After forming in 1985 under the band name “Swing“, Scott Weiland and Robert and Dean DeLeo changed their band name to “Mighty Joe Young”.
While recording their debut album with producer Brendan O’Brien they received a call from their lawyer who informed them that there was a bluesman who had already claimed the name Mighty Joe Young.
They then changed the band’s name to Shirley Temple’s Pussy and performed under this name in San Diego, CA for a short time.
Under pressure from their record label they were asked to again change the band name but the initials STP would stay. Guitarist Dean DeLeo told MTV news that he suggested “Stereo Temple Pirates”. After some debate they changed Stereo to Stone and Pirates to Pilots, finally settling on Stone Temple Pilots.