Don't Stick A Label On Slade

New Musical Express 29th April 1972
NME Label pic
DON’T STICK A LABEL ON SLADE

ONLY A MATTER of days after its release, the fact is that "Slade Alive" had swiftly established itself in the NME album charts - a rock-hard reminder that despite all their critics this screamers' band are now well in the running with others like the Faces and T. Rex. 
These Wolverhampton-born rockers have built up an incredible following in only nine months since their first hit single, "Get Down And Get With It" smashed into the singles charts. 
Are the band affected by this success? The answer to that one is definitely no. Maybe they're a little crazier, and maybe they'll buy flashier clothes than before. But that's about the most of it. 
They love and respect their manager Chas. Chandler, the man who not so long ago did the same kind of work with Jimi Hendrix, and when I met Slade at his offices near Oxford Street it was a death-white and tired Chandler who'd been up all night working in the studios on the group's new single. 'Take Me Bak 'Ome"/"Wonderin' Y". 

After a while he excused himself. pleading fatigue and I talked to Slade about just how instrumental he was in their success.
"Chas and John Steel. (once drummer with the Animals and now Chandlers right-hand man) have always worked very hard for us:' said guitarist Dave Hill. "We really respect them because it's been hard work promoting the group.
'We wouldn't have got anywhere without Chas. It took us a long time to break through. and anybody else would have given up.
But he believed in us. I can't think of anybody else in this business who has stuck it out with a group for so long. Two years is a long time when there is nothing happening."
Said Jimmy lea: "When we met Chas we didn't write any numbers, and he gave us confidence to write. He thought we were talented enough, only we didn't realise it.
"You need somebody who can look at you from a distance. He brought out all the good things in us. For instance, when we came down to London we thought it was all grooving and standing about. but Chas said no. He told us to do what we liked"
This new single is their follow up to "Look Wot You Dun" and probably stands a better chance than the others even though they all made the charts.
"We all think it's the best we've done." said Hill, "and feel it really represents what we're doing now.
'We could never reproduce 'Look Wot You Dun' on stage properly." interrupted Jimmy lea. "It was a good record and the excitement was there, but our stage version sounded nothing like it.
"'We go for numbers like 'Get Down And Get With It'. When we recorded that it was purely a stage number. This is in the same vein. It's good to play on stage and good on record:"

Had they expected "Slade Alive" to make the charts so rapidly? 
"We were amazed that it got in so quickly," continued Hill. "The real promotion on the album hasn't even got going yet. This tour we start on May 10th is the main promotion - because the album is live and we sell it on our stage show:'
This is Slade’s second album. The first, "Play It loud", was purely a studio recording whereas "Slade Alive" is really what they're all about - live entertainment.
They tried very hard to recreate a live atmosphere and they succeeded. I asked if they’d ever consider making another live album.
"We don’t want people thinking that we're going to bring out live albums all the time, but if we feel that we've got enough live numbers we may try another one:" said Hill.
'We don't want to get typecast for anything, and want to keep trying new things all the while. So maybe our next album will be something different again.
"With every record and with each new number we write we're trying something different. We want to have an endless future for our records, so that no one will ever be able to label us.
"From the way we're writing now we feel our future will be great, because we’re writing the right kind of songs for this generation, and we're very proud to be part of it.
"We don't ever want to get off the road because it's what we enjoy doing. Recording is just one little part of it all and a couple of days in the studio is quite enough for us before we're itching to get out again.
"A studio is OK as long as something is happening but it's too technical and can end up a real drag. We like to get a number done as quickly as possible, and if it doesn’t happen right away then the right atmosphere is lacking, so it's a waste of time.
"The most enjoyable part of this business is playing live, when you can see what's happening. Actually playing to the people:'
Said Jimmy; "We tried something new a few weeks ago when we did a few concerts in theatres. and it went very well. There was so much room on stage that we were able to go absolutely berserk.
"Up to now we’ve been mostly playing in clubs, and we’ll built up a good following on this circuit, but now we’re venturing into big halls, because this is the way we planned it:' said Hill.
"Gradually we've worked our way through to the big halls, instead of planting ourselves there and expecting to draw people:'

