Bands With Stolen Names

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I'm not talking about when, say, a con-man promoter puts a bunch of dudes together, calls them "The Zombies," and sends them on tour knowing that the real band isn't playing live shows. I'm talking about when a band just steals another band's name. Two examples came across my screen today:

- there's now a death metal band called Extreme, which has nothing to do with the funk-metal shitheads from Boston;
- there's now a sludge metal band called Radian, which has nothing to do with the early 2000s glitchy Austrian post-rock trio

Got any other examples?

but also fuck you (unperson), Monday, 20 June 2022 21:37 (one week ago) link

I've considered starting a thread before about the comment-box and profile-photo wars that take place on last.fm when two or more bands have the same name. Best example of this would be Heavenly, though it has quietened down a lot in the past decade- https://www.last.fm/music/Heavenly

Portrait Of A Dissolvi Ng Drea M (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Monday, 20 June 2022 21:40 (one week ago) link

only time i was ever really bothered by this, was when the clown-looking swedish band Ghost turned up

o shit the sheriff (NickB), Monday, 20 June 2022 21:53 (one week ago) link

There are many examples of bands using the same name, but it's rare that you can prove it's a case of intentional "theft."

Bunheads Pilot Enthusiast (morrisp), Monday, 20 June 2022 22:17 (one week ago) link

Not exactly the same scenario, but Love and Rockets is a pretty outrageous appropriation.

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Monday, 20 June 2022 22:32 (one week ago) link

Wonder how many people bought tickets to see the Red Hot Chili Pipers and were crestfallen to see a bunch of dudes with kilts and bagpipes

frogbs, Monday, 20 June 2022 22:44 (one week ago) link

Cobain has said Nirvana settled on that name because he “wanted a name that was kind of beautiful or nice and pretty instead of a mean, raunchy punk name like the Angry Samoans". Before they became Nirvana, the band were known as Skid Row

The 25 Best Songs Ever Ranked In Order (Deflatormouse), Tuesday, 21 June 2022 01:27 (one week ago) link

This thread reminds me of the joke in Spinal Tap when in their early days they were called The Originals but because there was another band called The Originals they changed their name to The New Originals.

everything, Tuesday, 21 June 2022 02:02 (one week ago) link

Aren't there plenty of bands that started out with a name before they realized it was already taken? Blink 182, Suede, Dinosaur Jr, etc.
Even Nirvana had to settle with the 60's british band of the same name.

Theft seems like a strong term. Both of those examples in the first post seem like they could plausibly claim ignorance.

enochroot, Tuesday, 21 June 2022 03:17 (one week ago) link

Nazz/ The Nazz but p sure they didn't know about each other?

no one wants to twerk anymore (will), Tuesday, 21 June 2022 03:21 (one week ago) link

xxp I mean yeah it’s so common… there was even an earlier Pavement


It’s annoying trying to stream music by Unrest (the Teenbeat band), b/c there have been a bunch of acts with name since then (hardcore, electronic, etc.), and their music tends to all be lumped together under the same name.

I assume it happens less often now, as prospective users of a band name can easily just check Discogs first (or whatever); but it still happens. I griped on the “WRONG DUDE” thread recently about an active UK band called Palace, but I doubt they’re trying to associate with Will Oldham’s ’90s band or “stealing” the name; they’re probably clueless or just figure no one cares.

Bunheads Pilot Enthusiast (morrisp), Tuesday, 21 June 2022 04:22 (one week ago) link

…ok, looking at Palace’s website, I’m getting irritated again. There’s something mildly confusing about the aesthetic… and check out the artists they share bills with. I know Oldham hasn’t used the name in a while (since BPB Plays Greatest Palace Music?), but it feels like they’re in the wrong lane with that name.

