999Â have been going for over 4 decades. The reason for their longevity is not airplay, massive publicity, hype or even a major recording deal but word of mouth and that â€śword of mouthâ€ť now extends to nearly every country on earth.
The frenzy and raw energy of the early days were captured by their debut single â€śIâ€™m Alive on the bands own Labritain label and sold well enough to become a minor hit. Next through their association with United Artists records the second and third singles, â€śNasty Nastyâ€ť and the now classic â€śEmergencyâ€ť were released both scaling the lower reaches of the charts and confirming 999 to be one of the major forces in the British New Wave Movement.
Since leaving United Artists 999 have recorded another eleven albums. Jon Watson was replaced in 1986 on bass by Danny Palmer and subsequently by Arturo Bassick in 1991. To date the band have completed 15 U.S. tours, 101 London gigs, 36 UK tours and 24 European tours visiting Finland, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Belgium, Holland, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Yugoslavia, Japan, Argentina and Brazil.
Inspired by American bands such as the Ramones and the New York Dolls, the British beat boom of the sixties and Glam Rock acts like Slade and Sweet, THE LURKERS formed in West London in mid 1976 and quickly forged their own identity with their own brand of punk tunes and lyrics encompassing subjects such as social unacceptability and personal politics.
The band built up a huge loyal following around the punk heyday of 1977 and signed to Beggar's Banquet where they scored five top forty hits between 1977 and 1979 . They also appeared on Top of the Pops and many other television shows and became regulars on the popular Radio One John Peel Show.
Due to changing musical tastes within the band and Beggar's Banquetconcentrating on their new signing Gary Numan, The Lurkers decided to call it a day in 1980 but two years later a sudden resurgence of interest in the band inspired them to get back together to record for origional manager Mike Stone's Clay label, home of emerging hardcore punks Discharge and GBH. In 1984, new singer Mark Fincham ran off to work the drag clubs of Berlin and the band once again folded.
Original bassist Arturo Bassick got the whole thing going again in 1987 after a chance meeting with the huge German Punk band Die Toten Hosen, all of whom were massive Lurkers fans. Die Toten Hosen financed the comeback album, 'Wild Times Again', which launched The Lurkers' career once more and they have continued ever since, with one lineup or another.