Naming a band is like naming a child — it’s what they’re going to be remembered by forever. So, it’s a pretty important decision, and it’s caused quite a few bands some trouble over the years.
Some groups that you know and love once went by a different moniker, but had to change them for a variety of reasons. Pearl Jam are often cited as an example of this, though the widely-believed version of the story is not actually true. The Seattle band originally went by Mookie Blaylock, after NBA point guard who played for the New Jersey Nets at the time that they formed.
Though it has been rumored in the past that Blaylock threatened to take legal action against the band for using the name, bassist Jeff Ament confirmed in 2008 with The Missoulan [via Deadspin] that that was never the case at all.
But there were other acts that weren’t so lucky. Some either faced potential legal trouble because another band already had the name, or were told by their label that they had to change it for other reasons. All of these situations could have played out so differently. Imagine Black Sabbath never changed their name from Earth? Would they have had the same impact on heavy metal if their name had been that much friendlier?
Scroll through the gallery below to see rock and metal bands that were forced to change their names.
Rock + Metal Bands That Were Forced to Change Their Names
These bands were forced to change their names.
Where 20 Rock + Metal Band Names Come From
Solving the mysteries behind the monikers.