Original names of the Beach Boys and other iconic groups might surprise you

Find out who was called what when these top groups started out and why some of their names were changed.
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So many of our top groups, like the Beach Boys, started out under quite different names originally. Sometimes there were two or three attempts to clinch the right title for the group. Quite a few of the original names are well known, others much less so.

It can get complicated at times though. Often some lineup changes happen around the same time. Members of the group leave, perhaps new ones arrive, and the group sets off in a slightly different direction, but under a new name.

Take Queen for example, it’s often quoted that they used to be known as Smile. Well, yes, sort of, Roger Taylor and Brian May were two of the four group members in Smile: no Roger Deacon, no Freddie Mercury. The question is, does Smile really count as an early name for Queen if only half the group were in it? That's a no in my book, especially so when the legendary Mercury was one of those missing. So that's a rule in use for the original names which follow here, 50% of the group in place as a minimum. 

What were the original names of some iconic bands?

The original name for The Beach Boys

Way back in the 1960s what we might have called a boy band got together and decided on a particular look for themselves. They wanted to look like the young surfers of the day. So they wore a blue and black plaid pattern Pendleton shirt, over a T-shirt, just like the boarders heading for the beach. 

They took the name of The Pendletones for a while before changing it to become The Beach Boys. The shirts and that surf’s up look stayed on. Have a look at the covers for their early albums Surfin’ Safari or Surfer Girl and the shirts are very much in place.