The band was formed in London in 1978 by John Watts (vocals, guitars) and Steve Skolnik (keyboards), but it was really Watts' band from the get go. They quickly signed to United Artists and released their debut album in 1979. Their second LP, the wonderfully named Going Deaf for a Living (1980) built on their success in Europe, and the "So Long" single even reached #72 on the U.K. charts.
Skolnik quit after Going Deaf for a Living, but Watts released a strong follow up (1981's Red Skies Over Paradise) before deciding that he did not want to be constrained within a band. (Even if it was his band). Watts released three solo records before resurrecting the Fischer-Z name in 1987; he seems to have used both names during most of the ensuing years.
The video for "So Long" is awesome, in a totally 1980 sort of way. Shots of the band playing are mixed with vintage cars and a Humphrey Bogart look-alike private eye (no relation to Hall & Oates). The results are ... well, see for yourself:
Cool trivia fact: "So Long" was the 112th video ever played on MTV, and was played on the first day.