European Tour, Fall 1973

Norway, November 1973

Slade in Town
"Oslo Sports Club organizes a concert in Ekeberghallen today, November 7. The headliner is the far from unknown group from Liverpool [sic], Slade. The four members are James Wild Lea on bass, Neville John Holder who sings and plays lead guitar, David John Hill also lead guitar and Donald George Powell on drums.  
It is primarily Lea who is responsible for the music, while Hill must take a lot of credit for the group’s visual "image". 

Powell has been away from the drums for a few months after a serious car accident. Because of amnesia, he had to learn all the tunes again. 
The music they play is said to be a reflection of their style of life. Slade plays pure, raw, brutal rock, somewhat simple in the eyes of many, but certainly catchy. 
Slade had had a comet-like career. From being a mediocre band, they have over the past year matured musically and has had a number of singles and LPs. It is enough to mention hits like Coz I Luv You, Gudby t'Jane, Look Wot You Dun, Cum On Feel the Noize, Skweeze Me Pleeze Me and My Friend Stan. So far, the LPs are "Play It Loud", "Slade Alive", "Slayer", "Sladest" and another is expected in the near future. "Sladest" is actually a collection of their best known songs to date. 
The increasing interest in Slade can be partly attributed to audiences having grown tired of complicated pop music, and are more ready to accept the group’s uncomplicated music."
Aftenposten: 7th November 1973

Germany, November, 1973

On The Road with Slade
Monday 18.30 pm
A dark green Bus rolls through the rush hour stuffed streets of Frankfurt. Packed with over 20 Journalists and radio people from all parts of the West German Republic - their aim, the Jahrhunderthalle (Centennial Hall) in Höchst. They all came to witness the start to the third German Tour of  the most successful British Singles Band for many years: 
SLADE ! It`s Nov. 12 1973 

Whether large or small,
The audience were raving.
I am sitting in the bus as well and next to me, photographer Gesine, we`re the official representatives of POP. Camera shutters are clicking, test film rolls are loaded and lenses added, then the press mob storms the bright lighted Jahrhunderthalle where already two and a half thousand kids are getting themselves in the mood vocally for the main attraction tonight.
Not every venue was as full as Frankfurt tonight – in Deutschland Halle, Berlin, (probably too big for Slade) only around 1500 turned up, Hanover`s Nidersachsenhalle it’s satisfactory but... not really full...
In Heidelberg Slade played to the smallest audience of the whole Tour – maybe
because Ike & Tina Turner are playing right next to them in another venue that same night.

 But in Hamburg, Munich and Vienna the venues are bursting. Everywhere they’re up on the seats, stomping, raving singing along and clapping their hands and all that starts even before a single group member has hit the stage. 

Lucky Roadies – there`s no other band around - where their work: laying cables, setting up amps and plugging in instruments is awarded with such applause as that of a Slade gig. 

Anyway, the audience! The magic word at Slade Gigs is “crazy” or better ”crazee”! Being nuts is trump. Slade are crazee ( or they’re pretending to be) and their audience is crazee ( at least for one hour when the show is running). 
The Kids are going to a Slade show with the same attitude their parents would have going to the Carnival. 
They’re putting on their crazy costumes and going wild, being Noddy or Dave, there were some real good Noddy look-a-likes, one of the best had his photo taken beside Noddy himself. 

Anyone that doesn't want to be tarted up fully wears, at the very least, a Top hat, hooped socks, tartan trousers or some glitter on their face, or maybe a Slade scarf, badge or T-Shirt at least. I guess if Slade’s bass player had worn a false nose I would've seen them here as well. 

To complete the Carnival party there’s even confetti as Dave Hill throws a handful of glitter over the audience. 
What follows isn’t the hard bitten aggression like it was at the early Stones Gigs but rather a deafening party in a strictly positive way. Everybody has a hell of a lot of fun stomping and jumping and shouting but never going over the line, just like their parents when they having a ball singing along to their carnival songs except that the parents are quite drunk at that stage - the kids don’t need alcohol to loosen up. Lucky Kids! 

After the gig everybody’s taken for a after show party in the basement bar of Slade’s Hotel.

Slade had a lot of parties during the tour, in every City they easily find a reason for feasting and collective boozing. In Hanover, Ike and Tina Turner were placed in the same hotel like Slade, everybody let it all hang out all night long and at the end they swapped groupies. 
In Frankfurt, Noddy staggers - totally bladdered but wearing a big grin over his face - over to Gesine, the photographer, to take her for a Twist (he means the dance) which he lays down perfectly despite his advanced condition. 
Next day at 12 noon everybodys meeting at the airport and - surprise ,surprise - Slade have fully recovered but the journalists are all suffering from a giant hang-over. 

There`s 30 Seater Chartered Jet “The Slade Express” waiting for us, in which Slade are going to travel to and from all the places they´re going to play. 

Slade are in the check in area looking to see if they will be spotted by anybody. But this time around, there`s nobody and so we make our way through the photographers, escorted by TV Cameras, to the plane. Somehow I feel like a Slade extra, but it`s a silly and pompous idea: At the front the photographers, flanked by the TV staff with a happy looking Slade in the centre and followed by a horde of Journalists. 

 Once on the plane, a Stewardess puts a  cardboard ”Noddy” tophat (with little silver stars stuck on it) on our heads and a drum (the label inside says it costs 2 marks 65), after that we`re given a SLADE Matchbox and Slade Fist patch plus champagne and a meal. (The Stewardess earned two immoral offers.)  

In the meantime we've set off and are up in the air. (Outside: galeforce 12!) A few hours later Coastal Towns reporting storm surge and the “Halligen” (A group of Islands in the northern sea) are flooded. While we`re moving forward, jerky but steady. 
That`s quite funny because all the photographers who took place upfront, to take shots of the band are taking a flying leap every now and then! 
All the latest Slade Hits are roaring out of the on-board stereo system, and everybody is wearing a cardboard Slade Top Hat and in their hands a vomit bag but thirst has been reactivated by the champagne, (see: “Happy Kids”) and, just for a change, party-time breaks loose at 29,527 feet.

The group, placed up front are pretending to sing along for the TV crew. Everybody`s happy, cardboard hats and photographers are thrown all across the plane.... and then we`re already in Hamburg.