Also - their lead dude is named “Leo Wyndham”? This is some real Shelbyville sh1t

Bunheads Pilot Enthusiast (morrisp), Tuesday, 21 June 2022 04:34 (one week ago) link

When I lived in Nashville in the early 00s, there was some band I'd see playing in the local listings every few weeks calling themselves The Chills. 200% certain it wasn't the real The Chills.

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Tuesday, 21 June 2022 04:57 (one week ago) link

Bad Seeds were a 60s garage band or whatever they would have called themselves at the time.
I think Boys Next Door had been used as a name for a pop group.

Minuteman was a solo band offshoot of Ultrasound I think. Couldn't believe they hadn't heard of the US hardcore band.

I saw a review of a single by an act called Love at the time of acid house/rave. Obvious name for an act from the era but also thought 60s band were already very well known.

Pyramids has been several different bands including a great African consciousness jazz band and a 90s noise band. As well as a ska band who reversed their name and lost a d along the way then recorded Skinhead Moonstomp

Stevolende, Tuesday, 21 June 2022 07:12 (one week ago) link

Chemical Brothers started out as the Dust Brothers, and were called out on their stealing iirc

octobeard, Tuesday, 21 June 2022 08:23 (one week ago) link

This happens so much it almost doesn't seem notable.

I just checked my MP3 folder and I have 1199 artists that have the same name as another artist, and that's just music I like.

The winner is The Rats. I have 7 different Rats in my MP3 folder.

even the birds in the trees seemed to whisper "get fucked" (bovarism), Tuesday, 21 June 2022 12:15 (one week ago) link

there was this dance music/DJ person who released a bunch of music to Amazon in 2019 as "King Diamond" (no idea how that was allowed). I tried to report them but couldn't find a way to do so.

so I initially got excited thinking he'd written a new single and it was just some song about a fucking pair of jeans or something, and then the dude released a whole bunch of shit after that so in Amazon's dumb app, I'd have to scroll past fake King Diamond to find his real music.

Slowzy LOLtidore (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 21 June 2022 12:58 (one week ago) link

Rats in mi MP3 folder, what I'm a-gonna do

henry s, Tuesday, 21 June 2022 13:54 (one week ago) link

don't some artists intentionally do this just to get some plays in Spotify or other streaming services? I feel like I was getting a new song by a fake band every week on Release Radar back when I still used Spotify.

silverfish, Tuesday, 21 June 2022 14:53 (one week ago) link

Isn't the most famous example of this the Chemical Brothers calling themselves The Dust Brothers when they started out? Like they literally named themselves after the guys who produced Paul's Boutique.

MarkoP, Tuesday, 21 June 2022 14:59 (one week ago) link

Ahh, noticed Octobeard mention the same thing.

MarkoP, Tuesday, 21 June 2022 15:01 (one week ago) link

shortly after Orgy released Candyass, a band called themselves Candyass and released an album called Orgy, I'm sure to confuse people into buying their album.

Slowzy LOLtidore (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 21 June 2022 15:06 (one week ago) link

xp

Yeah I was never aware of that, and I remember seeing "Dust Brothers" in the credits at the start of Fight Club and being totally confused because I knew it was the Chems

Ste, Tuesday, 21 June 2022 15:07 (one week ago) link

this was it. the Virgin Megastore here carried it and I'm fairly sure it was due to one of the buyers getting confused. same three copies sat there for years.

https://www.amazon.com/Orgy-Candy-Ass/dp/B00004U2YW/ref=sr_1_2?crid=35DNYEHKX67TE&keywords=candyass+orgy&qid=1655824036&s=music&sprefix=candyass+orgy%2Cpopular%2C158&sr=1-2

Slowzy LOLtidore (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 21 June 2022 15:07 (one week ago) link

especially since it was released on CDBaby - pretty sure Virgin Megastore wasn't in the business of selling self-released music.

