The band that came to be known as 999 first came together towards the end of 1976 when Guy Days and Nick Cash (AKA Gene Carsons AKA Keith Lucas) who had known each other since schooldays, started thinking seriously about getting a group together. Previously Nick Cash had been the guitarist in pub rockers Kilburn & The High Roads who also featured Ian Dury and featured on the album ‘Handsome’. But for 999 he claimed to have had to unlearn An advert was placed in the Melody Maker for a bassist. Jon Watson remembers, “I had come back from a year of playing in Germany and I was determined not to end up in a funk/soul band, then I saw this advert in the Melody Maker …’Bass player required for punk rock group.’ Pablo Labrittain (AKA Paul Buck) joined two months later in December after the band had auditioned numerous drummers. Nick and Guy recall: ‘We knew what we wanted and we wouldn’t settle for anything less.’ Others passing through auditions would be the ever hopeful Chrissie Hynde’ later of the Pretenders’ and John Moss who had also failed the Clash auditions and who would later join London, the Damned & Culture Club. They started serious rehearsals the week before Christmas ’76 in the basement of Broomfields Bakery Brixton before making their debut appearance in January supporting Stretch at Northampton Cricket Ground. Drummer Pablo had only been with the band for nine days! Apart from one other show at the Target Club Reading, 999 did not get a chance to play live again for nearly two months. During this period they found that they could not afford to function without taking daytime jobs. Nick worked as a postal clerk. Pablo became a porter, Guy took a job as a general office worker and Jon started painting on a Brixton building site. ..