POP  presents:
Slade On tour
Pay attention.  It's happening all over again.  POP present Slade on tour in Germany.  Noddy Holder, Dave Hill, Jimmy Lea and, back after that serious car accident, Don Powell shred through six German cities: 
(Ed:- Bear in mind that these dates are incorrest, the actual dates have been recorded below, to the best of our knowledge and are still subject to change, as and when we get confirmation?)

Slade dates changed

The concert dates for Slade have been shifted:
Contrary to our message in this edition, Slade will play on the 14:11 in Hanover and on the 15:11 in Berlin

Many thanks to Christopher Hjort who has assisted Chris Selby with his Norwegian research and is responsible for the translation above. Much appreciation also to Ralle for making the Pop magazine available for me to use and for being kind enough to translate the text for me. A big shout to Dragula on the forums for his assistance. Musikhalle video courtesy of Dave Graham at Slade In England and Slade Express video source provided by Gary Jordan. I hope to update with more info as and when?

European Tour: Autumn 1973 (known dates)

25/10/1973 Forest National, Bruxelles 
26/10/1973 Courtray, Belgium 
27/10/1973 Zofligen, Switzerland 
29/10/1973 Paris, France
30/10/1973 Poitiers, France 
31/10/1973 Bordeaux, France 

05/11/1973 Oslo, Norway 
06/11/1973 Bergen, Norway 
08/11/1973 Gothenburg, Sweden 
09/11/1973 K B  Hallen, Copenhagen 
10/11/1973 Vejlby Risskov Hallen, Aarhus, Denmark 

12/11/1973 Frankfurt/Hochst Jahrhunderthalle
13/11/1973 Hamburg Musikhalle
14/11/1973 Hannover Niedersachsenhalle
15/11/1973 Berlin Deutschlandhalle
17/11/1973 Mannheim/Heidelberg Rosengarten
19/11/1973 Wien Austria Grosses Konzerthaus
19/11/1973 Heidelberg/Eppelheim - Rhein-Neckar Halle
20/11/1973 Munchen Zirkus Krone

Circus Magazine

USA, October, 1973

The interesting thing about this article is that, no mention is made of the fact that Slade are in the process of touring across the continent. I don't know when Circus came out (e.g. the December issue of Uncut mag hit the shelves at the end of October?) but if it was later then I would expect a cursory mention of how they'd played Winterland Arena or New York Academy and Powell had done good/bad or whatever. If it was earlier, "I guess we'll find out how well he's recovered next week..." anything really rather than totally ignore the tour.

Having said that, they don't seem to be aware that they are using a photo of Slade with Frank Lea, not Don Powell. I guess we should just be glad they got mentioned at all?

Slade: When news of. Don Powell's tragic accident reached the group. Slade's triumph turned to gloom.

Auto Crash Nearly Kills Sladester
At an interview in Birmingham where Wings were wrapping up a tour, it was all Paul McCartney could talk about. And miles away on the Isle of Man, it was the only thing on the minds of several hundred fans who milled anxiously in front of the Palace Lido box office. At roughly four o'clock Wednesday Morning, Slade's drummer Don Powell and his girl friend Angela Morris had been driving down a road near Don's home in Wolverhampton. Suddenly Powell's expensive Bentley had spun out of control and hit a wall. Angela was critically injured and died after being ambulanced to a nearby hospital. Don's chances did not look much better, He had sustained severe head injuries, fractured ribs and a fractured leg. Says Slade's manager, Chas Chandler.
"I went up to Wolverbampton right away, and the doctors didn't give Don a chance."
Powell's accident happened just as Slademania in England was reaching a fever pitch. The previous Sunday Slade had gone on-stage at London's Earls Court before 20,000 yelling, cheering fans. The crowd - one of the largest in the history of British rock - had leapt to their feet, lifted their fists in a Slade salute and screamed "Yeah" after nearly every line the group sang. Concluded the music newspaper Melody Maker, 
"It was the most sensational concert of their career." 
Three day later, when news of Powell's accident reached the group, Slade's triumph abruptly turned to gloom. "I was walking about in a daze." said Chandler. The group met the afternoon of the accident at bassist Jim Lea's Wolverhampton apartment and decided not to cancel their upcoming Sunday concert on the Isle of Man. To replace Powell they drafted the plumber who was in the kitchen fixing the dishwasher - Jim Lea's 19-year-old brother Frank, who had been Powell's drum student. And the day before the Isle of Man concert. they received word that in another three months Don Powell would once again be handling his own drumsticks. Exclaimed manager Chandler, 
"When I heard he was going to pull through, I was the happiest man in the world." 

Circus was a monthly American magazine devoted to rock music. Gerald Rothberg originally put together the magazine under the name Hullabaloo in 1966, before changing the name to Circus in 1968. In its heyday the magazine had a full-time editorial staff that included some of the biggest names in US rock journalism, including Paul Nelson, David Fricke, and Kurt Loder, outselling Creem and competing with Rolling Stone.

I'm not sure how this article came to be in my collection but I suspect I stole it from David E. Miller. I have reason to bestow thanks upon him anyway so, if it was anybody else, please let me know.


Polydor 2442-119

Released on September 28th, 1973, this superb 'story so far' collection came in a gatefold sleeve cover with colour booklet featuring sleeve notes. Since Slade had been releasing singles for three years now, most of which had never been included on their albums, this collection was a godsend.

Like most, I was fourteen years old when it was released, my 7" singles had been played to death and stacked on a autoplay turntable to be scratched and ruined. Now I had the tracks in good condition again and as a magnificient bonus, Wild Winds Are Blowing was included.

'The time is right for us. The mass audiences want it. We'd always done the same act, but the audiences didn't want it before. They just wanted to be cool and sit down and dig the music and read deep things into it. But finally everybody got sick of that.'
Thus, in a few succinct sentences, Noddy Holder sums up the success of Slade. The right band at the right time playing to the right audiences.

Now that rock or pop (you tell me where to draw the line) has been around long enough to have acquired its own historians and archivists, perhaps we should have expected a band like Slade to appear when they did, stomping audiences out of their lethargy and drawing kids to concert halls who thought grass was something only professional footballers played on.

Slade emerged from their Wolverhampton fastness like Attila the Hun hightailing it down the Appian Way towards a moribund and defenceless Rome. As rock became more ethereal, more intellectual, all down to sitting round a BBC studio to watch the latest American aesthete unburden his soul, perhaps we tended to forget that out there, north of Potters Bar and east of Portland Place, the dark people were huddled round their trannies (transistor radios), thirsting for something to get them going.

