20 Worst Original Names Of Famous Bands

Simon and Garfunkel

Simon and Garfunkel

They started out as "Tom and Jerry". Thankfully, they packed it in, went to college and then came back as "Simon and Garfunkel". Their original name wasn't the worst ever, I guess. It's just kind of lame, right?

The Roots

The Roots

They were originally called "The Square Roots" explaining why in one track as Black Thought raps "...so hip that I'm square". However, they dropped the first bit of their name when they discovered that there was already a folk group from Philadelphia who had that name.

Pearl Jam

Pearl Jam

If you think about the name "Pearl Jam" too long, you might begin to have sick thoughts, however, their former name was even worse. They were called "Mookie Blaylock" after the basketball card of the New Jersey Nets player by that name, found its way in to a tape case of an early demo.

Radiohead

Radiohead

These guys were originally called "On A Friday" because that's the day they would meet to rehearse in the early days. Eventually, they went with "Radiohead", naming themselves after the Talking Heads song "Radio Head". Both choices seem a little uninspired, really.

Queen

Queen

Freddie, Brian, and their mates, originally called themselves "Smile", a name so dull and forgettable that it pretty much speaks for itself why this made the list.

Maroon 5

Maroon 5

"Kara's Flowers" was the name these guys took when they started out as a 90s alt-rock outfit. The name was a kind of ode to a groupie who had a crush on everyone in the band. It could have been worse but it could have been a lot better too. They actually released two albums under that name before they changed both their style of tunes, and their name, for Songs About Jane in 2002.

Green Day

Green Day

Green Day were originally called "Sweet Children", which is equal parts crappy and creepy.

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony

It's a bit hard to believe that these hip-hop legends started out as "The Band Aid Boys". I mean, would you still be listening to any of their shit with the same fondness if that's the name they stuck with?

Beastie Boys

Beastie Boys

Because they decided in their youth that their music should be "primitive" they came up with the moniker "The Young Aborigines". "I even bought a record of Australian Aborigine music for inspiration," Jeremy Shatan said, according to Beastiemania.com.

Needless to say, whatever name they decided to change it to was better than that choice.

Kiss

Kiss

The iconic outfits almost outweigh the music these days and the name "Kiss" goes with the whole package. But Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley began their band named "Wicked Lester". It's not the worst on this list, but it does make us wonder if they'd have been remembered so fondly if they hadn't changed to "Kiss".

Blue Öyster Cult

Blue Öyster Cult

Many would argue that "Blue Öyster Cult" is a pretty crappy name for a band to begin with, and they'd be right. But it's got nothing on the awful "Soft White Underbelly" that they began as. I blame drugs for each of their choices.

Earth, Wind And Fire

Earth, Wind And Fire

Before turning to the stars and astrology for inspiration in naming a band (band leader Maurice White is a Sagittarius, if that means something to someone), these guys where called "The Salty Peppers". Sounds like "The Red Hot Chili Peppers", doesn't it? But we'll get to them soon enough...

Lamb Of God

Lamb Of God

These metal legends released one album under the name "Burn The Priest" but figured that this would have people mistake them for some sort of evil or satanic nonsense, when their lyrical content has nothing to do with that stuff. So, they went with "Lamb Of God" instead. Ironically, that name has earned them some scorn from certain sections of the religious right, too.

Sugar Ray

Sugar Ray

"The Shrinky Dinks"?!

Go home, you're drunk.

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Red Hot Chili Peppers

We've been looking forward to this one, haven't we? Despite having a pretty crazy name (as great as they are, admit it, "Red Hot Chili Peppers" sucks as a name for a band), their earlier moniker was more convoluted and ridiculous.

"Tony Flow and the Miraculously Majestic Masters of Mayhem" played two shows back in the early part of 1983.

Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath

Back before Ozzie Osborne was considered the Devil himself by many conservative members of the community on both sides of the Atlantic, he and his buddies in Black Sabbath played a different type of music. Eventually going on to pretty much invent heavy metal, they were first known as the "Polka Tulk Blues Band" and played, well, I'm sure you can figure out what type of music they played....

Creedence Clearwater Revival

Creedence Clearwater Revival

...Started as "The Golliwogs" and took to the stage with frizzy white afro wigs. Need anything else explained...??

Creed

Creed

Guitarist Mark Tremonti originally convinced his band mates to call themselves "Naked Toddler". Mercifully, this only lasted for a short while.

Finger Eleven

Finger Eleven

Okay, so "Finger Eleven" sounds a little dubious in itself, however, what would you have said if they hadn't ditched "Rainbow Butt Monkeys"?

Metallica

Metallica

With their music pretty much exactly as it says on the tin, "Metallica" was, and is, a great name for the band that redefined what Black Sabbath, et al, had created. But they tossed around a few names in the early days, and for a while there, almost went with "Thunderfuck".

thankfully, they got rid of that name (and Dave Mustaine, pictured on the far right).