The band was formed in 1976 by four high school friends: Anglo-Egyptian singer and guitarist Andy Blade (real name: Ashruf Radwan). guitarist Brian Chevette (real name: Brian Haddock), drummer Dee Generate (real name: Roger Bullen) and bassist Ian Woodcock.
The band's name came from a line in the 1970 T. Rex song "Suneye"; Eater later recorded a cover version of T-Rex's "Jeepster."
Eater were known for being one of the youngest bands, if not the youngest band, in the punk scene. They were 14–17 years old when they formed the band.
Despite originating in north London, the band made its first public performance in Manchester, featuring Buzzcocks as their support act. Eater’s live set at this November 1976 was built mainly around speeded-up versions of Velvet Underground and David Bowie songs such as "Queen Bitch" and "Sweet Jane".
Closer to home, the band became one of the pioneering punk bands that played live in the first few months of the now-legendary Roxy Club. They topped the bill twice in January 1977; the second time they were supported by The Damned. They headlined again in February, this time supported by Johnny Moped, and twice more in March, supported first by The Lurkers and then by Sham 69. They also supplied two of their tracks, "15" (a version of "I'm Eighteen" by Alice Cooper) and "Don’t Need It", to the seminal live compilation album Live at the Roxy WC2. Extracts from their performances at The Roxy were also included in Don Letts' Punk Rock Movie (1978).
The band signed to a small London independent label called The Label, and released five singles and The Album LP before splitting up in 1979.
Blade made several attempts to create a solo career during the 1980s but failed to secure a deal. He shared an apartment with Billy Duffy who later joined The Cult.
Blade published a book about his times with Eater and beyond, called The Secret Life of a Teenage Punk Rocker, in 2005.
Eater reformed to play the 1996 Holidays in the Sun Festival in Blackpool.
Eater also reformed briefly in 2006, playing a one-off gig at the 100 Club, supported by TV Smith of The Adverts. They also supported the Buzzcocks on the 30th anniversary of their original tour, at the Forum.