They were getting it all right, for it was at this period that Slade were labouring up and down the country in the time- honoured fashion. The only thing they lacked was the Open Sesame to the media, which is called a hit record. 
'We built up a following by our stage reputation long before we had a hit,' Dave Hill points out. 'So when we had a hit, it brought more and more people in to see us.'

While rock criticism in general was growing lip and creating its own standards and prejudices, the fact that there was another generation being chucked out of school without 0 levels in music appreciation, who wanted to hear a little boogie as well as latching on to the local football heroes, tended to be obscured.

Show business and sport have long been the accepted escape routes for working class kids. This knowledge was acquired at an early age by Noddy Holder. 
'I'd already sussed out at the age of 13 or 14 that I wanted to be in the group business. Nothing else would satisfy me. I knew I had to put my foot down and say, "I'm leaving school".'
Which he did and it must have been a traumatic experience to his parents as he'd already collected six 0 levels.

'I'd rather do something that makes me happy. If it only lasts five years, I'll know I've done what I wanted to do, and if I've shit it up, then it's purely my own fault and nobody else's.'
There speaks a whole generation with an attitude that rejects society's plans for them much more vehemently than most of us think. Unfortunately, it's only given to the few to carry it out, Slade were among that chosen few.

But the game is littered with the corpses of individuals who have risen from the same soil only to reject their backgrounds. Slade have kept the in-puts plugged in to bak 'ome.

They still live in the Wolverhampton area, which must be very nice for Midlands fans, but means that the London branch stores up enough energy to storm Holiday Inns when the group actually stay together in London. Don maintains:- 
'I'm very conscious that I'm a working class bloke. In this business you meet a lot of people who are not working class and you know that you're different. Your outlook on life is different to what theirs is. You either decide you want to be part of that clique, or you don't. And I don't.'
But what is it about Slade's music and stage act that has made them the most unique British band of the Seventies so far? In the flesh, it's undoubtedly that they are living out the kids' own fantasies and ambitions. There's an empathy between group and audience that is rare in the pop concert hall, a climate that is more easily recognised in football grounds. They may be stars, but they're our stars.

But Slade are not just straight excitement. Their manager, Chas Chandler, who played bass in one of Britain's most influential bands of the Sixties, the Animals, has always insisted: - 
'From the moment I heard Slade, I knew they were better musicians than we ever were.'
And he should know.

As an illustration of how a band like Slade moves towards a style which captures the imagination of a generation, let's look at the 14 tracks here in chronological order.

WILD WINDS ARE BLOWING was the first single that Slade made with their manager, Chas Chandler. 'It came out just at our skinhead period,' says Jimmy Lea.

SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME also dates from that period, and was the theme tune from a film, 'Wild In The Streets'. It was also the first song that the group played on Top Of The Pops.

KNOW WHO YOU ARE started life as an instrumental called 'Genesis' which they were playing around their 'Ambrose Slade' period. Chas Chandler suggested that the boys write lyrics for it, and Don says that the words are mainly about Dave Hill.

POUK HILL is a local beauty spot just up the road from Noddy's gaff in Wolverhampton. Don't bother to look it up in the guides to Beautiful Britain. Some bright photographer, they recall, had the idea of dragging the group up there to photograph them for an album cover. The difficulties arose when the snow was thick on the ground and the photographer insisted on shooting them naked from the waist up. They froze and subsequently all went down with 'flu. 'You couldn't even see the bloody snow when the cover was printed,' they remember.

ONE WAY HOTEL is the kind of song that any band who've survived the miseries of being on the road with barely the price of a fish supper are bound to dredge out of their consciousness sooner or later.
'There were the four of us, plus two roadies, in one hotel room. Six beds. It was pouring with rain, and we were skint not even the price of a pint between us. So we wrote this to pass the time.'

GET DOWN AND GET WITH IT was Slade's first Top 20 single, and it had boon thoroughly market researched before it was issued. 
'The first time we played this on stage, the reaction was so fantastic that we knew it had to be a single. It was also the first time that we had laid down the vocals and backing at the same time to try and capture the feel.'
They got the feel all right. and this is the song still tremendously popular on stage, which has become the group's national anthem.

COZ I LUV YOU was that fearful animal, the follow-up single.
'This was the first time that we deliberately sat down to write a commercial song. We hadn't had to worry about follow-ups before ... we hadn't had bloody hit singles.'
Jimmy recalls. 
'We wrote it in about half-an-hour. We just got the feel right early on, we seemed to have found the right formula, simplicity and atmosphere.'
It got to NO.1 after two weeks, and stayed there for four weeks.

LOOK WOT YOU DUN was a song that the group had lying about for some time. Jim and Don wrote it originally, but it was thought the chorus wasn't strong enough to do much with it. So it was recast, and it went to No. 2.

TAKE ME BAK 'OME was a deliberate exercise to recapture the stage act on record. The group had felt that the previous two singles were not representative of the stage act; this was.

MAMA WEER ALL CRAZEE NOW found its inspiration in the scene after a Slade concert. 
'We went to look at the hall after a Dig. It was devastated. Everybody seemed to have gone crazy that night.'
They also went crazy over the single; it went to NO.1.

GUDBUY T’JANE is the only song which has very personal connotations for the group. 
'It was during our American trip in September 1972. We were on this telly chat show in San Francisco and there was this chick who just sat beside the compere - that's all she did, just sit there, looking gorgeous. She had this pair of shoes, called them her "Forties Trip" shoes. She thought they were marvellous, though you could buy them in any Oxford Street store over here. She lost them just before the show and we helped her turn the place over to find them.'
When the group recorded the song, it hadn't been rehearsed. There was some spare time during an album session. They played it through and laid it down in half-an-hour. It made No. 2.

LOOK AT LAST NIGHT indicates that Slade are well aware of the fickleness of fame. It's about the people and show business has more than its fair share of them who seek out the successful but disappear into the night when the good times are over.

CUM ON FEEL THE NOIZE is yet another song inspired by the Slade audience. 
'We did this gig, in Liverpool I think, whore you could actually feel the noise of the audience in our bones.'
So could the public ... it went straight to No. 1, the first time that had happened since the Beatles.

SKWEEZE ME PLEEZE ME did the same straight to the top of the charts, and was again conceived as an audience participation song.

