Before they became Coldplay, singer Chris Martin and guitarist Johnny Buckland met in college and started a band called Pectoralz. When bassist Guy Berryman joined, the band was renamed Starfish. Finally, when the whole band was complete, Tim Rice-Oxley (from the band Keane) gave the band permission to use the name Coldplay. It had originally been a name he came up with for Keane's but he 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."