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SLADE  - Frequently asked questions

 

1 AC/DC and Noddy Holder?
2 AMBROSE SLADE (the origins of the name)?
3 Did Dave Hill play on all of Slade's albums?
4 Noddy - on the STATUS QUO SINGLE 'IN THE ARMY NOW'
5 THE SLADE REUNION QUESTION?
6 Will there be more Slade releases from the classic line-up?
7 A DVD anthology or live DVD?
8 Who is on the SLADE LIVE AT KOKO DVD?
9 Who runs Jim Lea's website and Noddy Holder's website?
10 How do I contact the members of the band? / WHERE DO THE MEMBERS OF SLADE LIVE?
11 How did songwriting work in the band?
12 The origins of 'The Wall Of Sound'
13 Walsall Town Hall - April 1st 1966: The great myth that won't go away.
 
 

AC/DC and Noddy Holder

Q:
Is it true that during Slade's lean period - after the first run of hits, but before your chart comeback following your massive success at the Reading Festival, that you were approached to front AC/DC when Bon Scott died (in February 1980)?

NODDY HOLDER: "Yes. It is true. I was approached. AC/DC did offer me the job, and I turned it down - so they went and got the guy from the band Geordie, Brian Johnson, who sounded exactly like me anyway." (Full interview HERE).

The plot thickens, though.... In Feb 2017, Jim Lea was asked about this in a Radio interview and he stated that he spoke to Nod about it and that Nod said it never happened. Either Nod is a pathological liar (!) or he likes to play around with interviewers. In the book 'Hell ain't a bad place to be' about AC/DC, Nod's name was mentioned as an excellent possible replacement for Bon Scott, but that the band said they thought they would never have got him.

 
AMBROSE SLADE
The name 'Ambrose Slade' was inspired by a cowboy film. The previously repeated story about a secretary naming items of her clothing etc, is utter twaddle. Nita Anderson, the rock agent who rescued Slade back when they were stranded penniless in the Bahamas, recalls that the Fontana record company boss never liked the group's previous name, The 'N Betweens, but was stuck for what else to call them - until he noticed that a character in the film they were watching was called Ambrose Slade, and instantly settled for that. The name 'Nicky Nacky Noo' was apparently momentarily considered.
 
Did Dave Hill play on all of Slade's albums?
Dave Hill didn't play on the single 'Everyday' and some of the rest of the Old new borrowed and blue album. All the guitar, bass guitar and piano parts were dealt with at the recording session by Jim Lea, who got the inspiration to write the song when his wife Louise came out with the basic melody and a first line for the lyrics, 'I can see you look at me' (which of course didn't make it onto the album, thus smartly depriving her of a royalty), following a conversation at home with friends about songwriting. Jim Lea took over the majority of guitar parts on their latter albums, much to Dave's exprssed dismay. Nod did not play guitar on some of them and Linn drums were also used.
 
Noddy - IN THE ARMY NOW
Nod did NOT shout the line "Stand up and fight!" on the record.
It was one of Status Quo's road crew.
 
THE SLADE REUNION QUESTION
When will the classic line-up of Slade reform to play some final shows for the fans?
It will not ever happen unless Noddy Holder stops saying that there is no chance of it happening. The band members are said to have what could best be called a 'complicated relationship'. That, along with Jim Lea's health, is also a major obstacle to any reunion.
 

Will there be more Slade releases from the classic line-up?
There are a few things left unreleased, but not very much. There are a few studio demos known to exist, in various stages of completion.

Ruby Red (first version)
Love Is (rough demo) - NOT RELEASABLE
All join hands (swing version)
My oh my (Guinness lyric demo)
Another win (Written by Andy Miller and Bernie Frost. Complete studio out-take. THE RECORDING DOES NOT BELONG TO THE BAND).
Respect (incomplete 1991 studio run-through) NOT RELEASABLE
Take me bak 'ome (demo - as on Slade Smashes LP - not released on CD - belongs to Universal)
Look wot you dun (alternate mix - as on Slade Smashes LP - not released on CD - belongs to Universal)

The SLADE ALIVE! album was recorded over three nights at Command Studios, Piccadilly London in October 1971. Only the first night's recordings were used. The other two nights tapes were apparently not kept. They were probably recorded over with other music.

The 'Hotter Mix' of 'Slam the hammer down' (from the 12" USA CBS promo single) remains unreleased.
The extended version of 'Little Sheila' also remains unreleased in the UK, as it was only released on a USA 12" single.
The 12" extended version of 'Merry Xmas everybody' was not on the Salvo reissues, as it belongs to Universal.

 
As for the much-requested live Slade DVD...
The band's policy was not to ever film live shows. Little remains in archives and most of it would be too costly to obtain release rights to.

Their Earls Court show in 1973 was certainly filmed. However, the picture and sound quality, renders it unreleasable, according to Holder, who has said many times that it will never be released. The only copies are in the hands of the band and it is 99% certain never to be shown.