Wild Winds Are Blowing
Shape Of Things To Come
Know Who You Are
Pouk Hill
One Way Hotel
Get Down & Get With It
Coz I Luv You
Look Wot You Dun
Take Me Bak 'Ome
Mama Weer All Crazee Now
Gudbuy T'Jane
Look At Last Night
Cum On Fee The Noize
Skweeze Me, Pleeze Me

When Sladest came out Don Powell had died, been resurrected but on the critical list and not expected to make it, alive and well but unlikely to play again.... all of which had one thing in common, the band were finished. In '73 we had the newspapers and the news (two channels only) and that was it. You waited?

I believe Sladest was probably released to buy time while Don recovered and the band, hopefully, got back in the swing of things. It was most definitely not just a greatest hits album, although it did fill all the criteria. After Slade Alive! the group became idols for unpretentious working class teenagers... and there were a lot of us around. The hits rolled in and the group could do little wrong till suddenly.... POW!

It's so hard to put into context. It was such an impressionable period in my life, sport was purely a social thing, I was just finding out what sex was for, alcohol had yet to become relevant. The only important thing in my life was Slade, had been for a year and a half now, and the euphoria of Earls Court (my second Slade gig, both of which, had left me totally blissed out) was followed by the news that the group was probably finished. I believe 'traumatic' would be an accurate word to describe my emotional state.

Don't get me wrong, I wasn't moping around crying, contemplating suicide and stuff like that but I had landed with a hefty bump. Even though Don was back in business, when Sladest came out, we grabbed it like a lifesaver. It was proof of life, the band were alive and still happening although it seemed to be an epitaph. It was clearly 'the story so far' and had the band not been able to get back in the chair, it could have been 'The Story'.

I went out and bought it on the day of release. I opened it with reverence, gazed lovingly at the live photos and read the sleeve notes in awe. I almost died with excitement on the bus, reading about Wild Winds Are Blowing, one of the very few Slade recordings I didn't have, and I understood instinctively, that this album catalogued my collection of Slade 7"s. It also amplified that feeling of dread in my gut because I could see that this album could stand as Slade's headstone....
"Here lies Slade, they were gooder than shit!"
The great thing about it is, it worked really well just like that but on the other hand, retrospectively, it also stands as a great album on it's own merit. 14 tracks, 11 singles, 8 hits, 5 #1's.

In the UK, the singles had not featured on albums often and they had mostly been released since Slade Alive! had been recorded, it was almost chronological unlike the tracklisting. The rear cover list is even more confusing having nothing to do with the running order or discography?

Interestingly, half the Slade written tracks feature Powell writing credits. This may have been a pension fund in case Don couldn't continue in the band. It would certainly explain why One Way Hotel and Pouk Hill were added to sandwich Skweeze Me, Pleeze Me, their latest hit.

All the others are the group discography and Wild Winds Are Blowing was guaranteed to produce revenue to pay off the old Winsley & Saker outstanding bill. This particular track wasn't on any album and was deleted as a single, it therefore could not redeem itself until now. I guess it balanced the books. 

The only track on the album to feature a Dave Hill writing credit is Know Who You Are.

I had two main criticisms with Sladest, Mama & Jane were on Slayed, so why add Look At Last Nite too. The other, far more important point, why wasn't C'mon C'mon included. I always assumed it must be a weak song and I didn't actually get to hear it for decades. It's easy to see now that Look At Last Nite was included because, had the album become a memorial, it was highly relevant. C'mon C'mon though, that was a serious omission

Cover Art here 49.9 MB

3rd US Tour (Don's Recovery)

The USA, September 1973
They had previously spent May in the US and the groups 3nd tour of the States was set for the Autumn of 1973. They went this time armed with a brand new Warner Brothers recording contract, the ink still wet.
"Before we went last time Gudbuy T'Jane had been in the fifty....  we’re not panicking about not having any record success over there... I don't think enough people have seen us live yet to know what we’re all about. I mean, I think you have to see us live to understand what the records are about in the first place because basically we’re an audience participation band.
The people who have seen us are going out and buying the records. As far as I can see the Americans haven’t got a band like us. It’s a load of rubbish people saying we’ve been dying a death over there because we haven't."
Noddy Holder: DISC 8th September 1973
Slade had risen to dizzy new heights in the summer, moving from the unstoppable steamroller of 1972, to the Superstars of 1973, climaxing at Earls Court and popping like a giant balloon the day after with the fatal car crash that left Angela Morris dead and Don Powell in critical condition in a Wolverhampton Hospital.

Meanwhile, Billboard were reporting on the UK phenomenon that was due to arrive in the US


"Other Silver Singles go to Polydor for Slade's "Skweeze Me, Pleeze Me" on the Polydor label.... a Silver Single represents sales of 250,000 copies."

"He also revealed that Warner is close to the signing of still another British hard-rock group which has until now been more successful at home than here, Slade." 
"SLADE: British super group fostered by Polydor London. Records have emulated the Beatles' by going straight to the top of the pop charts immediately they are released."

"Slade: All action British group revelling in colour and noise and storming their way to the top of the world's hit parades with every new disc."
The group's American tour had been set for July but was postponed until October because of the accident. Slade made good their Isle of Man, Lido, gig by bringing in Jimmy's brother Frank on drums. In the 8th September issue of DISC music newspaper, Holder says 'in 5 weeks time' but they actually 'flew out from London's Heathrow airport on the 18th September for a month long coast to coast US tour.'  for 28 dates beginning on 21st. This meant that they couldn't play their scheduled open air appearance in New York's Central Park on 5th. September. They did get a press reception at the Gramercy Park Hotel on Lexington Avenue on the Saturday, the day after their opening gig.

We're really delighted to hear that Don Powell is making such good progress in the Wolverhampton Royal hospital. Poor Don's memory is still a bit foggy, but he's coming along really well. And he does appreciate all the cards and get well wishes that everyone has sent to him... you are a fantastic lot! And we know you'll be really pleased to hear that Slade are already making plans for Don to get back to touring with them. His doctors say he should be back in action once more in October.

