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Five Classic Bands Who Need New Names

"Queen" + Adam Lambert
"Queen" + Adam Lambert
Photo by Jack Gorman

As we often talk about here on Rocks Off, band names are important. They're a brand for your merry group of music-playing ladies and gentlemen, but problems can arise when the brand ends up superseding important things like quality.

There are a few bands running around today either in shambles due to the deaths of important members, or just embarrassing themselves while thriving off past glories. It's about time they just did away with the name, because they're only shells of what their brand used to represent. Here are five we'd like to see change their names immediately, if at all possible.

5. Queen As my colleague Cory Garcia stated more eloquently in his recent writeup of their Houston show earlier this month , Brian May, Roger Taylor and somebody singing do not Queen make. These guys are fantastic at what they do, including the vocalists they've chosen to replace Freddie Mercury, but it's just not Queen.

We do know they can still put on a good show, though, so why not drop the Queen facade and simply form a new band with Paul Rodgers, Adam Lambert, or whoever? They can still play Queen songs, they can write new material, they can do whatever they want, and it will be without the burden of the Queen legacy.

4. Led Zeppelin Let's be honest here: the Led Zeppelin reunion tour everybody dreams about is never going to happen. The biggest thing standing in the way of that is Robert Plant's absolute disinterest in reviving the band. But that doesn't mean the fans' dreams have to die.

Drop the Zeppelin name, gather up Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and Jason Bonham, and go out on a tour with a new singer. Will it completely satisfy everyone's desires? No, but it will be a way to revisit Led Zeppelin without Plant and without dragging the actual Zeppelin name through the mud -- which, even with Plant, is a distinct possibility in the event of a true reunion tour.

3. Black Flag Okay, this one just sort of makes me angry. Let's review. When Black Flag reformed a couple of years ago, it was Greg Ginn, Ron Reyes aka Chavo Pederast from the legendary Jealous Again EP, and two stand-ins on bass and drums. Fine by me. Ginn and Reyes were enough to make it "Black Flag."

But now Reyes is out and replaced by Mike Vallely, pro skater and also the singer of Ginn's solo band Good for You. That means Ginn is the only Black Flag OG in the band. That means it's basically Good for You performing under the Black Flag name. No thanks. I love Ginn's guitar playing and will go see him no matter what name he's using (and no matter how much of an asshole he is), but let's drop the whole Black Flag pretense, please.

List continues on the next page.

 

2. Thin Lizzy Has there even been a Thin Lizzy since Phil Lynott died? Most people would say no, but the band has continued on and on as a quasi-tribute to their late front man. The problem is that its current form is not quite Thin Lizzy, and it's not quite a tribute band, it's just some sort of abomination.

I was reading Henry Rollins' great book Do I Come Here Often? the other day and it spoke of Rollins' own performance with the remaining Thin Lizzy members. He described it as a hollow experience, and that's exactly what this band has become.

1. Lynyrd Skynyrd Same here. Talk about hollow experiences; the seemingly never-ending Lynyrd Skynyrd is worse than an abomination. It's a fucking monster. What was once a great rock band has become some country-playing right wing-mouthpiece. If you got together a supergroup of Charlie Daniels, Ted Nugent and Hank Williams, Jr., you'd have the modern-day Skynyrd.

Christ, put this thing to rest, please. If those guys really want to keep on with the strange, horrible thing that Skynyrd has become, they can at least quit dragging the name through the mud.

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