999 was first conceived in late 1976 when Nick Cash (vocals/guitar) and Guy Days (vocals/lead guitar), who were at school together, decided to form a group. Within a couple of months they had teamed up with Jon Watson (bass) and Pablo Labritain (drums) and 999 were officially born. Their first gig was at the Northampton Cricket Club in January 1977.
Interest in the band was immediate and constant gigging around London brought with it critical acclaim and a hard core following of supporters. They garnered frequent rotation on radio stations like KROQ in Los Angeles.
According to journalist and author Dave Thompson, "For many Americans, they were the first to actually bother with the backwoods, playing places which other Brit bands hadn't heard of, and returning to them again and again. And while no one knows how many American bands were first inspired to take up arms by 999, those that did still wear their loyalties loudly."