Well, Don, I'm sure we don't need to say it... but all of us at It's Here and our great readers are with you all the way!
It's Here & Now: August 1973
Against all the odds, Don Powell made an incredible recovery and found himself back behind a drum kit.
"Officially I should've taken another couple of weeks convalescence, but the Doctor reckoned I would improve quicker if I got back with the others and start circulating again. I still use a stick to help cure a limp."
Don Powell: Oct/Nov 1973 Newsletter
"In the autumn, we were due to be back in the States... Six weeks after the accident, on his doctor's advice, we took Don back in the studio. We were told that would be the best thing for him. We wanted to see how Don would cope with recording...
We had been warned that it would be months before he could play properly again, but he proved everyone wrong... He was desperate to play again, even though he could only walk with sticks and his head was still shaved.
The few weeks we had in the studio in London really strengthened Don up. We thought, 'If he can play as well as this already, we should try taking him to the States to see how he copes with a tour.' We went over for four weeks. Don coped brilliantly. By the end of it, his playing was more or less back to its best, although we still had to coax him through all the shows. While I was announcing a song, Jim would have to walk over to Don and tell him how the tune started...
When we came back from America, we went straight out on a European tour. Don was almost back to full strength by then...
It wasn't until after the European tour that we decided, for definite, to carry on. After six months or so, things were almost back to normal, although they'd never be quite the same again."
Noddy Holder: Who's Crazee Now
Capitol Theatre, New Jersey 21st. September 1973

Dan Nooger clearly did not care about the bands trials and tribulations nor was he sympathetic to their US plight. In fact, he didn't like them at all and made it quite obvious in his review of their tour opening gig at the Capitol Theatre, Passaic, New Jersey:
"CROSSTOWN TRAFFIC: Saw Slade and the Blue Oyster Cult a couple of weeks ago at the Capitol Theatre. Passaic’s answer to the Academy of Music. The Cult blew Slade, the headliners, right off the stage. After they’d ripped through “The Red and the Black,” “Seven Screaming Diz Busters,” “Buck’s Boogie” (incidentally, the long rumoured live version is now available on a Columbia sampler titled “the Guitars that Destroyed the World"), and “It's Not Easy," the audience nearly tore the place down until the BOC encored with that great '60s punk anthem, “Born to Be Wild.”

After that Slade didn't have a chance and they blew whatever momentum they 'might have built up with absurd audience participation interludes in every song. It may work in England, where they’re so idolized, they usually can't hear themselves.for all the screaming, but when the audience isn’t as fanatically inclined, it sounds as silly and lame as it looks."
Dan Nooger: The Village Voice - 4th October 1973

The Village Voice: 4th. October 1973

That was one man’s opinion. If you were there, you would have had the time of your life, like we did. Robert Christgau, the main music critic for The Village Voice, liked Slade. He has said that when he looks at books or documentaries about Rock; he judges there validity by whether Slade are included. In fairness to Dan Nooger, who wrote that review, he probably didn't know that the group were helping Powell take baby-steps through their first gig of the tour. For instance, Don's accident wasn't reported until the October publication of Circus magazine. 

Being one of a small army of New York Slade fans, we knew Slade were worth travelling for. Slade gigs were not a regular thing in America and I'd been too drunk at my 1972 gig so I was looking forward to Slade's opening night at the Capitol Theatre .

After gig crowd on Monroe Street. Photo by Kevin R Papa
"The Capitol Theatre Passaic, New Jersey, where John Scher was the promoter and folks worked hard to provide concert going fans and the artists that came to play with a warm, safe and fun environment."
Ahh, Passaic, New Jersey: 'the armpit of the Universe', where the Passaic river once caught on fire, I kid you not!

This brings back a lot of memories. For this show we had our usual Slade Crew: Me, Harry, his sister Paula (now my wife), Bill aka “Dollar Bill” (we called him this because he was always “borrowing” a dollar) and one of the infamous Hayes Brothers: Steve, because Joe was in Juvenile lock up for stealing bicycles.

At the turn of the 20th Century, Passaic had been a big textile producing town, but by 1973 the textile industry had moved elsewhere, and the town was a dump. The Capitol Theatre was also a dump, which showed XXX movies during the day, and held concerts by night. To get to Passaic from Brooklyn, we had to take two subway trains, a bus, and then a mile and a half walk. It only took forever. First stop in Passaic: The liquor store! Having attained the proper frame of mind, we entered The Capitol Theatre.

I've never really been a fan of BOC, but they played a decent set. There was a very long delay between BOC and Slade, but after an hour or so the lights went down and The Boyz hit the stage, what the critic didn’t say was that the audience was on its feet from start to finish.

Also I should point out, because everybody was there to see Slade, no one had any kind of problem, clapping and singing along with Noddy, who had the entire room eating out of his hand. Everyone was there to have fun, and we had it in spades!
"It was a classic Slade show! Slade sounded tight, loud and kicked ass. Slade was having fun, we were having fun. What more could Slade fans ask for?"
Harry Canyon
After the show we were walking back to the bus stop, and we could see the last bus to Manhattan pulling out, so we had to chase it for two blocks. Luckily it stopped at a red light."

SUNY, Geneseo, New York 22nd September 1973

Geneseo Lamron: 22nd September 1973

Slade, England's number one group, is coming to Geneseo. They have enjoyed great success in their own country and are now making their first American tour, on which Geneseo is one of their first stops. Although they are not as well known in America as they are in England, their popularity is rapidly catching on and they have been referred to as "the new Beatles." 
Slade will be performing in the new gym (in the ice arena) at 8:15 on Saturday night.

Beginning the evening's entertainment will be the group Elf. 
Tickets are now on sale at the College Union Information desk."
The State University of New York (SUNY) was excited at the prospect of Slade playing in their gym and clearly they were not aware that Slade had toured the US twice before in the last year and again, that awful 'New Beatles' tag line ruins any prospect of an unbiased evaluation of their performance. American Slade fans like Kevin Patrick were far more reliable.

"I’d seen Slade one rainy night in fall ’73 at SUNY Fredonia. Corinne and I braved the back woods road to get to the gymnasium which I recall being pretty full. We elbowed our way right up front. Hey, we considered ourselves UK band fan royalty. I’d just come back from London, and fresh from my job of picking up empty pint glasses at the Marquee. So there. 

Well Slade were way more powerful than ever expected. We loved the singles a lot, and the look – glam in general, but holy shit – this was ridiculous. The whole place went beserk. I mean, this had to have happened everywhere. Why didn’t they take off across the country? Baffling. 