Do they ever play to alien audiences? 
"At some of the places they're all sitting on the floor concentrating and you have to break that atmosphere," said Hill.
"So sometimes we come in through the crowd, not from the side of the stage and they realise it's just a laugh and usually get up and loon about.
"Of course we can't do that when it's packed with screamers," said Lea. "Just at colleges where all they want to do is sit and groove.
"We look at our music and look at our appearance and figure that it's all show business, and everything about it is important.
"Don't get us wrong - we do care about what we play, the showmanship is just one part of it, besides all that we work things out. If we were to stand still and play our songs everything would be just right. But it would lack the atmosphere. We can play, there's no doubt about it.
"People tell us that all we do is romp about on stage, but that's a load of rubbish because we work very hard on our numbers,
"When you go in the studios to record something has to be well worked out, People don't see you jumping around on a record, do they? You can't make good records if you're not good musicians:'
Said Lea: "At the moment our stage act is quite varied. We don't restrict it to our own material because the people who see us for the first time like to hear a number they can associate with before they get into our own songs. People can't get into a group when it's all new to them.'
PAMELA HOLMAN 

NME Label text

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The Netherlands, Spring 1972

The Netherlands, April 1972
Mariette 1972 Netherlands
I think it's a dyke?

No, not her, the water. She is Mariette, she was 21 in the picture and she could well be a Slade fan. Wot! It's 1972, that's The Netherlands, she's typical of the era. It's the best I could find for now. So, until I find some relevant early 1972 pictures from the Netherlands, we have Mariette?

Slade were playing in Europe long before they became popular. They had been part of the Pop & Beat Koncert Festival broadcast on Radio Nordring, from Helgoland in Germany, all over Europe including Denmark. The show was billed as a European "event" where rock groups from many countries were included. 

There is, at present, little evidence of European tours before April 1972 but it is claimed, and believed, that they were playing regularly out there. By the end of 1971 Slade had become a hit group with a #1 chart hit and a new album that looked set to smash the album charts. Look Wot You Dun was released at the end of January. It reached #2 in the Netherlands, the highest charting Dutch single throughout the groups entire career.

On the strength of this, Chandler wanted to capitalise, use the momentum. The group had waited a long time for their break and he didn't want to miss it. Unfortunately, it looks as though he was uncertain how to proceed. Summer 1971 had been spent writing and recording material for a new album which was delayed and then shelved. Instead, Chandler found he had a new pop/rock image and song writing formula to sell, and sell he did. .
"There are very few bands who can come across on TV with the kind of visual impact which will communicate itself to the audience from a small screen but Slade can do it."
Chas Chandler - 
New Musical Express: June 24th 1972
In the summer of 1971, Slade had a whole album ready to go but suddenly, all change. The September newsletter was skipped with a lame excuse, I think Chandler pulled the album release when he chose a different path for the band. For some reason, an album called Coz I Luv You was released in Holland in early 1972, This album, although official is not a finalised new release, containing some tracks from Play It Loud, which suggests that it was meant to buy time. Since the album contains two hit singles and was probably released alongside Look Wot You Dun, it likely served it's purpose well raising interest in the group and getting them radio airplay in Holland.

Radio Veronica
Veronica ship
The famous Dutch offshore pirate radio station, Veronica (which boasts a story worthy of a screenplay) started out in April 1960 broadcasting from a 50 year old Lightship, the Borkum Riff. The station acquired a growing audience becoming popular as a real rock station. The Verweij Brothers used a Hilversum PO box to communicate with the public. The station became a joint effort by Dutch & English staff originally aimed at a British audience. The programme director, Joost den Draaijer (who would host Popgala in '73), took pointers from Radio Caroline and Radio London and also introduced car stickers and tee shirts.
Veronica logo
By the mid 60’s, the first live Dutch broadcasts began from the Borkum Riff, including the first Top Forty programme on Dutch radio. Soon after, the Norderney took over from the Borkum Riff. The home of Radio Veronica was now anchored off the coast of Scheveningen.

