10 Acts Who Changed Their Names Mid-Career

Houston band Young Mammals, formerly known as the Dimes.
Houston band Young Mammals, formerly known as the Dimes.

When picking a band name, you have to be damn sure you want to be called that for the rest of your career. Sure, calling yourself "Ass Face" sounds funny now, but when you're 40 and still touring under it because it's the only name anyone knows you by, you won't be laughing anymore.

You also have to make sure nobody else is using the name, which is easier than ever now thanks to Google. It didn't use to be that simple, as legal threats led to a lot of name changes right as bands started taking off.

These ten bands made their new names work for them, but let them serve as cautionary tales of how important it is to think your band name over carefully and never let lawyers get you down.

10. OCS/The OhSees/Thee Oh Sees Though most famous under their third name, Thee Oh Sees have recorded under three different variations on the same name throughout their long indie-rock career. Why they've continually changed the name is sort of unclear, but it's best not to question what this weird band does and to just enjoy the music.

9. Fear Before the March of Flames/Fear Before Post-hardcore band Fear Before the March of Flames had a pretty long band name, and for the most part we all called them Fear Before long before they ever shortened it. Nevertheless, they decided to finally cut off the "March of Flames" part by the time of 2008's final, self-titled album Fear Before. Unfortunately, they broke up shortly afterward.

8. Black Sabbath/Heaven and Hell Black Sabbath by any other name is still Black Sabbath, at least that's what former front man Ronnie James Dio said when they reunited as Heaven and Hell in 2006. The name change was for a few reasons, mostly rumored to be centered around current and previous front man Ozzy Osbourne's complaints over the band reuniting with Dio and touring/recording without Osbourne.

7. Puff Daddy/P. Diddy/Diddy Not a band, although he did briefly front Diddy Dirty Money, Sean Combs has changed his rap monicker enough to be the butt of many jokes. Most recently he's switched back to his original one, Puff Daddy, and a great Twitter war ensued.

6. Snoop Doggy Dogg/Snoop Dogg/Snoop Lion Snoop Dogg has also become the butt of jokes over his repeated name changes, although his transformation into Snoop Lion at least made some sort of sense given his conversion to Rastafarianism and his switch in musical style. He's back to rapping and being Snoop Dogg for the time being, though.

5. Chicago Transit Authority/Chicago When starting out in 1969, Chicago was known by the elongated name of Chicago Transit Authority. Their first, self-titled album took off in a big way immediately with the track "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" but it caught the attention of the real Chicago Transit Authority, which threatened legal action. The name was then shortened for the rest of the group's career. The classic band hits Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion on August 29 with REO Speedwagon.

List continues on the next page.


4. Dinosaur/Dinosaur Jr. On their first record, college-rock band Dinosaur Jr. was known simply as Dinosaur. It didn't take long for the old legal threats to start coming in and forcing them to tack on the Jr. In all honesty, though, it was probably a good thing. "Dinosaur Jr." is a much more distinctive name, with a quirky ring to it.

3. Green Jello/Green Jellÿ Yet another band screwed by legal threats, Green Jello was forced to change its name by Kraft Foods, which owns the trademark on the word Jell-O. That's right, Jell-O is a brand, not the actual name of the food, sort of like Band-Aid is a brand name for adhesive bandages and your ass will get sued if you name your band Band-Aid. Anyway, the band switched to Green Jellÿ, but it's still pronounced Green Jello.

2.Starfucker/PYRAMID/Pyramiddd Starfucker, while a great name for a band, is not the most marketable one. That was the reason they decided to experiment briefly with changing it in 2009. First they tried out PYRAMID, all caps, and then Pyramiddd with three Ds, because why not? Finally they just went back to Starfucker and gave up on commercial success.

1. The Dimes/Young Mammals A few years back, these Houston locals were already making a name for themselves in the burgeoning indie-rock scene as the Dimes before shifting to being Young Mammals. It was another case where a group received a cease-and-desist order for using its old name. The new one is much better, though, all things considered, so Young Mammals got the last laugh.


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