We left jaws dragging. Well, we didn't exactly leave – we went to the only motel in town – and in the bar, there was Slade with their manager Chas Chandler. Now this was an unexpected treat. We had pot, they had stories. The next few hours were spent in Noddy’s room, talking to him and Chas (he had been in The Animals and brought Jimi Hendrix to England). All very recounted now, but not then. There was much I wanted him to tell, and he was only too happy in exchange for the good quality joints she was rolling. After a few hours, they were very stoned guys in a two horse town and the only female in sight was my girlfriend. So I figured – time to leave. Nice fellows though and a night to remember forever and ever and ever."

Kevin Patrick: So Many Records... January 21st, 2009
Worth mentioning for those not familiar with rock history, Elf was a rock band founded in 1967 by a certain Ronnie James Dio. No... try Google?

A night in Asbury Park at the Sunshine In was advertised for 25th September but never happened. It was advertised in the Village Voice on the 13th and the tour started on 21st. I'd like to know why this gig never happened but at present it's a mystery?
The Warner Brothers signing went ahead and the record company wasted no time releasing their latest album. Only a fortnight behind the global Polydor release, Sladest finds itself relieved of six tracks, sporting two new ones and a Reprise label for the USA.  I hope it kept the gatefold and booklet?
 Reprise MS 2173

Reprise dumped all the non-hit material, added the brand new single, My Friend Stan and it's flipside, My Town, and subsequently turned it into a 10-track Greatests Hits album, something that it never was anywhere else in the world. It's interesting to note that Reprise also used the 7" single recording of Skweeze Me, Pleeze Me, a track that has been omitted from every Slade collection compiled since.

The Village Voice: 4th October 1973 page 41
The rest of the tour went well, except for the critics, of course, who seem to enjoy knocking Slade whether they enjoyed the show or not. Even local promotion seemed to suggest Slade were up for sacrifice, not unlike the UK really?

The group were back in New York in October for two nights at The Academy Of Music. It's often stated that Gene Simmons & Paul Stanley of KISS, saw Slade at the Academy and took notes. In fact they went to most of the Manhattan Slade gigs, as did The Ramones and others.
"The Ramones loved Slade, and I know for a fact they saw every Manhattan Slade gig. The Hayes Brothers knew The Ramones before they had a recording contract; The Brooklyn Slade Crew saw The Ramones play numerous times before they became famous and The Hayes brothers introduced me to Dee Dee, who I became friends with. The Ramones loved Slade Alive, and used to play it in their dressing room before gigs. When we told Joey about meeting Slade, he looked stunned, and disappointed." 
“You guys got high with fucking Slade?.......and I fucking missed it!”
Harry Canyon

"Despite it's grandiose title, the Academy of Music is a sort of punk haven. The ambience is determinedly scruffy. the tone set by a hideous and blindingly lit popcorn stand at the main doors. Traces of art deco engravings adorn the ceilings and ihe whole threatre resembles the Rainbow a few degrees under, Walking along the corridors. one's feet scuff up trash and bottles and the occasional semi inert bodv. while in the men's room there's constantly a crowd of kids wheeling, dealing and scoring. . "The Academy is the tickiest of the tack. You should see the girls that goes there," commented a laconic beauty at the reception. who, like half the New York rock scene. claimed she was on first name terms with good old Salvador (Dali), Andy Warhol and Candy Darrling. "Candy's dying, y'know. It's sad." Although the theatre is only a short stumble from the famed Max's, rhinestones and make-up are conspicious by their absence. Ill fitting jeans and those old lumberjack check shirts still seem more de rigeur. It's a working, hard-headed sort of crowd. Slade's kind of people.  
First on stage come the Blue Oyster Cult, advertised ominously in the Village Voice as the forerunners of heavy metal or somethmg. But it turns out they're fresher and more vigorous than that would suggest, partly thanks to a fine, fluid lead guitarist. While Slade tune up and change backstage, the Oyster Cult encore with the ideal kind of number for their style "Born To Be Wild." Eventually Slade tumble on stage, a bunch of clowns in a way, led by Holder malevolently comic, with a top hat shoved over his eyes and the usual tartan trousers cut four inches short at the ankles. They look more wild and ridiculous out of context in the States than they do in Britain. 
 "At some towns we haven't played before, they just fall about laughin' when we walk on Slage," said Holder earlier. "It's good though 'cos it means they understand the humour." 
At the Academy though, everybody knows about Slade. In terms of their welcome - as they shatter into "Take Me Bak 'Ome" - they might just as well have walked on stage at the Empire Pool. Maybe is's coming on after the occasional complexity of the Blue Oyster Cult, but Slade seem to sound more basic and straight-ahead than ever. They make a virtue out of simplicity. Even Dave Hill rarely takes a solo, and when he does it's hardly complex. Overall the routine is much the same as ever, if a little shortened. Although Noddy Holder restricts his comments between numbers, he still keeps everybody well posted on developments: "We're goona do a mover now . . . a bit of a mover for 'Gudbye T' Jane'." or "Now this is a bIt slower. . . a bit slower this one" to introduce "Darlin' Be Home Soon". However it's about halfway through with "Cum On Feel The Noize", that the feeling in the theatre suddenly comes together in an orgasmic rush of concerted energy. At this particular heady moment it seems inconceivable that Slade are not destined to become as popular in' the States as they are in Britain. Naturally this feeling subsides later, on reflection, as Slade's audience is still not clearly defined. One wonders whether the hard rock Academy audience are attracted to Slade at present simply on their novelty value. Probably though, it's unlikely. For their final encore number the band tore into the standard show closer, a rock medley conglomeration of "Blue Suede Shoes""Whole Lotta Shakin' " and "Roll Over Beethoven". Only an exceptionnal band could make a string of cliched numbers like that sound fun. While chaos and mayhem engulfed the theatre, even the taciturn Chas Chandler could be observed ever-so-slightly, gently tapping a foot."
New Musical Express: 13th October 1973

The Village Voice also carried a second ad for Asbury Park, 8th October which states:
"Due to overwhelming requests, the September 25 Show rescheduled to October 8th. Tickets for September 25th will be honored October 8th."

It's good to see that, despite all the negativity there were overwhelming requests from the people that mattered, the public. The Village Voice was full of Slade (including the Dan Nooger article from earlier) much of it derogatory. It would appear that they had taken a disliking to the group.

