30 Terrible Original Names for Your Favorite Bands

"Tony Flow and the Miraculously Majestic Masters of Mayhem?"

30 Terrible Original Names for Your Favorite Bands

Fact: Rock and Roll history is littered with an astounding number of misfires in the band-name department. It’s all understandable, of course. Whenever you’re engaged in a creative endeavor, it’s difficult to hit squarely on the perfect idea right off the bat—you have to discuss things, brainstorm, “workshop” them, and narrow down your options until you think you’ve got the perfect fit. Today, we wouldn’t be surprised if bands hired branding agencies to do this for them.

However, in the case of the band names that follow, they’re so spectacularly awful we can’t believe we even know about them in the first place—and that they weren’t dismissed the moment they were uttered. So read on, and try to conjure a world in which “Tom and Jerry” crooned about a “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” and “Tony Flow and the Miraculously Majestic Masters of Mayhem” sang “Under the Bridge.” And for more great lessons in terrible monikers, don’t miss the 30 Funniest Celebrity Pet Names.

Maroon 5 Worst Original Band Names

Kara’s Flowers; Maroon 5

In the ’90s, alternative rock music was just coming into its own, and so was Adam Levine and crew—sort of. Four out of the five band members met in prestigious art school in Los Angeles, where the name Kara’s Flowers seemed appropriate for a band full of teenage boys in love with the same girl—you guessed it, Kara. And for more on the Kara and Adam Levine’s posh upbringing, check out the 20 Celebrities Who Were Born Wealthy.

Simon and Garfunkel Worst Original Band Names

Tom and Jerry; Simon and Garfunkel

Musical legends Art Garfunkel and Paul Simon have been making music together since they were 15. Nervous about using their given Jewish names, the pair came up with the safest bet: “Tom and Jerry.” Simon would name himself John “Jerry” Landis (after Sue Landis, a girl at school he had a crush on), and Garfunkel would name himself Tom Graph, a reference to graph paper. All we can say: Thank god that didn’t happen. And for more what-if’s in this crazy world of ours, don’t miss America’s 30 Most Fascinating Unsolved Mysteries. 

Eddie Vedder Pearl Jam Worst Original Band Names

Mookie Blaylock; Pearl Jam

Before Pearl Jam became one of the grungiest bands of the ’90s and ultimately redefined the sound of the decade, they were just a bunch of sports fans. Their first band name was Mookie Blaylock, after the former NBA star who played for the New Jersey Nets and Atlanta Hawks. And for more misfires in the sports world, here are the 30 Ugliest Sports Uniforms Ever Designed. 

Green Days Worst Original Band Names

Sweet Children; Green Day

This is an original band name that we sort of wish had stuck around. While it’s safe to assume this name was used for ironic purposes, it still would’ve been the best cover for every teenager with helicopter parents. What mom would say no to a Sweet Children concert? And for more on music, check out How Music Helps You Burn More Calories.

The Cure Robert Smith Worst Original Band Names

The Obelisk; The Cure

Before the goth clothes and raccoon makeup, Robert Smith wanted to name his band after phallic-shaped monuments.

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony Worst Original Band Names

The Band Aid Boys; Bone Thugs-N-Harmony

It was all because Anthony “Krayzie Bone” Henderson crashed his moped in junior year. The next day he arrived at his school in Cleveland covered in band-aids—and so did his crew in solidarity. From that point on, the Band Aid Boys ruled the halls of their junior high school. And for more examples of people who struck it big, read up on the kid who made $16 million on YouTube in a single year. 

Beastie Boys Worst Original Band Names

The Young Aborigines; Beastie Boys

Before the Beastie Boys were objectifying women, they were objectifying other cultures. According to the band, they just wanted their music to be “primitive in some way.” They eventually got what they wished for.

Pink Floyd Roger Waters Worst Original Band Names

Screaming Abdabs, Tea Set, Leonard’s Lodgers, Meggadeaths; Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd apparently has some branding issues in the beginning. From the prim and proper Tea Set to the more head-scratching Screaming Abdabs, it took some time for the group to become one of the most self-sure bands in the world.

Blue Oyster Cult Worst Original Band Names

Soft White Underbelly; Blue Oyster Cult

Is Blue Oyster Cult really the soft white underbelly of rock n’ roll? The band sure used to think so. The original band members—minus lead singer Eric Bloom—toured with this name in the ’60s before enough scathing reviews convinced the group to try another name. And for more crazy trivia, here are the 30 Facts You Always Believed That Aren’t True.

Earth, Wind and Fire Worst Original Band Names

The Salty Peppers; Earth, Wind and Fire

Before lead singer Maurice White named his group after astrological elements earth, wind, and fire (he’s a Sagittarius), he received inspiration from the culinary scene.

Doobie Brothers Worst Original Band Names

Pud; Doobie Brothers

Some times, inspiration seems to hit a brick wall. Case in point: Pud.

