The Beat was founded by Paul Collins, who spent his pre-teens living in Greece, Vietnam and Europe before returning to his native New York. He studied at the prestigious Julliard Music School and eventually moved to San Francisco where he joined songwriter Jack Lee and bassist Peter Case to form The Nerves in 1974. The Nerves proved to be one of the pioneers of the burgeoning US punk rock scene, independently releasing their own 4 song EP which included the classic "Hanging on the Telephone," later to become a hit for Blondie.
After The Nerves disbanded in 1977, Collins moved to LA and formed The Beat with bassist Steve Huff, drummer Mike Ruiz and lead guitarist Larry Whitman. Their friend Eddie Money recommended The Beat for management by legendary concert promoter Bill Graham. Under new management, The Beat toured with The Police, The Jam and Joe Jackson. They also made numerous TV appearances and recorded their debut self-titled album with producer Bruce Botnick (who had produced The Doors). The album featured Beatles and Byrds-influenced guitars and catchy choruses, defining the skinny-tied power pop which The Knack took to the charts. In the '90s, The Beat re-formed as Paul Collins' Beat and continues to write and tour.