"Blue Oyster Cult and Brats: It's going to be a great weekend for rock 'n' roll.... Saturday it's down to the Academy of Music for an evening with those five screaming diz busters the Blue Oyster Cult. After they stomp Slade you can make it back out to Queens for the Brats midnight set...."
Billboard also seemed to ignore Slade's live appearances, listing Blue Oyster Cult for 6th October, among other dates, with no mention of the head lining act, Slade.

"For American Slade fans the chance to see Slade twice in four days was quite an event. The concert was at The Sunshine Inn, where they turned the hotel’s parking garage into a concert hall. We had seen a few other shows here, most notably Bruce Springsteen. Normally we took the subway to Manhattan, and then a bus to Asbury Park. Steve and Joe Hayes told us they could borrow a car from a friend, and not have to deal with the subway and the bus. At the time we thought this was a good idea, what could possibly go wrong?
Martin, Paula and I were in the kitchen talking with my (and Paula’s) Mom, when we heard the beeping of a car horn. We took a look out side, and there was “Dollar” Bill and the Hayes Brothers in a white 1967 Cadillac Coupe de Ville convertible. It had two very wide bench seats; basically it was two couches on a 429 cubic inch V8 engine with an added cassette player. We all jumped in, with Joe driving, Steve and “Dollar” Bill next to him in the front seat, Martin, Paula and I was in the back. “Dollar” Bill passed a bottle of Southern Comfort around, and Martin lit one up. Steve popped “Slayed?” into the cassette player as we drove to New Jersey.
We decided to stop and eat at a Diner; we were in a town called Hazlet about thirty miles from Asbury Park. As we entered the Diner, two Police Officers were leaving, they sized us up, and gave us the “stink eye” and left. So there we were sitting in booth, when Steve looked out the window and said “Oh shit!” We all looked out the window, and the two cops were checking out the Cadillac. A few minutes later our burgers and fries arrived, and so did two more cop cars! As we ate, we watched unmarked police car arrive, and two Detectives got out, talking on their radios. Steve and Joe became very nervous and Joe’s hands started shaking. “What’s going on here?” asked “Dollar” Bill. “Well” said Joe “That car might not be exactly “kosher”. I screamed at Joe “What the hell do you mean, not exactly kosher?” “Everybody lower your voices and stay calm” said Martin (cooler than James Dean drinking ice water in a snowstorm), and continued “We need to play this wisely”. Paula looked at me and said “Moms’ gonna’ kill us!” “It’s gonna’ be all right” Martin assured us and continued “The only people who are going to die is Steve and Joe, when I bang their friggin’ heads together!” as he looked over sunglasses and gave them a cold stare. Outside in the parking lot we could see a cop popping open the trunk with a crowbar, while a small crowd gathered. “Let’s go see what’s going on” said Martin. So we paid the check, and went out to the parking lot. We walked over to see what was going on. Martin asked one of the cops what had happened, the cop told him the car was used as a getaway car during a holdup of a supermarket in Brooklyn last week.
So, it’s now seven o’clock, the show starts at eight, and we have no way of getting to Asbury Park or back to Brooklyn for that matter! We decide to walk into Hazlet’s business district, where hopefully there would be buses. We found a bus stop and asked if there was a bus to Asbury Park, we were told; there was a bus that went to Allenhurst about two miles from Asbury Park. About forty-five minutes later the bus showed up. It was a local bus, which stopped just about on every corner! We arrived in Allenhurst at nine thirty, now we had to walk, by the time we got close to The Sunshine Inn we could see the crowd leaving. We found a liquor store, walked to the Asbury Park bus depot, and caught a bus to Manhattan."
Harry Canyon

Billboard reported, on the 22nd September, that the group were booked to play the Scandinavium Arena in Gothenburg, Sweden on the 10th October, not sure when that was arranged (probably before the tour was set back) or how they planned to fit it in but the gig actually took place on the 8th November. This just adds to the chaos of the time. Clearly, in light of the circumstances, they were playing it as it happened.
Sheer Volume: That's Slade in a nutshell 
SLADE'S lead singer last night called out to the crowd that filled about half of the Auditorium Theater, "Is e-e-e--everybawdy cra-a-a-azy!!!" 
Of course, the hyper tense assemblage answered, "Yeah!" This was very truthful of them, especially when you consider the high cost of rock entertainment these days. And with so much good rock entertainment around these days I (feverishly rubbing my ears to see if they were still working) could not help but wonder why anyone would bother to see Slade.
Let's face it. A few artless people may call this jolly band of former skinheads "art", but it's really just a bad joke that proved to be slightly profitable. Dear friends, you don't encourage a bad joke. When you do, it spreads.
Before going any further in this innocent attempt to get even with Slade for what they did to my hearing (as of this writing their music, which even they call "noise", is still swashing around in my inner ear), I wish to point out that no slight is intended for the Climax Blues Band, the highly competent rockers who warmed up the show. 
CLIMAX BLUES Band's arrangements of standards like "Seventh Son", and their own originals fully deserved the encore they graciously delivered. Their lead guitarist rendered a spellbinding solo on bottle-neck guitar that made the whole trip worth it for this reporter. 
Then, Slade came on, the crowd of boogie freaks leaped to its feet with no intention of sitting again and Slade looked good in superfly British "yob" (street bandit) fashions. They looked good, that is, until they started playing their instruments. 
Noddy Holder, lead guitarist and the flashiest of the quartet's members, glittered in a silver, skintight Buck Rogers spaceman outfit, complete with six-inch-high platform shoes, a "Super Yob" emblem on his chest and a silver, custom-made, ray-gun-shaped guitar to match. The rest of the band, in more traditional yet colorful fashion, resembled the guests at a mad tea party. 
BESIDES THEIR own "C'mon Feel the Noise", "The Whole World's Gone Crazy" and "We're all Crazy Now", the band presented rearrangements of "Move Over", "Darling Be Home Soon" and "A Little Bit Your Love". You could not help but feel the noise. 
Slade's show sparks explosive response (especially from the 14-year-olds) only because of its powerful drummer who uses inch-thick sticks and its clever lead vocalist whose delivery sounds like a cross between an evangelist and a carnival barker. 
This was the band's second Chicago appearance and the house was far from packed. Slade reportedly made a heavy impression on it's homeland's citizenry, but hopefully Americans are made of stronger stuff.
Clarence Page
Chicago Tribune: October 17, 1973

"Slade-Sladest. Reprise MS 2173 (Warner Bros.) Slade has been one of the top British bands for two years now, but they have yet to break through in this country as a major act. They have been known primarily as a singles band, with each single an exercise in the controlled wall of sound style of rock. Noddy Holder's voacals are frantic, Dave Hill's guitar is loud and full of great riffs and the group's songs are full of the drive and repetition good rock is made of. Now, on their first LP for Warners, the label has made an extremely smart maneuver. They have included all of the group's major hit records, which serves the dual purpose of introducing them as a singles band as well as giving them an almost fresh start with the American listening public. This could be the real start of Slade.
Best cuts: Look Wot You Dun, Mama Weer All Crazee Now, Gudbuy T'Jane, Cum On Feel The Noize.
Dealers: Band has an almost underground following and are touring the country now. Display from stepdown."

