Rock stars and their real names

1 August 2020, 12:00 | Updated: 3 February 2021, 17:44

Fatboy Slim, Axl Rose and David Bowie
Fatboy Slim, Axl Rose and David Bowie. Picture: 1. Martin Philbey/Redferns/Getty Images 2. Kevin Mazur/WireImage/Getty Images 3. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Will you please welcome to the stage... William Rose! Doesn't have the same ring does it? Let's take a look at some of the pseudonyms.

  1. Axl Rose’s real name is William Rose

    William may not cut it for a rock and roll hell-raising singer. Let Bill become Axl.

    Axl Rose of Guns N'Roses. Not generally known as "Bill" to his friends
    Axl Rose of Guns N'Roses. Not generally known as "Bill" to his friends. Picture: Kevin Mazur/WireImage/GettyImages
  2. The Edge’s real name is Dave Evans

    You're one of the most acclaimed guitarists of the past 40 years. You can't call yourself Dave Evans, why not transform yourself into The Edge?

    Dave Evans aka The Edge during U2's early 80s prime
    Dave Evans aka The Edge during U2's early 80s prime. Picture: Rob Verhorst/Redferns/Getty Images
  3. Slash’s real name is Saul Hudson

    Saul's a pretty cool name, but you need something more rock and roll, why not Slash?

    Axl Rose and Slash of the rock band Guns n' Roses performst at Radio City on October 31, 1985
    Axl Rose and Slash of the rock band Guns n' Roses performst at Radio City on October 31, 1985. Picture: Marc S Canter/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
  4. Bez’s real name is Mark Berry

    "Mark Berry" doesn't really sum up the mystery that is Bez.

    Bez does his thing for Happy Mondays while bandmate Shaun Ryder looks on
    Bez does his thing for Happy Mondays while bandmate Shaun Ryder looks on. Picture: Stuart Mostyn/Redferns/Getty Images
  5. Freddie Mercury’s real name is Farrokh Bulsara

    A famous one - this young singer from Zanzibar took on the name of the fleet-footed messenger of the gods.

    Freddie Mercury aka Farrokh Bulsara
    Freddie Mercury aka Farrokh Bulsara. Picture: Michael Putland/Getty Images
  6. Gene Simmons’ real name is Chaim Witz

    First: change your name to something more "rock". Next: cover your face in make-up and lo, you are Gene Simmons!

    Gene Simmons of the rock band KISS
    Gene Simmons of the rock band KISS. Picture: Hulton Archive/Getty Images
  7. Nikki Sixx’s real name is Frank Feranna Jr

    Frank isn’t a very glam rock name. If you’re playing bass in Mötley Crüe, you need something more “it”.

    Bassist Nikki Sixx, lead singer Vince Neil, lead guitarist Mick Mars and drummer Tommy Lee of the American hard rock band Motley Crue, 1984
    Bassist Nikki Sixx, lead singer Vince Neil, lead guitarist Mick Mars and drummer Tommy Lee of the American hard rock band Motley Crue, 1984. Picture: Ross Marino/Getty Images
  8. Mani’s real name is Gary Mounfield

    This Mancunian musician adapted a nickname as his stage persona.

    The Stone Roses in July 1989: Ian Brown, John Squire, Mani and Reni
    The Stone Roses in July 1989: Ian Brown, John Squire, Mani and Reni. Picture: Joe Dilworth/Photoshot/Getty Images
  9. Joe Strummer’s real name is John Mellor

    The leader of this legendary punk band needed a more heroic moniker, so he switched.

    Joe Strummer of The Clash in 1978
    Joe Strummer of The Clash in 1978. Picture: Michael Putland/Getty Images
  10. Flea’s real name is Michael Balzary

    Balzary wasn’t funky enough for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, so it was a time for a change.

    Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers in August 1992, New York City
    Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers in August 1992, New York City. Picture: Catherine McGann/Getty Images
  11. Bono’s real name is Paul Hewson

    This singer took his stage persona from the name of a hearing aid shop to become Bono Vox.

    Paul Hewson rocking the Bono mullet
    Paul Hewson rocking the Bono mullet. Picture: Getty© Aaron Rapoport/CORBIS OUTLINE/Corbis via Getty Images
  12. Iggy Pop’s real name is James Osterberg Jr

    This legendary frontman took the name of his first band The Iguanas to reinvent himself.

    Iggy Pop in 1970 - no longer known as "Jim"
    Iggy Pop in 1970 - no longer known as "Jim". Picture: GettyTom Copi/Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images
  13. David Bowie’s real name is David Jones

    Mr Jones of Bromley, Kent became a wild-eyed alien, better known as Bowie.

    David Bowie in May 1973
    David Bowie in May 1973. Picture: GettyGijsbert Hanekroot/Redferns/Getty Images
  14. Alice Cooper’s real name is Vince Furnier

    The name Alice Cooper was originally applied to the band, but was later taken on by the frontman.

    Alice Cooper in action in the 1970s
    Alice Cooper in action in the 1970s. Picture: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
  15. Fatboy Slim's real name is Norman Cook... kinda

    Fatboy Slim's name is actually somewhat of a double mystery. The Praise You DJ was born Quentin Leo Cook and changed his name to Norman Quentin Cook.

    Fatboy Slim performs in Sydney in 2020
    Fatboy Slim performs in Sydney in 2020. Picture: Don Arnold/WireImage/Getty Image