A European fan has claimed to have a full copy of the Slade Lochem festival show on VHS tape, from the TV production company, but he has gone ominously silent when asked about passing the tape on for possible release.
 
WHO IS ON THE 'SLADE LIVE AT KOKO' DVD?
Do not confuse the KOKO DVD with a classic Slade live show. Nod and Jim are not on it.
 
Who runs Jim Lea's website and Noddy Holder's website?
Newman and Company run these sites. Noddy Holder states he doesn't have any personal web presence, so if you are his friend on Facebook, you are talking to an imposter. Jim Lea doesn't use computers at all and may never have actually seen his own website.
 

How do I contact the members of the band? / WHERE DO THE MEMBERS OF SLADE LIVE?

This website will not divulge any private addresses, of the group or otherwise.
This site will not pass messages to the band.


Dave and Don can be contacted in person, before and after their stage appearances. Nod and Jim are more difficult to track down. Bear in mind they have retired from the music business a long time ago and that they greatly value their privacy. They have spent considerable amounts of money on their priority of living quietly out of the way.

We do not encourage fans to turn up in person at the group's homes. This is an awful intrusion into their privacy. It happens and we are sure they are not at all happy about it.

It is not a great idea to contact Newman and Co, unless there is a serious business proposition in mind that will benefit Nod or Jim.

For all booking and media enquiries contact:

The Hal Carter Organisation
41 Horsefair Green
Milton Keynes
MK11 1JP

Tel: 0044 (0) 1908 567388

E-mail: artistes@halcarterorg.com | Website: www.halcarterorg.com

 

How did songwriting work in the band?

Some snippets from fan club interviews on songwriting (courtesy of AJ Smith):

Dave Kemp's interview with Noddy Holder - Slade Supporters Club's November/December 1981 newsletter:

"It varies from song to song. With most of the songs Jim tends to have a bench of chorus melodies. I’ll go over to his place and we’ll sort out which choruses fit together best with the verses that we have. We’ll work out which songs need a middle eight or not. Then I’ll go away and work out the lyrics for each song. Next we’ll get together again, sift through the numbers and often change them around a little – sometimes we’ll just totally scrap ones that don’t work, but use choruses from them on new songs that we might be working on. There’s no said pattern, but most of the composition works like that.

With the lyrics, if I get a line for a song in my head or a title for the number, I’ll write it down straightaway in a book. But with the melodies we put these down on tape. Then, when I try to write the lyrics the idea is that I play back the tapes and try and fit my lyrics in with the melodies. Sometimes this comes dead easy, but other times it is really difficult. If you have a complicated melody, it’s harder to get the lyrics – as they have to roll off the tongue and fit into the awkward timing. Your hook lines have to be memorable too, so that they stick in the audience’s mind."

Interview with Jim Lea - Slade International Fan Club September-December 1986 newsletter:

"The first song that Nod and I wrote together was Coz I Luv You. I went around to Nod's with my violin and guitar and said that I wanted to write a song with him. Two hours later we had written Coz I Luv You. Immediately after that, I started going to Nod with bits of songs, and by the time Mama Weer All Crazee Now was done, I was writing the whole tunes. Ever since then, I've done the tunes and Nod's done the lyrics, apart from Merry Christmas Everybody, the chorus of which was written by Nod. It just shows that, although Nod always says that I come up with the best tunes, if he can come up with that chorus, he can write really good melodies. I don't write with tape recorders or anything, I just remember the tunes in my head. Did you see the interview with Paul McCartney just recently when he talked about how he wrote with Lennon? That's exactly how Nod and I write, with acoustic guitars, sat opposite each other."

 
The origins of 'The Wall Of Sound':

On page 56 of Who's Crazee Now, (during the 'N Betweens era) Nod says; "... Swinn and I came up with the idea of rewiring our amps so that they all linked up. ... The result was that Dave, Jim and I came out of speakers on both sides of the stage. It was like a rudimentary monitor system. Wherever you stood in the crowd, you could hear the whole band. It sounds simple but no one else was doing it ... Dave and Don had been searching for a new sound since the day I joined and as soon as we started messing around with the amps we knew exactly what it was going to be ... It was Dave who suggested we have three lead guitarists ... although Jim played bass, he played it like a lead guitar... together with our sneaky wiring, the effect was fantastic. We had a wall of sound behind us that other bands couldn't believe ..."
 
  Walsall Town Hall - April 1st 1966: The great myth that won't go away.

Noddy Holder is extremely fond of quoting an appearance at Walsall Town Hall on that date as being Slade's first live appearance, or as an anniversary date.. The band were performing in Newcastle that night. Walsall Town Hall was actually closed to the public at that time, as it was being renovated.

The story was originally put out about the April 1st show to tie in with the release of their Nobody's Fools album, which was released with a big promo push as being their 10th anniversary album.
 


 

You may find the answers to other questions on our trivia page.

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