Billboard's Academy review came on the 3rd November and sounds like Nooger's Village Voice review but with a little less venom. For the text only readers....
Academy of Music, New York  
Judging from the hysteria generated by the group's return to Howard Stein's Academy, Slade, now on Reprise, may be on the verge of finally cracking the American rock market. The core of this successful British band is Noddy Holder - all rasp'n'roll, barking out followed commands with the execution of Adolph Hitler. The music is thunderous with lead guitarist Dave Hill sending out scorching, electric riffs. The four of them bounce along, hammering out U.K. singles hits "Gudbuy T’Jane" "Cum on Feel the Noise", "Mama Weer All Crazee Now" and so on - all are condensed, repetitive and frenzied. The group is strictly for the participant, not the passive. And, with all of the band's stage shenanigans, if humour in rock is needed, Slade is where it's at. 
On the other hand, Blue Oyster Cult, opening the bill, had more meat to it than Slade's potatoes. A heavy metal band in the finest sense of the tag, the Columbia group of five, intertwined layer upon layer of sound with straightforward vocal work, highlighted by some fine ensemble drumming. Loosening up its music somewhat. Blue Oyster drew cheers with the encore number, the old Steppenwolf rock favourite. "Born to be Wild."

Winterland Arena, 19th October 1973

"When we saw Slade at Winterland again, five months later, it seemed that the audience was more prepared for them, probably as a result of word-of-mouth reports from their earlier performance. Slade played the same kind of set as they had played before, but the response from the crowd was a bit stronger.  
It must have been strange for Slade, then at the full height of their considerable fame in the UK, to be playing to American audiences that hardly knew them. (Being a band whose fame was built mostly on singles put them at something of a disadvantage in the USA, where singles did not mean nearly as much.) They never did establish themselves as major performers in America, which is unfortunate, because they were one of the great British bands of the period, with a strong collection of appealing songs that still sound good to this day."
Michael Collins Morton: Brit Rock By The Bay 2011

"We saw Slade at Winterland again, and waited at the stage door after their performance. I had brought with me a 5x7 matted photo that I had taken at the previous show, hoping to have the band autograph it for me. One of their roadies saw the photo and took it to them to sign. I was extremely pleased to have it returned with all their signatures. Noddy Holder had drawn a little picture on the mat, which I couldn't make out. When they all came out of the stage door, I asked Noddy what he had drawn. He said, "It's a dog pissing on a tree!" I was a bit taken aback at first, but then I laughed. We got to talk with them for a while, which is always one of the fonder memories that I have from going to those shows."
Dan Cuny: Brit Rock By The Bay 2011

Slade returned home on the 22nd October for a well-earned three day break before setting off on an extensive European Tour. The group could relax, Don Powell was back in business.

Blue Oyster Cult were clearly the US press favs of the moment. Two years later in the UK....
"I saw Motorhead supporting Blue Öyster Cult at Hammersmith. It was unbelievably loud and raw, definitely from 'the battering you with a length of lead pipe' school of mixing. I got fed up with it, in fact, and went and stood in the toilet and read a newspaper until it went away. That’s not very rock’n’roll but my ears lived to see another day. Lemmy’s lads were better than the headline act: Cult were like the heavy metal Osmonds at Hammersmith, with a horribly choreographed show: if it was time for a guitar solo, Buck Dharma would stand at the front, play under the spotlight, then step back when it was done, and someone else would do their prearranged thing. I gather they got less mechanical as the years passed, but back then, the Cult were a big disappointment for a band that appeared to be breaking the metal mould.... on record at least."

Ian McCann (Editor of Record Collector)

January 2016
Oh well!

My apologies to Kevin Papa and Craig Cumberland, of course I doctored the Capitol pic to show Slade, sorry. Much is owed to Harry Canyon for his anecdotes, Paula for her patience, Liz Argentieri at SUNY, Genesseo, Dave Kemp of Slade Scrapbook, David Miller of Brit Rock By The Bay and our esteemed editor for the extra info. Extra thanks to Dave Graham & Stu Rutter for their input. 

3rd US Tour: Autumn 1973 (known dates)

18/09/1973 Fly out from Heathrow for a 28 gig month long coast to coast US tour.

21/09/1973 Capitol Theatre, Passaic, New Jersey, NYC 
(with Blue Oyster Cult) Sladest released
22/09/1973 State University of New York, Geneseo, New York
(with Elf)
23/09/1973 Onondaga War Memorial Center, Syracuse, New York
25/09/1973 Sunshine In, Asbury Park, New Jersey  
(with New Hope) **rescheduled**
27/09/1973 Messier Auditorium, Detroit
28/09/1973 Elvis Auditorium, Memphis
29/09/1973 Convention Centre, Louisville
30/09/1973 Morris Civic Centre, South Bend, Indiana
01/10/1973 Springfield, Missouri
02/10/1973 Kidd Auditorium, St Louis
04/10/1973 C W Port College, Greenvale, New York
05/10/1973 Academy Of Music, New York
06/10/1973 Academy Of Music, New York
(with Blue Oyster Cult)
07/10/1973 Falls Church, Virginia
08/10/1973 Sunshine In, Asbury Park, New Jersey
(with New Hope)
15/10/1973 Minneapolis, Minnesota
16/10/1973 The Auditorium Theatre, Chicago
19/10/1973 Winterland Arena, San Francisco 
(J. Geils Band, Slade, Back Door)
20/10/1973 Winterland Arena, San Francisco 
(J. Geils Band, Slade, Back Door)
21/10/1973 Long Beach Arena - Long Beach
22/10/1973 Return to UK