During 1970 Radio Veronica raised over 1,000,000 Guilders for the Kidney Foundation of Holland, they also paid the same amout to Radio Noordzee International to cease broadcasting but RNI resumed broadcasting from the radio ship, Mebo II

After much arguing and court action it was apparent that Noordzee would not be stopped legally. On the 15th May 1971, two men climbed aboard the Mebo II, set light to the engine room and it later exploded. After some arrests, the "Veronica blijft als u dat wilt" (Veronica stays if you want it) campaign was launched, and received more than 2,000,000 post cards pledging support.
Veronica 192 cover, Veronica 192 cover, 1972 Dutch mag from Jaap
In September a magazine, Veronica 192, appeared to promote the station and, later that month, two Veronica directors and three divers were sentenced to a year’s imprisonment for the bomb attack on Radio Noordzee International
Veronica 192 April 72 giglist, Veronica 192 giglist, 1972 Dutch mag from Jaap
Into this craziness came Slade, their European Spring Tour taking in a handful of Dutch venues. Fortunately, the interest probably helped spread the word, with their dates advertised in the Veronica 192 magazine.
"We've really used the Continent as a yardstick to measure how we could crack the States." said Chas. "We managed to do it in Europe by making ten major TV appearances and that is the way I want to do it in America."
Chas Chandler - New Musical Express: June 24th 1972 
The group had built an avid fan base across Europe and it seems they were destined for success, especially Holland and Germany, whether they made it at home or not.
Paradiso poster, Amsterdam 1972, Paradiso Martin Kaye poster, Amsterdam 28th April 1972
The ‘Cosmic Relaxation Center Paradiso’ opened its doors opened on March 30th, 1968. The goal was to offer an open place for creative talent. From that day, the old church on Weteringschans became a place that attracted young audiences and artists from Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Europe and the rest of the world. Paradiso established and retained it's position as Holland's major pop podium, leading club and a cultural centre, all in one.
 Paradiso, Amsterdam, Paradiso, Amsterdam
Paradiso, Weteringschans 6, 1017 SG Amsterdam, Netherlands
Noddy was enthusiastic about the group's following now in Europe.
"We did a few live appearances and did as much TV as we could," said Noddy. "On one of our dates in Holland they had to bring in the local fire brigade to hold up the balcony, the kids were stomping so hard."
New Musical Express: June 24th 1972
Hilversum large, Dutch mag: 'Piece In Oor' 1st May 1972
Piece in Oor: 1st May 1972
1 MAY POPFESTIVAL IN HILVERSUM
"The performance which the American band, Spirit, were to give on May 1 at the pop festival in Hilversum Exhibition Hall, has been canceled. The organizers are trying to book the American group, Pacific Gas and Electric, in their place. For the festival, all the English groups, Slade and Van der Graaf Generator, and neder-pop groups, Solution and Dizzy Mans Band, are confirmed."
POPFESTIVALS 
IN ZWOLLE
AND HILVERSUM

OK, this page is a work in progress. I have been waiting, nearly a year, for some more info that has failed to appear. If anybody can help out I'd be very grateful. Thought's, suggestions, etc. I think that there must be some coverage on the Hilversum Popfestival, at least, even if Slade don't get a mention, a poster and a local paper review maybe. There is an Autumn Tour page but there must be some Spring related media somewhere, I await your feedback?

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Thanks to Jaap Zandee for the Veronica 192 dates, also much has been stolen from the very interesting page, The years of Radio Veronica by Jim Parkes. If anybody has any info regarding Spring 1972 in The Netherlands, please get in touch?


Dutch Tour: Spring 1972 (known dates)
27/04/1972 Youth Club, Holland 
28/04/1972 Paradiso, Amsterdam (Jellybread)
29/04/1972 Rijn Streekhal, Alphen Aan De Rijn
30/04/1972 Passage Theatre (Nacht), Schiedam
01/05/1972 Emmeloord , The Netherlands
01/05/1972 Hilversum Popfestival , The Netherlands
(Slade played in the exhibition hall with Solution, Van Der Graff Generator & Dizzy Man’s Band)
03/05/1972 Return From Dutch Tour 

Slade Alive! Spring Tour

April 1972
Tour Poster
It's Spring 1972 and across the country people are getting nervous. Red, natures warning of impending danger, was suddenly prevalent in music related venues nationwide. To add to the album hype, this poster sprang up featuring the tour dates and venues for the groups current onslaught, including the ever popular Greens Playhouse (soon to become the Glasgow Apollo).

