In 1998 before they became Coldplay, singer Chris Martin and guitarist Jonny Buckland met in college and started a band called Pectoralz. When bassist Guy Berryman joined, the band in a rush for a name in time for their first show renamed their band “Starfish”. Here’s the first photo of “Starfish” rehearsing.
They only played one show as Starfish before settling on the name Coldplay. They came upon their new band name when Tim Rice-Oxley (from Keane) gave them permission to use Coldplay, a band name he had originally come up with for Keane but thought the name was “too depressing.”
Rice-Oxley pinched the name Coldplay from a 1997 poetry book by American poet Philip Horky called “Child’s Reflections, Cold Play.”
Rice-Oxley was once invited by Martin to join the newly formed band Coldplay but he declined because he did not want to leave his band.