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  • 10 Classic Bands Who Changed Their Names
The Hype > U2: David Evans' (The Edge) older brother Dik was a member of U2's original lineup, then called "The Hype." Dik was in college, and thus older than the older four band members, so he eventually became a fifth wheel. Memorably, he walked off the stage during the Hype's final concert as a five-piece. A friend of bassist Steve Averill helped them come up with a new name, offering six options. U2 was the one they disliked the least.

There’s been quite a spate of name-changery going on in the indie rock ranks right now, as people like DIIV (FKA Dive), VÅR (FKA War), and POP ETC (FKA the morning benders) have decided to change stuff up (albeit for different, completely respectable reasons). So, we figured it was time to take a look back on other band name changes from classic bands. POP ETC, VÅR, and DIIV, in the context of this blog post, you’re in good company! Hit the gallery above.

Comments (83)
  1. Really surprised not to see Warsaw -> Joy Division on here! Is it a lineup thing?

    • Nope, just a name change. There is some stuff recorded as Warsaw available out here I suggest you check it out.

      • Yup. It’s a similar story to how WAVVES was originally called Toolbag Kid Who May Obtain A Guitar In An Hour. Then 60 minutes later, it was WAVVES.

  2. Michael_  |   Posted on May 10th, 2012 +8

    5 is the new 11.

  3. I’m only seeing five photos right now. I can only assume you included The Quarrymen-> Beatles change

  4. Wicked Lester-> KISS??

    • Good one.

      And I have an old Wicked Lester cassette demo that isn’t even too many generations old. Had a friend who was the HUGEST kiss fan live at my house for a while. But dude went a drug nutty and left a bunch of his shit behind. Score. I think that demo was finally released in some kind of box set or something, though.

  5. Also, Mookie Blaylock->Pearl Jam

    • In case you need to jog your memory, you may remember Mookie Blaylock as a footnote to one of the greatest NCAA title runs of ALL TIME:
      Image and video hosting by TinyPic
      Oh yeah and he played in the NBA for a long time, or something.

    • Another good one. Pearl Jam is a better name, but I still sometimes wish they could have kept Mookie Blaylock.

  6. Pen Cap Chew -> Nirvana

  7. The Originals -> The New Originals -> the Thamesmen -> Spinal Tap

  8. Warlcoks -> Grateful Dead

    • INTERESTING FACT: Velvet Underground also started out as the Warlocks. LESSON: Name your band the Warlocks

      • … than change it to something else

      • The Grateful Dead changed their name because another band with that name was signed to a label. I guess it’s possible Velvet Underground had to change their name for the same reason. The Dead and the Underground both existed as The Warlocks at the same time – one on the West Coast, the other on the East Coast.

  9. The Management -> MGMT

  10. Poop Factory -> Poop Factories ->Skrillex

  11. Michael_  |   Posted on May 10th, 2012 +2

    Mind Power –> Bad Brains

  12. Dinosaur–>Dinosaur Jr.!

  13. or the greatest ever, Tity Boi–>2 Chainz

  14. The Hanson Brothers -> The Hansons -> Hanson

    Used to give my sister SO much shit for thinking that was legitimate!

  15. The Morning Benders changed to Pop Inc. What a horrible name…

  16. Wasn’t Nirvana originally named Skid Row?

  17. Seymour/Circus ->Blur
    The Ravens -> The Kinks
    The Artistics -> Talking Heads

  18. I believe Led Zeppelin used to be called the Low Counties Merseyset Country Lane and Jug Band. But it’s cool, not a lot of people remember that anymore…

    Also Black Sabbath? Used to be called White Christmas. True story.

  19. you all should be ashamed for forgetting canada’s pride:

    rainbow butt monkeys -> Finger 11

    don’t need a clear picture to see the rockthefuckoutingness of these sons of the true north, strong, and rocking the fuck out of you punx assx mothafuxxxas

    “let’s get some XL khakis, blond highlights, and D’s blown because we’re about to take the world by da B’s.” – Rainbow Butt Monkeys

  20. Wow. Sucks for those other four original members of Oasis. You formed a band that went on to be hugely successful, some would even say influential, going so far as to have hits in America (that used to be a really big deal) and all anybody will remember about it is how douchey those Gallagher brothers were to each other and pretty much ever other person they ever spoke to (or about).