One Slade fan was clever enough to take ownership of one, which may well be the only original left in existence. Although it is simply the album cover with the tour dates added, measuring up at 24.5 inches by 17.5 inches, it is a thing of great beauty and a superb item of memorabilia.
"I was in a club in Woolacomb, Devon and it was on the wall. It had all the dates and venues on it so at the end of the night I took it."
Dave Joslin
Tour Dates

The Fan Club newsletter for April/May 1972 announced the 'British Tour' dates for April, May & June. These include two days in Belgium and ten days of  rest followed by the Corn Exchange and NE Polytechnic dates on the 21st and 22nd April. They then spend 27th April till 1st May in Holland, returning for Locarno Ballroom, Coventry on the 4th. Bracknell Sports Centre, 6th May, would make for an interesting night...

May 10th to 21st are listed in the newsletter as 'No Details' so it's nice to see those in print. 

Bracknell review too
Bracknell News: 4th May 1972
Rocking Night At Bracknell
If Slade's current album "Slade Alive" is anything to go by we will have a rocking night at Bracknell's Sports Centre on Saturday night.
The band stomp their way through old and new favourites like "Hear Me Calling", "Get Down & Get With It" and "Born To Be Wild" as well as their own "In Like A Shot From My Gun", "Know Who You Are" and "Keep On Rocking".
Slade are undoubtedly exciting and show a great talent for giving their audiences what they want, an enjoyable night where nobody thinks you are crazy if you let yourself go.
Noddy Holder (vocals/guitar), Dave Hill (lead guitar/vocals), Jimmy Lea (bass/vocals) and Don Powell (drums) have done it the hard way, by plugging their band around almost every small club in the country until their number one single "Coz I Luv You" lifted them into the bigger venues.
Now with the amazing ease with which their "Look Wot You Dun" made the top ten they are rapidly becoming one of the country's top bands. But they will always be a live band who you will have to get out and see rather than the type who seem to live in ivory towered recording studios lobbing out offerings every six months.
Slade are supported by Frupp, a nice four-piece including Steve Houston, Martin Foye, Vince McCusker and Pete Farrelly.
Also on the bill are Spreadeagle, formed by three Oxford graduates, Andy Blackford, Tim Phillips and Sam Llewellyn. Since the addition of Jim Copley they have been signed by Tony Stratton Smith's Charisma company who have rapidly built up a reputation somewhat similar to that of CBS's in only signing the best.
So make the effort and get along there on Saturday. It will be well worth the effort and the 60p (in advance), or 70p (on the door).
Chris Stevens
Bracknell ad
Melody Maker: May 6th 1972

It would have been great value for money, had the local authorities not decided to stop the gig half way through Slade's set. Falling early in the tour, it conveniently bought the group some column width in the local papers.

Bracknell complaints large
Bracknell News: 11-5-1972
Noise Complaints Brought SLADE To An Early End
Saturday's Slade Concert at Bracknell's Sport Centre was brought to a premature halt following complaints about the noise from nearby residents. 
The concert was stopped half an hour early by the organisers when they heard that people in the houses opposite in South Hill Road were unable to get to sleep. The concert was stopped half an hour early by the organisers when they heard that people in the houses opposite in South Hill Road were unable to get to sleep. 
Residents complained that children were lying awake, as were husbands trying to get some sleep beforer Sunday shifts. 
One of the organisers told the "News" that Slade were the loudest band that had ever played at the centre. "They or any others playing as loud will not be booked again." 
"It is an isolated case and we are with the residents," he continued. "It is not fair that our enjoyment should disturb theses other people." 
The regular monthly concerts have been running for eight months and attract an average crowd of 1,000 local rock fans.
Last month's Wishbone Ash concert, probably the most popular so far, produced no complaints. 
A spokesman for Easthampstead Rural District Council, who run the Sports Centre and are also responsible for noise abatement, said that they had had one complaint passed on to them by the police. 
"It is the first complaint we have had in all the time there have been concerts at the centre. 
"They are entertainment for many youngsters each month and we hope it will all be sorted out favourably." 
A spokesman for Bracknell Police said that it was not a criminal matter. "It is much better for everyone if it is sorted out amicably between the residents and the organisers."
Next month's concert features the much quieter Al Stewart and His Band, a folk rock unit. 

