20 Legendary Photos Of Bands Before And After They Got Famous

Published 5 years ago

When listening to our favorite bands, it’s hard to realize that at one point they were just small local musicians trying to make it in the tough music industry. However, their hard work and determination clearly paid off and nowadays we can’t imagine our playlists without them.

This time we’re offering you to take a glimpse at some legendary bands before and after they became famous. From Depeche Mode to AC/DC, you’ll hardly recognize some of the bands in the after photos. Check them out in the gallery below!

Read more

#1 Depeche Mode

Image source: Wikipedia

Back in 1977, inspired by The Cure, two schoolmates, Vince Clarke and Andy Fletcher formed their own band and called it No Romance In China. Eventually, the band renamed themselves to Depeche Mode and became the legendary band that we all recognize today.

#2 Linkin Park

Image source: linkinpark

High school friends Mike Shinoda, Rob Bourdon, and Brad Delson formed a band called Linkin Park, whose name paid homage to the Lincoln Park in Santa Monica. They chose the spelling “Linkin” because they needed an Internet domain for the band and decided to use “linkinpark.com”. The first photo above is the first photo taken of the band.

#3 Metallica

Image source: Wikipedia

Metallica started back in 1981 when Lars Ulrich, the future drummer of the band, placed an ad in a newspaper. It stated: “Drummer looking for other metal musicians to jam with Tygers of Pan Tang, Diamond Head and Iron Maiden.” Guitarists James Hetfield and Hugh Tanner responded to the ad and on October 28, 1981, the band was officially formed. Ulrich’s friend suggested the name Metallica when deciding how to name the freshly-baked band. One other variant was MetalMania – and we’re kind of glad they decided to go with Metallica.

#4 Green Day

Image source: greenday

Green Day was formed back in 1986 Billie Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt when they were just 14 years old. At first, they called themselves Sweet Children. They played their first gig at a DIY venue called “924 Gilman Street” in California that banned them when the band signed a record deal with a record label called Reprise Records. Oh well, their loss!

#5 The Beatles

Image source: Wikipedia

All the way back in 1957, John Lennon and some friends from Quarry Bank High School in Liverpool formed a band they called the Blackjacks. They later changed it to Quarrymen but had to change it yet again after finding out there’s another local band with the same name. They experimented with some names before settling with “The Beatles”. The photo above, taken at the wedding reception of Paul’s cousin, was shot in 1958, about a year after the band was formed.

#6 Bee Gees

Image source: Wikipedia

The Bees Gees, originally called The Rattlesnakes, formed sometime in 1958. At first, they played rock and roll but later shifted to harmonizing after a rather funny performance. The band was supposed to lip sync a record during their performance but just before it started, the record broke. The band was forced to sing live and the crowd loved it – so they decided to sing live from then on.

#7 AC/DC

Image source: AC/DC

AC/DC was formed by brothers Malcolm and Angus Young, Larry Van Kriedt, Dave Evans and Colin Burgess back in 1973. They had their first gig at a night club on New Year’s Eve, the same year the band formed. In 1974, the band already had a rather strong reputation and were invited to play at Michael Browning’s club called Hard Rock. Browning, however, didn’t really like AC/DC’s glam-rock look and thought that Evans wasn’t the right singer. After the band lost their first manager, they asked Browning to step in – and he agreed, transforming the AC/DC into a blues-rock type of band that we know today.

#8 Rolling Stones

Image source: therollingstones

Keith Richards and Mick Jagger started The Rolling Stones when they were still in school. They were longtime childhood friends who were separated for 11 years after Jagger’s family moved away. Eventually, they met again and realized they had similar tastes in music and decided to form a band. The name “Rolling Stones” was thought up by Brian Jones during a phone call with Jazz News. When asked what the name of their band was, Jones saw a Muddy Waters LP on the floor – one of the tracks was “Rollin’ Stone” and so the legendary name was born.