    Damn that was a long ass sentence.

  21. And people thought Red Hot Chili Peppers was a weird name. Something tells me Tony Flow and the Miraculously Majestic Masters of Mayhem might not have made it to the RRHOF.

  22. The Smashing Pumpkins –> Smashing Pumpkins –> The Smashing Pumpkins

  23. fecal matter –> skid row –> pen cap chew –> bliss –> ted ed fred –> nirvana.

  24. Pearl Jam -> Stone Temple Pilots -> Creed -> Nickelback

    Am I doing this right?

    • Contrary to popular belief, not quite. Stone Temple Pilots were a band with a song called Plush before Pearl Jam was even a thought, making the early accusations of of STP (who were first known as Mighty Joe Young) copying Pearl Jam completely uninformed and ridiculous.

      • STP formed in 86? Either way I never heard that much of a similarity between the two…people needed a reason to complain like always.

        • They were about half-formed at that time (Robert and Scott), but STP had a bunch of their songs written and a lot of their style established even before Andy from Mother Love Bone died. People also forget that Pearl Jam and STP were playing their early shows miles and miles apart from each other. Frankly, I don’t know how anyone could mistake one band for the other. To me, STP were always edgier and artier. Kurt Cobain was right about Pearl Jam; they’re definitely more like a classic rock band.

          • I wouldn’t say STP were artier until Tiny Music. Everything before that was the same classic rock reinterpretation Pearl Jam was doing. I actually like STP, it was more of an off-hand joke. I think they would have become popular either way. It was more a matter of some record exec seeing they had a similar sound to Pearl Jam and trying to shoehorn them into the whole grunge thing. It became clearer on later albums when they started making blatant tributes to bands like The Beatles and The Eagles, but it was always there.

    • Good bands have always produced crappy imitators. It’s never seemed fair to me to judge a band/musician by some subsequent band/musician who tried to copy some aspect of their sound (and maybe did so poorly).

      Although I did find that funny…

  25. HAHAHAHAHA perfect!!!!!!!!

  26. Helium Kidz ——-> XTC

  27. Wire–>Wir–>Wire

  28. Shrinky Dinx–>Sugar Ray

  29. Classic Bands That Changed Their Name? All of them.

  30. Coldplay’s original band name was “Pectoralz” (possibly the most BRO band name of all time)? It all makes sense now.

  31. My band in high school/college was called The Slurpees, I got a call on a hungover early Saturday morning my freshman year in college (IN MY DORM ROOM?!) from an attorney representing 7-11. Seems they’d noticed that belonged to a band and they were none too pleased.

    The lawyer said we needed to immediately change the name and dispose of all merchandise with the word Slurpees on it, since it was trademarked. So we “disposed of” all of our albums and t shits (The Slurpees: Cold), and changed our name to……

    The Sauce.

    Neither were particularly good names, but neither were that bad. It just still pisses me off that 7-11 didn’t a)realize that 40% of the people who came to our shows stopped off for a slurpee before hand, and b)invite us to become the “Official Band of the Slurpee”, because that would have ruled.

  32. Flake Music >> The Shins

  33. Remember when N.W.A. was called The Grundleratorial Exfarkricated Tittliciousness Buckets?

  34. So basically every band anywhere ever used to have another name or two before settling on their current one.

    Next in Stereogum lists: BANDS WITH DRUMMERS

  35. The Sellouts – Nirvana ( the name they had right before changing to nirvana, if im not wrong )

  36. I will never love you. Ever.

    Maybe if money’s involved.

  37. earth >> black sabbath

  38. There must be very few famous bands ever who started with the same name. What sort of time-sink is this?

  39. The Golliwogs – Creedence Clearwater Revival

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