Justin Hayward (b. Swindon, October 14, 1946; full name David Justin Hayward) got his first guitar at age nine. In 1965, he joined pre-Beatles English rocker Marty Wilde as a member of his backing band, the Wilde Cats. By the end of 1965, Hayward had four songs that he felt ready to record on his own, which led him to former skiffle king-turned-producer Lonnie Donegan. It was Donegan's intention to record the songs himself, but Hayward insisted upon recording them, and Donegan duly agreed to serve as producer. Released by Pye Records on the last day of 1965, Hayward's solo recording debut "London Is Behind Me" vanished from sight without a trace. The follow-up, "I Can't Face the World Without You," was released by Parlophone on August 26, 1966, to similar results. It was at this same time that Hayward answered Eric Burdon's ad for a lead guitarist. But Burdon had already filled the spot, and offered the Moody Blues -- who were in the market for a new guitarist/singer to replace Denny Laine, who had quit earlier that year -- their pick of responses filling mail sacks in his office. Hayward's letter was picked out by Ray Thomas, and he was called by Mike Pinder. A meeting between the two, and a subsequent meeting with the band, brought Hayward into the Moody Blues lineup permanently.