Slowzy LOLtidore (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 21 June 2022 15:09 (one week ago) link

Yeah I was never aware of that, and I remember seeing "Dust Brothers" in the credits at the start of Fight Club and being totally confused because I knew it was the Chems

I have some alarming news for you

Vance Vance Devolution (sic), Tuesday, 21 June 2022 20:42 (one week ago) link

HAHA i'm a fucking shit for brains

Ste, Wednesday, 22 June 2022 10:28 (one week ago) link

huh, he look weird without the makeup and big hair.

enochroot, Wednesday, 22 June 2022 20:41 (one week ago) link

There was a band called "Courtney Love", they didn't last long.

Mark G, Wednesday, 22 June 2022 21:26 (one week ago) link

The second iteration of the band Duh! had nothing to do with the first iteration and had stolen not only the original band's name but also their songs according to Chris Dodge.

ringworm, Wednesday, 22 June 2022 21:36 (one week ago) link

xp One of the members of The Courtneys is named Courtney Loove (which I think is endlessly awesome)

Bunheads Pilot Enthusiast (morrisp), Wednesday, 22 June 2022 22:20 (one week ago) link

There was a band called "Courtney Love", they didn't last long.


I know a guy who put out a 7” by a Russian crust punk band called George Harrison

brimstead, Wednesday, 22 June 2022 22:30 (one week ago) link

I saw a band called Michael Jackson support Radio Birdman a few years ago. This caused some last.fm beef as people were outraged that an event had been added to his page after he'd been dead 6 years.

even the birds in the trees seemed to whisper "get fucked" (bovarism), Wednesday, 22 June 2022 22:44 (one week ago) link

I caused some last.fm beef myself many years ago when I added a gig in London with 2 anarcho-punk bands called The System and Anthrax. Fans of funk band the System didn't seem to mind but some angry metalheads weren't v happy about it. Not my fault last.fm doesn't distinguish! I did see the punk Anthrax in Hastings a couple of years ago at a metal pub and there was someone in the audience wearing a metal Anthrax t-shirt, I hope she didn't think that Anthrax were playing a free gig in a pub in Hastings

even the birds in the trees seemed to whisper "get fucked" (bovarism), Wednesday, 22 June 2022 22:49 (one week ago) link

fwiw both of those bands had the name before their US counterparts

even the birds in the trees seemed to whisper "get fucked" (bovarism), Wednesday, 22 June 2022 22:51 (one week ago) link

I got sonned by a wite kid after a last.fm beef

There was a band called "Courtney Love", they didn't last long.

― Mark G

lois maffeo's band, right? i think she was pissed off at courtney for some reason or another. they've got a track on the '92 "International Underground Pop Convention" comp, along with L7 (not to be confused with the early '80s Detroit post-punk band L-Seven).

basically band names are not the product of infinite monkeys - they are very finite and are apt to be repeated - particularly given that brief, pithy names, such as one-word names, tend to be preferred. all the good band names have been taken by now. a good chunk of the _bad_ band names, like "the beatles", have been taken by now.

basically band names are theft and anybody who wants to start a band today should have more right to the name "the rolling stones" than mick jagger or "the who" than pete townshend

Kate (rushomancy), Thursday, 23 June 2022 05:13 (one week ago) link

I had a band a couple years ago, and came p with the name "The Outliers" - there's an explanation but

Anyway, I did due diligence through Discogs and suchlike, and found no other bands of that name! How about that! (There was an "Outliers" a techno project, but with no definite article)..

Just thought I'd note that Coldplay as a name was taken from Chris Martin's mate's band who split up a few years previously, and his mate let him have it.

Mark G, Thursday, 23 June 2022 08:31 (one week ago) link

remembered while failing to sleep (recovering from a minor surgery that has me looking like the cover of _i get wet_) that there's an entire genre that uses the name of a previous musical genre - jungle, which was used in the 1920s to describe duke ellington's sound. now i'm kind of curious as to what a 90s jungle-style take on "black and tan fantasie" would sound like. probably terrible.

