Why Mammoth Changed Their Name to Van Halen


Bloodlines were so crucial to Van Halen's chemistry that it's hard to imagine the band being named anything else.

But they actually went by something slightly less subtle before Alex and Eddie Van Halen begrudgingly adopted their last names as a now-iconic moniker: Mammoth.

The brothers' journey to "Van Halen" began in the summer of 1969, when they recruited an older teenager, bassist Dennis Travis, to round out a group Eddie would playfully dub Trojan Rubber Company. Often featuring singer-guitarist Bill Maxwell, they were strictly a covers act at this stage, saluting rock giants like Jimi Hendrix and Cream.

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