Alan Lee Shaw was coming to the end of art school in Cambridge around 1974/75, and was constantly checking out all the bands playing at the Corn Exchange, one of which was the Pink Fairies. Twink, the drummer, who was domiciled in Cambridge at the time, had linked up with Syd Barrett of Pink Floyd fame in a band called Stars. Hanging around with Twink and Syd Shaw struck up a rapport with Twink and got into some short lived musical projects with him.

At the end of 1975 Shaw moved to North West London, along with musical compadre Rod Latter, seeking fame and fortune Twink, having also moved to the "Smoke", and the punk explosion erupting at that time, Twink, Shaw and Rod Latter formed The Rings. The band played around London, recording one single on Chiswick Records "I Wanna be Free" in 1977.

With the demise of The Rings, Rod and Shaw found Robert Crash - a German bass player - in New York, and formed The Maniacs. They played all the punk-rock sweat pits at home and abroad, appearing on the bill of the 2nd Punk Rock Festival at Mont-de-Marsan in France, along with The Clash, The Damned, and The Police in August 1977, and releasing the single "Chelsea 77"