16. Sweet Children
Final name: Green Day
When Green Day took the stage at Cleveland's House of Blues days before their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year, everyone but the most hardcore fans in attendance were confused by the name on their drum riser: Sweet Children. The faithful knew this was Green Day's original moniker, and they were using it again for one night only as a celebration of their earliest days. Billie Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt started playing local shows around the Bay Area as Sweet Children in 1986 when they were just 14 years old. They gained a tiny following and even got signed to Lookout! Records under that name, but they switched it to Green Day soon afterwards to avoid confusion with fellow California rock outfit Sweet Baby – and perhaps because being "sweet" ain't so punk rock, even if it's meant ironically. They took their new name from one of their early songs, which refers to a day when not much is done outside of smoking marijuana. Much more punk rock.