There’s also the incredible shrinking band name,
The Mystic Knights of the *Oingo ** Boingo ** *
(plain - pre 1980)
(italics - 1980-1994)
(bold - 1994-1995)
It seems a little difficult to track the exact history leading up to ‘hitting it big’. Many bands are said to have their roots in other bands, and often go through member changes while the ‘primary’ creative force remains with the two members.
For example the Mother Love Bone - Pearl Jam history.
What I know of it is – MLB had Andrew Wood, Stone Gossard, Jeff Ament, and two other guys I can’t remember. They just finished recording their album when Wood died. His roommate Chris Cornell gets together with Ament and Gossard to record a tribute album. Cornell is also doing work with Matt Cameron, and Ament and Gossard are working with Mike McReady. They also get Eddie Vedder to do some of the vocals, and a few others work on it as well. They call themselves Temple of the Dog, taking the name from one of Andrew Wood’s songs.
Then McReady, Ament, Gossard, & Vedder hit the big time as Pearl Jam. Cornell & Cameron also make it big in Soundgarden.
There’s probably even more complications to any band, and it’s hard to say exactly who can be considered a vital member of one band that has a different name.
Then there’s bands that get famous and perform under another name for anonymity. Boingo, for instance, sometimes used the name “Clowns of Death” when they wanted to be unknown.