Howard Trafford was a 23-year-old art student in Bolton in February 1976 when he saw the headline that irrevocably altered the course of his life. It was in the NME and it read: "Don't look over your shoulder, the Sex Pistols are coming." The problem for Trafford was that he'd never actually heard the Pistols: they hadn't made any records, and nor had they played any gigs he could easily get to. The following night they were playing 200 miles away from Trafford's home, in High Wycombe. So taken was Trafford by the headline that he decided to go. He had just one problem: he had no means of getting from Lancashire to Buckinghamshire.
Trafford's luck was in, however. A teacher flatmate had a little Renault, but it was in the garage being serviced. "She asked me if I'd pick it up for her," says Trafford, remembering the trick he pulled. "And I could have the use of it for the weekend. I don't think she meant that I could drive to London." Trafford's mate Pete McNeish was due to go to London for a student conference and had been given travel expenses. That took care of the petrol money. "It needed all those elements to come together. But it shows how desperate we were - for something," Trafford says.