Published Jan 10, 2012Thanks to the internet, it's pretty easy these days to figure out whether another band has the same name you. It wasn't always that way, however. In the days before domain name registration, groups had to take a leap of faith and hope that no other act shared the same handle. Of course, this often went awry, and legal battles and name changes would ensue.
Even today, we're surprised to find that bands are still being forced to change their names -- come on guys, don't you have Google? Some of these battles are valid, while others are completely spurious. Whatever the case, here is Exclaim!'s list of some of the most memorable band name disputes.
Rock'n'Roll's 10 Most Memorable Band Name Disputes:
10. Dinosaur vs. Dinosaur Jr.
Dinosaur's 1987 sophomore album You're Living All Over Me was their breakthrough. Unfortunately, the added publicity meant that the psych rock supergroup the Dinosaurs -- composed of former members of the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, County Joe and the Fish, and more -- took notice and forced the J Mascis-led alt-rockers to change their handle to Dinosaur Jr. Subsequent pressings of their first two albums added "Jr." to the packaging.
9. The Pack vs. The Pack A.D.
Vancouver garage punks Becky Black and Maya Miller were originally known as the Pack, but a Sacramento rap crew of the same name (who included the BasedGod Lil B) kept having the West Coast outfit's MySpace page deleted. Fearing that legal action would follow, Black and Miller changed their name to the Pack A.D. But these ladies don't go for any of that "Anno Domini" shit -- their original website was at www.thepackafterdeath.com.
8. The Warlocks vs. Grateful Dead
Before the Grateful Dead became the world's most beloved (and reviled) jam band, the San Francisco-based outfit were known as the Warlocks. At the same time, the Velvet Underground were going by the same name on the opposite coast. Then, a third band emerged with the same name, and Jerry Garcia opted to rechristen his group the Grateful Dead after reportedly finding the phrase in a dictionary. It's probably for the best -- "Deadhead" is way catchier than "Warlockhead."