The Full Size Poster is here:  Download
Filename: Slade Alive Tour Poster.jpg  Filesize: 19.6 MB

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I am most grateful for the Slade Alive! poster supplied by Dave 'Nice Guy' Joslin who was generous enough to entrust me with this 38 year old irreplaceable artefact. This post is subject to change, I believe there may be more tour articles at a later date.


UK Tour: Spring 1972 (known dates)

04/05/1972 Maccarno Club, Coventry

05/05/1972 University, Bristol
06/05/1972 Sports Centre Bracknell, Berkshire
11/05/1972 Greens Playhouse, Glasgow, Scotland
12/05/1972 City Hall, Sheffield, South Yorkshire
13/05/1972 The Stadium, Liverpool
14/05/1972 Civic Hall, Guildford, Surrey
15/05/1972 Top Rank Club, Birmingham
16/05/1972 Central Hall, Chatham, Kent
17/05/1972 Memorial Hall, Barry, Wales
19/05/1972 Take Me Bak Ome Released
20/05/1972 Caird Hall, Dundee, Scotland
21/05/1972 Caley Cinema, Edinburgh, Scotland
24/05/1972 St Andrews Hall, Norwich, Norfolk
25/05/1972 Orchid Ballroom, Purley, Surrey
26/05/1972 Flamingo club, Hereford
27/05/1972 Leicester City FC, Filbert Street, Leicester
02/06/1972 Winter Gardens, Blackpool, Lancashire
03/06/1972 Dreamland, Margate, Kent
09/06/1972 University, Exeter
10/06/1972 Rock Street Centre, Wellingborough 

Top Of The Pops

1970/2
Small
"I used to go out with a girl called Caz (Caroline) whose dad was a mate of Harry Goodwin. He was the official photographer for TOTP . I got many photos from her, mainly Slade, Alice Cooper, Bowie, Marc Bolan and Sweet. They are still at my parents house packed in a box somewhere. The only ones at my house are these two Slade ones which I posted on the old forum a few years back. They have pride of place on my living room wall nowadays. I believe they were all taken at the TOTP studio but the only thing on the back of the photos is Harry Goodwin's details. He's still living and working - he's well into his 80's now and he recently had an exhibition in Manchester. He didn't remember me. Not surprising really as I was 16 when I last saw him and I'm 52 now!"
Tony Pye, Manchester
Slade 1972 small

This one is from my personal collection, it states on the rear "belongs to John Gillespie OBE" and comes complete with (fake) autographs which have then been traced over. The top and bottom have been trimmed too, probably had 'Slade' and Polydor Records at the bottom. As I recall, acquiring the promo photo took a princely sum that was negotiated over a few days during which time, the pic got creased.

In the summer of '72 (as I recall), Johnnie Gillespie was the local ginger kid that was 'at least' two years younger than me. The humiliation of having to barter with 'a little kid'.... but I wanted that photo and I still think it's a damn good photo.

Photobucket


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Coz I Luv You (Australia 1972)

Polydor Records 2383 107
Photobucket
Coz I Luv You, the album was never given a UK release and it's release date seems to vary. Slade Alive! is 2383 101 released 23/03/1972, this release of Coz I Luv You is 2383 107. Slayed is 2383 163 and it was released 01/12/1972. It's probably safe to say that this came out in the early summer of 1972 to cash in on the success of Slade Alive! in Australia.

The thing that made this album essential to me, was the inclusion of Gospel According To Rasputin. The track which was culled from the Get Down With It EP was not available elsewhere. EP's are shallow cut to get the extra time needed on a 7". Shallow cut means low volume and are also easily damaged. The inclusion of Candidate and My Life Is Natural was also a real treasure. This particular copy is Australian* but is exactly the same as the European release.

To add to the confusion, there is another Polydor released Coz I Luv You came out prior to this one in Holland?

Polydor LP rear
  • Coz I Luv You
  • Dapple Rose My Life Is Natural
  • Angelina
  • Candidate
  • Sweet Box
  • Look Wot You Dun
  • Could I
  • Raven
  • Gospel According To Rasputin
  • Shape Of Things To Come
  • Get Down & Get With It
Polydor LP side 1 small
Polydor LP side 2 small

The Cover Art is here 10.41 MB

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*Big Thanks to Tony Thresher in the land of Oz!

