He was a founding member of Eddie & the Hot Rods but left in 1978 to form his own band releasing material on Stiff Records.
In the 1980s his life and career went downhill. In 1987 he was arrested for armed robbery, after holding up a post office with a fake revolver, stealing money and trying to escape. After a seven-year jail sentence he suffered drug problems and bi-polar problems. However, since 2011 he managed to get his life on the road and started touring again.