Feature photo by Philip Cosores.
The High Numbers. Sigma 6. Tom & Jerry. Angel and the Snake. The Golliwogs. Tony Flow & the Miraculously Majestic Masters of Mayhem. Do these sound like Hall of Fame bands? Of course not. They sound like bands gearing up to compete in a Battle of the Bands competition, with the prize being an opening slot for some ‘70s band where the only original member left is the backing vocalist. But Hall of Famers they became, at least after they shed those hideous names and landed on something decent and memorable.
Great bands do have to start somewhere, though. Few acts land on an iconic band name like The Clash or Nirvana without running through a few stinkers first. To be fair, though, not every original band name is cringe-worthy. For every Polka Tulk Blues Band, we’re bound to come across a name like The Hype or The Quarrymen, memorable names that might not have been as iconic, but definitely didn’t earn the eye-roll that other names did. And maybe, just maybe, there are some bands out there that got it right the first time around, only to throw common sense away and go with something completely absurd.
We went through the original band names of hundreds of popular bands and pulled out 10 that are actually quite good. For curiosity’s sake, let’s take a look at how those names match up against what we now know the groups by and see who got it right, who got it wrong, and who would have won either way.