The band was called 'The Makers' in the early years, but profess to have changed their name after a friend’s (BBC London 94.9 DJ Robert Elms) visit to Spandau, a borough of Berlin, the inspiration being from graffiti he saw in the lavatory of a club there.
The term Spandau Ballet may have two likely origins: referring to the spasms of Nazi war prisoners as they "danced at the end of the rope", when they were hanged at Spandau Prison, or according to others, referring to lines of enemies being gunned down by the infamous WW2 German machine gun MG42 "Spandau" (both origins pointing anyway to the same macabre Nazi heritage). This is a contentious point. The more likely source of the name came in fact from graffiti on the wall of a lavatory in The Venue, London (Victoria) in 1978/9, where members of the originally named band worked. These members were; (Michael J) Mick Austin (now artist), David Wardill (later David Agar of The Passions), and Mark Robinson (now 3D artist/musician),and Gordon (Drums). They had been playing under the name Spandau Ballet since 1978 and had played in London once under this name at the Hope & Anchor, Islington, London on 6 May 1979 supporting The Softies. The new Spandau Ballet, with Martin Kemp and Tony Hadley, began performing with this name and generating a positive buzz around London. Their music prior to then was very R&B in the style of the early Rolling Stones or The Kinks, but became more electronic as they started to hang out in clubs such as Billys and Blitz nightclub, where they would listen to bands like Kraftwerk and Telex. The Blitz was regarded as the birthplace of a new 1980s music and fashion phenomenon called New Romanticism.
With a slicker, adult contemporary sound, the band released their third album True in (March 1983), produced by Tony Swain and Steve Jolley, who would go on to enjoy a couple of years as the "producers du jour" in Britain. In December 2007, unconfirmed reports indicated that the entire lineup of Spandau Ballet had agreed to reunite to perform a show at a Las Vegas luxury property for £2-million.