Damn Critics

New Musical Express, April 1st 1972
NME,Slade

SLADE DONT GIVE A DAMN ABOUT CRITICS 

…says manager Chas Chandler. Last week he discussed his years with Hendrix. Here he covers the period from Hendrix to Slade.

From last week 
"AS IT HAPPENED I had his return ticket to America in my brief case and I took It out and walked out of the control room and into the studio to give it to him. I told him if he really felt like that we should forget it and he said 'Let's try again'. 
"…don't want to give the impression I was the only person responsible for Jimi's success, though. We bad help from a lot of people. 
In particular there was Kit Lambert - who practically knocked a table over in his excitement to get at me and sign Jimi for Track Records after a performance the Experience did at the London Speakeasy, People like Lennon, Jagger, McCartney and Harrison  were helping just by mentioning him around. 
"Noel Redding and Mitch were also very important. There was never much love lost between me and Mitch, but his drumming knocked me out and Jimi had a lot of respect for him. Noel kept Jimi down to earth - he was very down to earth in those days, and Jimi used him to decide which direction he should go. 
"The first big break we got in the States came courtesy of Paul McCartney, who they were trying to involve in the Monterey Festival. He told them it wouldn't be any kind of music festival without Hendrix. From there on things just burst wide open." 
Chas had already promised me he would take me with him on his first trip to the States with Hendrix and as a man of his word I went to Monterey and witnessed the festival on which Hendrix preceded the only group la the world who could have ever followed him - The Who

When Hendrix exploded onto that stage and left amidst blown out amplifiers and blown out minds the Flower Children had something else to talk about besides their negated ideas of love and peace. 

He was a personification of active and positive force - suppressed anger and explosive excitement. It was like listening to a brain storm. It was only at the point I realised what the word genius meant as applied to a musician. 

Hendrix was still worrying about his vocal powers;
"In the early tracks he kept asking me to put his voice back and bury it," said Chas. "I wouldn't do it because I realised that, like Dylan, the voice had identity and the one thing went with the other. No one could sing his songs the way they were intended. There was something unique in the timing between his voice and the guitar that made it one. . 
"The perfect Hendrix single for me was 'Purple Haze' because it was the best example of his work in 2½ minutes and flip side and was a clear indication of the man's unique brilliance as a musician," 
Approximately two-thirds through Hendrix's career Chandler sold out his interest in Hendrix's management to his partner Mike Jeffries. The big question was, why? 
"There were a hundred reasons," says Chas. "The most important was that Jimi didn't appear interested in advice any more. We were in New York and working on an album but he wanted everything his way or not at all, and I didn't feel like being along just for the ride. 
"If you are going to manage anyone yon have to feel that you are contributing some thing. At that time Jimi didn't want to listen to anyone, and so I thought 'OK' this is the time to do something new." 
Chandler's departure from the scene seemed to coincide with Hendrix's withdrawal and the eventual dissolution of the Experience, althougb I may be reading too much into the split. 
"I think be began to lose his nerve just a little," Chas told me on reflection. "He recorded some great stuff which he wrote, produced and played himself just before we split, but he couldn't bring himself to release it on the market. By then he had become conscious of just how big be was, and there was no-one standing next to him and telling him just how good he was. 
"It's not possible for me to tell how much of a mistake he made by breaking up the Experience because I was out of touch for six or seven months and a lot happened in that time." 
It was around this time that I found myself once more in New York and attempting to contact Jimi about his transition from the Experience into 'The Band Of Gipsies' with Buddy Miles. He had been virtually a recluse In his New York flat for almost a year and only ventured out in the early hours of the morning to do recording in his new studio, 'Electric Ladyland'
"Eventually he spoke to me on the phone and told me of his new plans, explaining he could not see me personally because of a swollen gland." 
I talked to Chandler about the circumstances of Jimi's death. He told me: 
"He'd been on the phone to me the day before and asked if there was any way that we could get together again for recording purposes, and I said 'Terrific, I'd love to'. I was going up to Newcastle to see my parents for the weekend and that was the Thursday. We were on the phone for about two hours and be told me he was going back to New York to pick up the tapes he had been putting in the can and we could work on them back here. I said 'OK see you in London on Tuesday', and the next day I went up to Newcastle and my father met me from the train and told me that Jimi was dead." 
Following Hendrix's tragic death, there was a period when Chas was concerned with the formation of a band called Fat Mattress, led by Noel Redding. It was his most notable failure. 
"It was one of the most confusing times of my life. The first Mattress album knocked me out - they produced it, they wrote it and it seemed inevitable to me that they would be huge. But it fell apart around everyone's ears. No matter how much time and effort was put into the group, nothing seemed to go right." 
The Mattress, if you will forgive the pun, split all ways and sideways, but Chandler was already into another rich strike. A group called Ambrose Slade from Wolverhampton had appeared upon the scene ••• 