Kate (rushomancy), Thursday, 23 June 2022 09:34 (one week ago) link

basically band names are not the product of infinite monkeys - they are very finite and are apt to be repeated - particularly given that brief, pithy names, such as one-word names, tend to be preferred. all the good band names have been taken by now

there are hundreds of thousands of english words, not even counting e.g. plurals separately. ok something like 'subdermatoglyphic' might not be a popular choice but i still think there's plenty to go round.

dear confusion the catastrophe waitress (ledge), Thursday, 23 June 2022 11:23 (one week ago) link

The Felch Monkees

Doop Snogg (Neanderthal), Thursday, 23 June 2022 13:19 (one week ago) link

there are hundreds of thousands of english words, not even counting e.g. plurals separately. ok something like 'subdermatoglyphic' might not be a popular choice but i still think there's plenty to go round.

― dear confusion the catastrophe waitress (ledge)

idk, i think it's silly. nobody gives george clinton shit for having the same name as an early 19th century united states vice president, or george s. clinton shit for having the same name as george clinton. plenty of people have the same names as more famous people. hell, i used to. i don't now, but that's mostly down to there being a lot more famous men than there are famous women - there certainly are people out there who had my name before i did. why bands using the same chords everybody before them did should be expected to have a name that nobody before them used doesn't make a lot of sense to me, less so why we would expect every 15 year old in the world to have heard of, say, the united states of america.

Kate (rushomancy), Thursday, 23 June 2022 18:28 (one week ago) link

The example you gave the Rolling Stones. It's reasonable for active bands to expect other bands (in the same country, at least) not to pick names that will lead to fan confusion - it's the same as any other service, their names function as trademarks, and are often registered as such.

Bunheads Pilot Enthusiast (morrisp), Thursday, 23 June 2022 18:34 (one week ago) link

the vocalist from Kool and the Gang's name was James Taylor and when he went solo, he went as "James 'J.T.' Taylor" to avoid a buncha nerdy white hippies showing up at his show and being confused.

Or wondering why James Taylor sounded so diff on the Ghostbusters 2 soundtrack.

Doop Snogg (Neanderthal), Thursday, 23 June 2022 18:51 (one week ago) link

The example you gave the Rolling Stones. It's reasonable for active bands to expect other bands (in the same country, at least) not to pick names that will lead to fan confusion - it's the same as any other service, their names function as trademarks, and are often registered as such.

― Bunheads Pilot Enthusiast (morrisp)

any other service or any other corporation, sure, it's the same as if some other company decided to start delivering packages and started calling themselves UPS

i should probably mention here that i'm an anarchocommunist

Kate (rushomancy), Thursday, 23 June 2022 18:59 (one week ago) link

Monty Cantsin to thread.

Halfway there but for you, Thursday, 23 June 2022 19:51 (one week ago) link

this is every 90s American sitcom where someone booked a famous band and all these people got excited and showed up to find a band full of men wearing kilts and holding bagpipes and coincidentally had the same name

Doop Snogg (Neanderthal), Thursday, 23 June 2022 20:28 (one week ago) link

"We're the Good Old Boys!"

Mark G, Thursday, 23 June 2022 21:11 (one week ago) link

country sunday with the misfits

Kate (rushomancy), Friday, 24 June 2022 00:53 (one week ago) link

the vocalist from Kool and the Gang's name was James Taylor and when he went solo, he went as "James 'J.T.' Taylor" to avoid a buncha nerdy white hippies showing up at his show and being confused.

I think Yngwie J. Malmsteen did something similar.

The 25 Best Songs Ever Ranked In Order (Deflatormouse), Friday, 24 June 2022 01:24 (one week ago) link

I actually thought John Cale and John 'J.J.' Cale were the same person until fairly recently

The 25 Best Songs Ever Ranked In Order (Deflatormouse), Friday, 24 June 2022 01:28 (one week ago) link

They aren't?

Ride into the Sunship (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 24 June 2022 12:04 (one week ago) link


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