Tinley was born in Lymington, Hampshire. As a youngster, influenced by punk rock and John Peel, he formed his first band The Stupid Babies when he was 11 and living in New Forest in the south of England. Persuaded by his 5yr old brother Dominic, they sent a demo tape to the indie label Fast Product Records, run by The Human League’s manager Bob Last. "Everyone thought that was a really precocious and strange thing for an 11 year old to do," Adamski recalls "but I just thought that’s what everybody did". The kiddie-punk tracks were released on a sampler. When alternative BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel started playing their song Babysitters the band caused quite a stir, receiving positive write-ups in music mags like Smash Hits and Melody Maker. He performed with his brother Mark Tinley, and Johnny Slut of the band Specimen, as Diskord Datkord. The band was signed to SOHO records and released one single. The Tinley brothers continued to work together even after the demise of Diskord Datkord. In the late 1980s, Adam Tinley adopted his stage name after the UFO enthusiast, George Adamski.