"I was walking down the stairs of a London club and I heard what I thought was a record. It was a well-known number but with a different treatment. I remember thinking 'that's a great record' and I walked into the place and there was the group playing live.  
"When I first heard them it was not long after I had been looking after Jimi and somehow the exuberance was like a breath of fresh air. They were just four kids having a ball and their audience were having a great time too. They weren't trying to be the greatest musicians in the world but they were enjoying themselves and getting across to others.  
"I enjoy managing Slade more than I've enjoyed anything in my whole life. In many ways they remind me of the old Animals - that's probably why I'm so attached to them. We have more in common and I can share things with them, which just wasn't possible with Jimi at the end. 
"The reason I say Slade are a 'breath of fresh air' is that they are so young and brash - when you're that age nothing frightens you, and to them nothing is sacred. They're out to enjoy being young and if they happen to tread on a few people's toes in the process they don’t care too much. 
"They really don't give a damn what the critics think of them - they just laugh at those bigots who think they are not contributing anything worthwhile to the  music scene. Let's face it, the attitude of some bands is so 'heavy' that they are crumbling under their own weight 
"Their humour is very ad-lib, and if it happens to be a bit vulgar at times - so what, so is life. They're certainly not obscene to my mind, but do get rude turn-arounds. For example, on the new live album Noddy sings a tender John Sebastian song and just at the end you get a loud stereophonic belch. Now that is going to upset a few people but it wasn't rehearsed, it just happened like that on the night and it's going on the album. 
"There was never any question of excluding things like that, because I wanted an album which would capture exactly how they are on stage. This album Is Slade as they were last October. When you go to a Slade concert it's not just a question of sitting down and making a concentrated effort to penetrate the quality of the music. It's like being in good company and you go away laughing, having enjoyed the performance. 
"Those four fellas have a sixth sense among themselves and they're good musicians made better by the fact that they pool their ideas to produce something that is a group identity.” 
It has taken Chandler almost two years to break Slade, during which time a number of singles fell by the wayside and the group went through that amazing 'skinhead' image when they were shown shorn and dressed in the inevitable braces and 'kicking' boots. Was it worth the ‘bovver'?  
"There's no way of telling now how much bad or good it did but at least it got people to realise that there was a group called Slade around and half the battle is getting people to acknowledge your existence. It’s possible that if they had kept their hair long they might have been ignored as just another group. 
"As long as I live I will never understand why it took quite so long for them to make it. One of the problems was of course getting the airplay - on the first single we had no plays at all. We made the break through with 'Get Down And Get With It' by attempting to write something which would condense and capture the feeling of the live shows in just three minutes." 
The only occasion, apart from the relative failure of Fat Mattress, on which I can remember Chas not fulfilling his promise was when he failed to make the kick-off for a pop business football match which I had organised against the  'Fleet Street Friends' one cold and frosty morning in Hyde Park years ago. 

It appears that he had overindulged at a riotous party the night before and was found by incredulous friends the following morning, draped hugely over a settee, wearing one new football boot, black shorts and a decidedly silly 'out of the game' smile. The boot was reputed to be on the wrong foot. 

I mention this merely to demonstrate that even one who is so infuriatingly right so often is not perfect in spite of his simple maxim for success, which is: 
"Follow your nose and if you believe in it - do it and then put everything you have into proving you're right. If you don't you spend the rest of your life regretting it" 
By KEITH ALTHAM
NME,Slade
On the following Sunday, Slade played at Coventry Theatre, apparently, with Ben E. King and support bands. Interesting act to share the bill with, I find the mental picture of Ben E. King fans mixing with the Slade teenyboppers hard to imagine. Slade fans giving Ben E. King a hard time is much easier to conjure up?
NME,Slade

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