#9 Nine Inch Nails

Image source: nineinchnails

Nine Inch Nails was formed in Cleveland, Ohio, back in 1988 by Trent Reznor. He remained the only official member of the band until 2016 when he was joined by Atticus Ross. For a long time, Reznor played all of the instruments (except for the drums) by himself.

#10 Beastie Boys

Image source: Wikipedia

Beastie Boys formed in 1984 and achieved worldwide success in just 4 years. They sold over 50 million records worldwide, making them one of the most successful rap groups of all time.

#11 Radiohead

When the band was formed, they first called themselves “On a Friday” as a reference to their rehearsal day, only coming up with “Radiohead” later on.

#12 Iron Maiden

Image source: ironmaiden

Iron Maiden formed on Christmas Day back in 1975. The band’s name was inspired by a film adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’  “The Man in The Iron Mask”. It took the band four hard years to achieve success.

#13 The Cure

Image source: Facundo Gaisler

The Cure formed in 1976 and for a long time struggled to achieve success. In 1982, the band released an album called “Pornography” – an album that changed the band’s gloomy reputation. It received major commercial popularity and made the band famous. The band is still active in the music industry and are planning to release their 14th album by the end of 2019.

#14 R.E.M.

When Michael Stipe’s band first performed back on April 5, 1980, they didn’t even have a name. The band tried names like Twisted Kites, Cans of Piss and Negro Eyes before eventually settling with R.E.M., meaning “rapid eye movement”, a word they randomly chose from a dictionary.

#15 Judas Priest

Judas Priest formed in 1969. Bassist Brian “Bruno” Stapenhill came up with a name for the band inspired by Bob Dylan’s song “The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest”.

#16 Pixies

Image source: Angie Garrett

Black Francis, Joey Santiago, Kim Deal and David Lovering formed the Pixies back in 1986. After just seven years, the band went on a nine-year-long hiatus and only returned to the stage in 2004. All of the reunion tour tickets were instantly sold out.

#17 Def Leppard

Def Lepard first started back in 1977 as a band called Atomic Mass, formed by high school friends Rick Savage, Tony Kenning and Pete Willis. Later on, Joe Elliot auditioned for the role of the guitarist in the band but the band quickly realized he was a better lead singer than their current one. It was Elliot that suggested the name “Deaf Leopard” that was later changed to “Def Lepard” to sound more punk.

#18 U2

Image source: R. L.

Back in 1976, 14-year-old Larry Mullen Jr posted a note on his school’s notice board, saying he’s looking for musicians to form a band. Six people responded to his note and the band first started practicing on September 25th of the same year. Paul Hewson “Bono” was chosen as the vocalist while David Evans “The Edge” and brother Dik Evans became the guitarists.

#19 Aerosmith

Image source: Pollack Man34

In 1964, Steven Tyler formed a band called The Strangeurs, later changing the name to Chain Reaction. At the same time, Perry and Hamilton formed their own band and called it Jam Band. Both of the bands played together in 1970 and Tyler was so impressed with Jam Band’s performance, he offered the two bands to join up. He only had one rule – he would become the frontman and lead vocalist.

#20 The Sex Pistols

Image source: Unknown

Even though The Sex Pistols’ career only lasted two and a half years, the band managed to leave quite a legacy and is still remembered as one of the most influential punk bands from the UK.

Aušrys Uptas

One day, this guy just kind of figured - "I spend most of my time on the internet anyway, why not turn it into a profession?" - and he did! Now he not only gets to browse the latest cat videos and fresh memes every day but also shares them with people all over the world, making sure they stay up to date with everything that's trending on the web. Some things that always pique his interest are old technologies, literature and all sorts of odd vintage goodness. So if you find something that's too bizarre not to share, make sure to hit him up!

Got wisdom to pour?



bands before fame, famous bands young, iconic bands, young artists
Like deMilked on Facebook
Want more milk?
Hit like for a daily artshake!
Don't show this - I already like Demilked