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While we might know some popular bands by one name, they often times went by another name earlier in their careers. Here are 12 bands that changed their name just before they got famous.
- U2. Before U2 got famous, they were a five-piece rock band called The Hype in 1977.
- Oasis. They were called The Rain, which was a reference to a Beatles’ B-Side, before the Brit Pop band changed their name to Oasis.
- Coldplay. Chris Martin and Jonny Buckland formed their band in 1998 under the name Pectoralz. They changed it to Coldplay after their first show.
- The Beatles. Before they were known as The Beatles they were known as The Quarry Men. It’s a reference to the school John Lennon and Paul McCartney went to when they first met.
- The Beach Boys. The rock band was known as The Pendletones, before they changed it to The Beach Boys in 1961. They wanted more of a surfer feel.
- Green Day. They were originally known as Sweet Children before they changed their name to Green Day in 1987. Green Day’s third EP is called “Sweet Children” as a nod to their past.
- Queen. Before they were called Queen, the British band was called Smile in 1968. They broke up two years later and re-formed as Queen.
- The Who. They were known as Detour when they formed, but changed it to The Who after one of their singles failed.
- The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Jimi Hendrix formed his band in 1966 as The Blue Flames before changing it when he also changed the way he spelled his name. He was born James Marshall Hendrix.
- Bee Gees. They were known as The Rattlesnakes before they settled on the Bee Gees in 1960.
- Red Hot Chili Peppers. They played one show for a friend’s party as Tony Flow and the Miraculously Majestic Masters of Mayhem. They changed their name to Red Hot Chili Peppers in 1983.
- Pearl Jam. The Seattle-based band was known as Mookie Blaylock before they changed it to Pearl Jam. Apparently, former-NBA point guard Mookie Blaylock was a fan of Pearl Jam. He was also Eddie Vedder’s favorite basketball player.