The League of Gentlemen: Slade's road crew


Graham Swinnerton (Swinn)

Graham was the first Slade Tour Manager from 1968? – 1980 (August). He had been doing work with Saxon in the period leading up to August 1980 and, despite the Reading Festival triumph of August Bank Holiday Sunday, he decided to leave Slade and become Saxon’s permanent tour manager. He rejoined the crew for the Tours (as a backline roadie) in January and February 1981. Since those days he has been working as a freelance, mainly with American Bands such as Southside Johnny and the Asbury Dukes. He was married but now is divorced and has two children.

Swinn passed away in December 2015.

Johnny “J.J.” Jones

Johnny joined Slade around 1972 And first left the fold, after an argument, in October 1975. He rejoined in 1977, and then went to work with Saxon, with Graham Swinnerton.

John worked on several Slade tours in the early years of the eighties as either backline technician or monitor man. John worked as a freelance and with Saxon for many years until in June of 1996 he sadly died of a brain haemorrhage.

John was one of the nice guys. He was liked by everyone and is still sadly missed. He had been married and divorced with one son. He was engaged and planning his ‘soon to be’ marriage.

Ian Charles “Charlie” Newnham

Charlie was Slade’s very underestimated sound man from about 1969 onwards. A technical wizard who, although very untidy, could repair any of the band’s equipment in the most awkward of circumstances. Charlie had been with “Trapeze” before joining Slade.

He worked with the “Animals” world tour of 1983 and also did a spells with “Flock of Seagulls” and “The Tygers of Pan Tang” but he was a Slade man through and through.

After the last Slade tour, Charlie retired from the musical business and after a spell of heavy goods driving, he works for himself, doing electrical and computer repairs.

Charlie is married, to Eileen, and they have a son, at university, and a daughter.

Robbie Wilson

Robbie was the original stage manager who joined the band in 1970, from Motherwell in Scotland. Robbie was the ‘roadie’ with a speaking role in “Flame.” Robbie left Slade at the same time as J.J. in October 1975. He worked with many bands, as production or tour manager, including ‘Be Bop De Lux’ and ‘W.A.S.P.’ he later set up a staging and barrier company and, when last heard of, had a company providing camera tracks, scaffolding etc. for the Scottish film industry.

Married with two daughters.

Julian “Jude” Aflalo (a.k.a. Boogie)

Jude was a lighting man who worked many tours with Slade, either as Lighting designer or as a member of the lighting crew. He was always a freelance, but, when on tour with Slade, was always the life and soul of the tour. He has worked with every one, including Cliff Richard, David Essex and the Stones. Very definitely the hardest and quickest worker on any tour.

Mickey Legg

The butt of many of Boogies jokes on the road, Mick took them all with a good spirit!

He was a backline roadie who since the end of Slade has worked many tours with Graham Swinnerton. Mick is a Land Rover fanatic and used to spend a lot of time renovating the off-road vehicles. The heaviest sleeper on the planet!!!

Married with a son and daughter.

Alan “Liverpool Lip” Lynch

A very boisterous Liverpudlian who first worked (for the support band) on a Slade tour in 1974. (The band was ‘Bunny’).

He did several tours as a backline ‘roadie’ or monitor man. Since Slade he has worked with ‘Bootleg Beatles’ on their climb to success, but not a lot has been heard for a while. He was at one time married to the daughter of Ian St. John the footballer and television personality.

Michael “Fitzy” Fitzsimmons

Michael worked for several years, in the early eighties, as Don’s drum roadie whilst studying for a degree at Liverpool University. He did a few summers working as a stage builder for the big open air shows, before ‘retiring’ to a job with Liverpool social services. I have not heard of him for several years.

Robin Lloyd

Robin was a very popular member of the crew. (Those who were at shows on the tour when ‘Vardis’ was the support act, may well remember the reaction he got each night!!) He worked as the “third” man on the P.A. crew. His profession was as a carpet fitter and he returned to this after Slade. Not heard from for many years.

Peter Merrix

Worked as P.A. helper before becoming Jim’s technician for a few tours. When last heard of, was working as a technician for Central T.V.

David Donovan

When driving Slade in the eighties he was working as the drummer with the Eric Bell Band (the original Thin Lizzy guitarist). He has worked with Roy Wood and was the drummer on the first of the Jim Lea gigs. He still works with several bands including 6-5 Special whilst running his own musical instrument shop in Stourbridge, West Midlands.

Haden Donovan

I became tour manager after the Reading Festival and remained in this job until the last shows in America. After Slade I worked as a tour manager with Magnum, Shakin’ Stevens, Stage Dolls and W.A.S.P. before joining the largest promoters in Britain – M.C.P.

After six years of working with everybody from AC/DC to the Chippendales via Ozzy Osbourne and the Royal Horse Gala, to name a few, I packed in touring and except for some Stan Webb shows I am now in my brothers shop.

For some years, I have been working, as company manager, on Pantomime, at the Royal Court, Liverpool. Coincidentally, the venue for the last ever Slade show, in Britain!!!

That then is the list of crew men who worked on Slade shows with me. This list is does not include people who did the odd show or tour, and does not include lighting crew (except for Julian Aflalo, who was a real exception) because, although most of them ‘joined in’ they were from service companies and were not ‘real’ Slade crew.

Haden Donovan passed away in 2018.