Five Bands Who Should Have Kept Their Original Names

Not surprisingly, many of our favorite bands took a while to come up with a name for the group (Toad the Wet Sprocket is not among them). Whether it’s Oasis (originally Rain) or Led Zeppelin (originally the New Yardbirds), sometimes bands just have to get out there and play before they can come up with a moniker which works for them. Sometimes, when the bands later become huge, this is hilarious. Here are five of our favorite instances.

Johnny and the Moondogs (The Beatles)
It’s hard to imagine John Lennon as someone who went by “Johnny,” and it’s even harder to imagine the world’s most popular musicians not named Justin Bieber going by this name, which makes them sound like some kind of biker gang. But hey, it could have been brilliant: maybe Lennon, McCartney, & Co. could have invented punk rock a decade early.

Rat Salad (Van Halen)
Whether you prefer Sammy Hagar or David Lee Roth, it’s difficult to picture either becoming popular as singer for a band called Rat Salad. That’s what Van Halen started out as, though, before one or more of the band members decided that people seeing them as conceited was better than people seeing them as members of a band called Rat Salad.

Psychedelic Rangers (The Doors)
Sure, “Psychedelic Rangers” describes the Doors a lot better than “the Doors.” It’d work equally well, though, at describing a spandex-clad group of superheroes on a Saturday morning cartoon. Jim Morrison, nuclear-powered crime fighter? Hey, why not?

The Polka Tulk Blues Band (Black Sabbath)
Imagine going to see the Polka Tulk Blues Band (is it polka? Is it blues? It was actually named after singer Ozzy Osbourne’s favorite brand of talcum powder). Imagine watching the frontman for the Polka Tulk Blues Band bite the head off a bat. Imagine your mind EXPLODING.

Sex Maggots (The Goo Goo Dolls)
Adult-contemporary favorites the Goo Goo Dolls (you know, the guys who do “Iris”) would have provided the soundtrack to a lot less slow dances at high school proms and weddings if they’d stuck with their original (kind of awesome) name. When a promoter refused to book them, they changed their name to “Goo Goo Dolls” and ended up selling 9 million albums in the US and having 14 of their songs make the Billboard Top Ten. Okay, never mind–maybe they’re better off as the Goo Goo Dolls.

No Doubt, Dave Grohl, and Norah Jones do McCartney

With all the Canucks fever around here, we’ve gotten a bit sidetracked from writing about sweet, sweet music. Here’s a gem to tide you over until Vancouver wins the Stanley Cup: a whole mess of artists including No Doubt, Dave Grohl, and Norah Jones paying tribute to Paul McCartney via live renditions of his songs (both with the Beatles and with Wings/solo). “Penny Lane” is especially good.


Six (Okay, Seven) Most Memorable U2 Covers

With U2 on their 2011 tour now and scheduled to hit Winnipeg May 29 and Edmonton on June 1, there’s no better time to look back on their long career and dig up some of the many, many covers which have been done of their songs. Some are brilliant, some are cheesy, some are hilarious, and some are just plain weird. Here’s six of our faves. Did we miss yours? Let us know in the comments.

Also, if you still need U2 tickets for Winnipeg, Edmonton, or any of their tour dates, you can always get them from us at, where we’re never sold out.

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The 6 Most Intense Relationship Breakups in Rock History

With papers covering the breakup and alimony drama of Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger and his former common-law wife of seven years, Marianna Goriuk, we got to thinking about some of the more truly epic breakups and broken relationships in rock music. Sure, Marianna’s asking for $95,000 a month (and currently getting $25,000), and according to legal papers, she’s spending over $5k of that every month on “pet care,” but compared to some of the more legendary breakups of rock n roll, whether Kroeger has to pay for his ex’s limos, cocktail parties, and vet bills is small potatoes. Here are six of the most intense, protracted, ridiculous, and productive breakups in rock music history.

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