Who Nearly Had A Worse Name: Creed Or The Black Crowes?

Most of the entries on this list of the 25 Worst Original Names of Famous Bands are just silly and not very good, but a couple of them easily hit “Holy shit, that really almost happened?” levels. They’re the sort of thing you might expect out of some punk band just looking to fuck with people, but not out of bands that are actually trying to become mainstream famous.

For instance…

The Georgia rock band led by battling brothers Chris and Rich Robinson played a ragged mixture of garage rock and alt-country for about five years under the name Mr. Crowe’s Garden – reportedly inspired by Johnny Crow’s Garden, an early 20th century children’s book by Leonard Leslie Brookes – before changing it to something a little more in sync with their newfound Humble Pie/Faces obsession. As limp as their original moniker was, though, it could have been much, much worse: According to Black Crowes drummer Steve Gorman, Def American head honcho Rick Rubin once told them, “‘I think you should be the Kobb Kounty Krows and spell it [like] the KKK.’ And we all laughed, and he goes, ‘No, I’m serious. . . I think that’d be marketable.’ We told him to go fuck himself. I mean, it was completely insulting on every level.”

Not all of your ideas are going to be good ones no matter how successful you’ve been, but Jesus Christ, Rubin. Even by the standards of three decades ago that one is completely insane.

Perhaps through some act of fan mercy, the words “Naked Toddler” do not currently appear anywhere on Creed’s Wikipedia page. But the fact is, when the group first came together in the mid Nineties, guitarist Mark Tremonti presented his bandmates with a newspaper clipping he kept in his wallet containing a story about an abducted “naked toddler” and convinced them it would a good moniker. “The name didn’t go over well,” singer Scott Stapp wrote in his autobiography. “Girls hated it and said it made them think of pedophilia.” The band eventually adopted Creed as a shortened form of the name of bassist Brian Marshall’s previous outfit Mattox Creed. And yet, the group apparently aren’t totally ashamed of their NAMBLA-esque original name. In 2012, they posted a piece of “Creed Trivia” to their Facebook page asking fans if they knew the band’s original name. About 600 fans have replied so far, all confident in typing “Naked Toddler.”

Wait. Creed was still around in 2012?

I don’t know what’s worse. That Mark Tremonti legitimately thought Naked Toddler was a good name or that the rest of them gave it some thought and then were like yeah…it’s not bad, let’s do it!

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