British rocker Steve Harley was born Steven Nice in London on February 27, 1951; the son of a jazz singer, he was stricken with polio at age two and spent the better part of his adolescence in and out of hospitals. After trying his hand at journalism, by the early '70s Harley was busking throughout London, forming the band Cockney Rebel in 1973 with guitarist Jean Paul Crocker, bassist Paul Jeffreys, keyboardist Milton Reame James, and drummer Stuart Elliott. Signing to EMI, the group debuted with The Human Menagerie; the single "Judy Teen" followed in early in 1974, becoming Cockney Rebel's first hit. Psychomodo was also a success, but as Harley's combative relationship with the press worsened he dissolved the group soon after. A Harley solo single, "Big Big Deal, " preceded the formation of a new Cockney Rebel lineup, which again featured drummer Stuart Elliott in addition to new guitarist Jim Cregan, bassist George Ford and keyboardist Duncan McKay.