said it made them think of pedophilia." The band eventually adopted Creed as a shortened form of the name of bassist Brian Marshall's previous outfit Mattox Creed.
Black Sabbath originally were labeled The Polka Tulk Blues Band. When Ozzy, Iommi, Geezer and Ward first came together in 1968 they were doing blues rock numbers under the name the Polka Tulk Blues Band, though one day early on Iommi told Osbourne it was terrible. "Every time I hear it, all I can picture is you, with your trousers around your ankles, taking a fucking dump," he said. "It's crap." His big idea was to rebrand the band as Earth, soon discovering they weren't the only English band with that name. Butler eventually nailed it the day he saw a crowd of people lined up to see the Boris Karloff film Black Sabbath and convinced his mates to try it out.
For two shows in February 1983, the Red Hot Chili Peppers were known as Tony Flow and the Miraculously Majestic Masters of Mayhem. Singer Anthony Kiedis said, "I was wearing a paisley corduroy three-quarter-length robe and a fluorescent orange hunting cap. Oddly enough, I was totally sober."
Singer Joe Elliott of Def Leppard can't really remember why they called themselves Atomic Mass when he, bassist Rick Savage, guitarist Pete Willis formed their band in their hometown of Sheffield, England, because they didn't once get a paying gig with that weak sauce moniker. Art class designs for a fake bank Elliott came up with, "Deaf Leopard", morphed into one of the most recognizable word riff since Led Zeppelin.
Mookie Blaylock, a New Jersey Nets point guard, whose trading card somehow ended up in the tape case of a fledgling band's demo, is a fine-and-dandy name for an up-and-coming band from Seattle no one had heard of in October of 1990 when they played their first concert at the Off Ramp. A different story when they started to attract national attention, record an album and dream of trademarks, merchandise and sales. So, Pearl Jam? Eddie Vedder swears it was for his grandmother Pearl, who made hallucinogenic jam, but bassist Jeff Ament remembers it differently. He says he randomly thought of the name Pearl, and the rest came to the guys after they saw Neil Young and Crazy Horse play a killer set at the Nassau Coliseum where, "every song was like a 15-or 20-minute jam," said Ament. "So that's how 'jam' got added on to the name. Or at least that's how I remember it."
Doobie Brothers, Green Day, Black Crowes (KKK reference, really?), Queen, Beastie Boys, Pink Floyd, Kiss, Blue Oyster Cult and Earth Wind and Fire all have great nuggets of info to tuck away in your little gray cells. Oh, and finally, the original name of Finger Eleven? Uh, try The Rainbow Butt Monkeys.