25 Worst Original Names of Famous Bands

From the Salty Peppers to Tony Flow and the Miraculously Majestic Masters of Mayhem

Tom and Jerry
25
James Kriegsmann/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty25/25

25. Tom and Jerry

Final name: Simon and Garfunkel

Paul Simon and Arthur Garfunkel were just 15 years old when they started shopping their songs around the Brill Building in 1956. Realizing they didn't have the most marketable names in the world, Paul became John Landis (after a girl he had a crush on, Sue Landis) and Arthur became Tom Graph, because he loved to graph the progress of hit records on graph paper (really). They called themselves Tom and Jerry (apparently fearing no lawsuit from Hanna-Barbera) and actually scored a minor hit with "Hey Schoolgirl," which they played on American Bandstand directly after Jerry Lee Lewis did "Great Balls of Fire." (Sadly, no video survives.) They failed to land a follow-up hit and soon focused on college, and by the time the duo reconvened in 1964 as a folk act they decided to use their real names, even though they risked alienating segments of the country that weren't amenable to openly Jewish entertainers. "Our name is honest," Simon said. "I always felt it was a big shock to people when Bob Dylan turned out to be Bobby Zimmerman. It was important that he should be true."