The Kings were formed in Vancouver, British Columbia, and Oakville, Ontario in the late 1970s. The original lineup included David Diamond (David Warren Broadbent, bass, lead vocals), Mister Zero (John Campbell Picard, guitar), Sonny Keyes (keyboards, vocals), and Max Styles (drums), with Zero and Diamond serving as the main songwriters with contributions from Sonny Keyes. The Kings were originally known as WhistleKing and rehearsed, performed club gigs, and wrote a considerable number of songs for more than three years.
In early 1980 the band went into Nimbus 9 Studio in Toronto to record their first album. While recording, renowned producer Bob Ezrin visited the studio, listened to the band, and liked what he heard. Together they created the album The Kings Are Here featuring the hit “This Beat Goes On/Switchin’ To Glide”. Two other singles followed and the band began touring extensively with Bob Seger, Jeff Beck, The Beach Boys and Eric Clapton. During 1980, their rising commercial fortunes culminated in an appearance on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand, and the closing spot at the major Heatwave festival in August.