Finger Eleven Worst Original Band Names

Rainbow Butt Monkeys; Finger Eleven

Could you imagine a late-night host introducing these guys by that name? Oy. And speaking of: Here are the 30 Most Outrageous Late-Night TV Moments Ever. 

Sugar Ray Mark McGrath Worst Original Band Names

The Shrinky Dinks; Sugar Ray

Be serious: What else did you expect from Mark McGrath and company? The band stuck with the name—inspired by the oven-heated children’s arts and crafts kit of the same name—until a lawsuit nearly came down on their heads.

Red Hot Chili Peppers Worst Original Band Names

Tony Flow and the Miraculously Majestic Masters of Mayhem; Red Hot Chili Peppers

This name is indeed an ode to every first band that seems to fit an entire encyclopedia of intimidating adjectives into its title. Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Anthony Kiedis said the name reflected how they wanted to play, “majestic and chaotic.”

Black Sabbath Worst Original Band Names

The Polka Tulk Blues Band; Black Sabbath

Okay, yes, the name is a bit misleading for one of the world’s first heavy metal bands—but it’s still kind of cool, nonetheless. The group stuck with the name until Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi told Ozzy Osbourne one day that, “Every time I hear it, all I can picture is you, with your trousers around your ankles, [relieving yourself].”

Stu Cook Creedence Clearwater Revival Worst Original Band Names

The Golliwogs; Creedence Clearwater Revival

While the name sounds English and makes no room for any smooth-talking vocals, Creedence Clearwater Revival eventually swapped out this name for something that suited their tunes a bit more.

Creed Worst Original Band Names

Naked Toddler; Creed

It just feels all too wrong.

Nickelback Worst Original Band Names

Village Idiots; Nickelback

We’re pretty sure the band had a crystal ball in front of them when creating this ironic branding. This was back when the group only sang covers—and now everything has truly come full circle.

Nirvana Worst Original Band Names

Pen Cap Chew; Nirvana

We can just picture the scene: a young Kurt Cobain and Dave Grohl spending countless hours in the studio trying to come up with that one perfect name to fully channel their grungy angst. Cobain looks down, sees a chewed pen cap, and suddenly has it all figured it out. It’s an epiphany. It’s nirvana.

Van Halen Worst Original Band Names

Rat Salad; Van Halen

These rockers wanted to seem hardcore at a time when rock n’ roll was just starting to delve into the more metal and less mundane. The band kept this not-so-healthy salad alternative as a name for the few years they were performing at men’s clubs and bars before swiftly and simply changing it to reflect the legendary guitarist’s name. And for more fun from Val Halen, check out the 30 Most Hilarious Celebrity Riders. 

Muse Worst Original Band Names

Rocket Baby Dolls; Muse

Muse has always harbored a soft spot for the intergalactic, and their first band name was no different. The name was only used for one gig—a local battle of the bands—and we’re sure the group is thankful for this fact.

Goo Goo Dolls Worst Original Band Names

The Sex Maggots; Goo Goo Dolls

Before the Goo Goo Dolls became ubiquitous with swelling ’90s love ballads, the band just wanted to have a little more sex appeal.

The Stone Roses Worst Original Band Names

The Angry Young Teddy Bears; The Stone Roses

The Stone Roses just wanted be adored. This might be why they named their first band The Angry Young Teddy Bears.

Radiohead Thom Yorke Worst Original Band Names

On a Friday; Radiohead

As the legend goes, Thom Yorke and company—in the 1980s, before 1993’s earth-shattering Pablo Honey—the band only rehearsed on Fridays. In an uncharacteristic lack of creativity, that was the band’s initial namesake.

Queen Brian May Worst Original Band Names

Smile; Queen

Smile is a startling contrast with Queen, a name that ultimately stirred up a lot of controversy and flavor. Thank goodness Freddie Mercury soon joined the band after the name change, kicking off one of the greatest rock bands of all time.

Beach Boys Worst Original Band Names

The Pendletons; Beach Boys

Before the Beach Boys were the Beach Boys, they actually weren’t at the beach at all. Their first band name was inspired by the plaid, wool shirts favored by the surf community. But they eventually got on those surfboards and became the Beach Boys we know and love.

The Black Crowes Chris Robinson Worst Original Band Names

Mr. Crowe’s Garden; The Black Crowes

We’re guessing the band made the switch to sound more like a band and less like a children’s television special.

Destiny's Child Worst Original Band Names

Girl’s Tyme; Destiny’s Child

Because “Girl’s Time” would have been so unhip in 1997.

Bee Gees Worst Original Band Names

The Rattlesnakes; Bee Gees

Many say their songs were worse than their bite.

Hoobastank Worst Original Band Names

Hoobastank; Hoobastank

Yes, we’re still waiting for them to come to their senses.

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