2nd US Tour (Super Yob)

The USA, Spring 1973

Chandler had by now dispensed with the services of ]ohn Halsall as the group's publicist - Halsall, still on £15 a week, was less than happy after the sterling work he had put in on their behalf - and hired Les Perrin, perhaps the best known and certainly most respected rock PR in London, His Fleet Street contacts were second to none and among his clients were three ex-Beatles and The Rolling Stones,

For Perrin to be handling their publicity wa a sure sign of Slade's growing stature but one of his earliest manoeuvres smacked of deliberate overkill. In April 1973, immediately prior to their departure for a second US tour, Perrin arranged a bon voyage press reception at Gatwick Airport, It was an all too obvious attempt to re-create some of the excitement that attended The Beatles' first departure for America in 1964, 

The VIP lounge was commandeered but there was only a handful of fans and a cluster of photographers to see them on their way, A rather unnecessary police escort accompanied Slade to their plane where a few airport employees and bewildered security men looked on while stewardesses rushed to be in on the photographs, The roof overlooking the departure gate wa off limits to the public so those fans who did show up were denied a view of the group disappearing into the fuselage of their British Caledonian jet. In contrast to the hysterical scene that had lately greeted both The Osmonds and The Jackson Five when they alighted at Heathrow, a Ion policeman looked down on Slade as they crossed the tarmac, "That's our fan!" quipped Dave Hill, "The Osmonds haven't got it all their own way." 

Village Voice: 22nd February 1973
Among his baggage was a new guitar shaped like a space-age ray gun and painted with the legend 'Superyob',
"It's the new American image." he said, "I've got a costume with big houlders to give me that American football look, I've been specially re-designed for America with a guitar to match!"

The East Coast: April 1973

In America until the end of May, Slade concentrated as much on promotional activities as they did on concerts, At each town they visited there were appointments with Radio stations and a cluster of press interviews. There was alas, no hit record but this time around they headlined in halls holding 2,000 or less and scored some limited success in the process. America certainly found them interesting enough to talk about in the news although they didn't bother much about accuracy.
"Dave Hill, 21 year old leader of the British rock group Slade....Slade consists of... Jim Rea, 20, bass guitarist...."
The Stars And Stripes 25th April 1973 p. 19
The Stars & Stripes, European Edition, is a daily 28-page paper printed in Darmstadt, Germany, distributed throughout Europe, unique among the many Department of Defense authorized news outlets, which provides independent news and information to the U.S. military community and their families. It has published a newspaper continuously since World War II maintaining news bureaus in Europe, Pacific and the Middle East to provide first-hand reporting on events in those arenas. The paper is for sale on base, at military exchanges and home delivery for subscribers.

20th April, Academy Of Music, New York

In New York they sold out the Academy of Music and added a second show, and among the audience (so they later discovered) were members of Kiss, Twisted Sister and the Billy Squier Band, All of whom, took notes.
The tour moved along the coast to Boston and inland to Chicago before heading to Ohio, smack in the middle of the continent before crossing the border into Canada.

23rd April, London Gardens, London, Ontario

Originally built in 1963 and was home to the London Knights ice hockey team from 1965-2002. The arena had a capacity of 5,075 and was part of the Superstore Mall complex. It also had shite acoustics!

Slade played the London Gardens on Monday, April 23, 1973 where they opened for Johnny Winter. The London Free Press published a review the next day.
Johnny Winter freezes Slade at Gardens 
"The rumblings in the corridors of London Gardens, Monday night after the English group Slade, self-destructed before more than 4,000 fans on the first half of a double bill concert centred mainly on the group's volume. 
Even by rock standards the band's sound was excessive, so powerful that a record company promotion man was overheard to say between gulps of a soft drink: "Maaan, that group's toooo loud." 
When he uttered the statement, the aforementioned PR type was standing in the corridor while the band was still on, protecting his sensitive eardrums with the thick concrete block walls between him and the arena echo chamber.
Loudness aside, Slade proved themselves to be an inept simplistic group bordering on musical idiocy...Slade seems to do well with singles in Europe, but why is a mystery. Noddy Holder's piercing lead vocals resemble primordial screaming more than rock anguishing and the band's wobbly chord smashing and pots and pans rhythms strip the feeling from rock 'n' roll rendering it muscleless. (I've never heard anybody mishandle a song as badly as they did on Feel So Fine.)
Johnny Winter and his group, the headline act that everybody came to see, was immensely superior. Winter is a master blues and rock guitarist who throws in all kinds of improvisation as he plays and it all seems to fit, with the proper emphasis wherever it should be put. 
Winter is definitely the star in the four-man group consisting of two drummers and a bass player besides the albino ace himself. 
Oh yes, there was a chick in hot pants galloping about the stage doing some minor percussion work and receiving a few suggestive thrusts now and again from the neck of Johnny's guitar but she didn't mean much to the group except as a sex object. 
But her visuals weren't neccessary. Johnny Winter is as physically striking a rock performer as can be found, a long shaft of white willow with a flowing white mane, bedecked in jet black costumes and a pink silk scarf. There is only one man in rock who can match him and that's his brother Edgar, but when it comes to music, Johnny's got him beat. 
Edgar is an equally fine musician, of course, but he seems to lack direction, playing progressive rock backed up by straight forward rock 'n' roll musicians. No such schizophrenia affects Johnny. He plays two things at different times, rock 'n' roll and blues rock and he plays both exceptionally well with a personal style of thumb-picking (unusual for a rock guitarist). The rest of his band are merely sidemen, but competent ones at that. 
As usual the acoustics at the Gardens got in the way of the rock, imploding on the sound before new things happened."
Joe Matyas: London Free Press, April 24th, 1973, p.20.
The glowing review for Johnny Winter and his pink scarf. Quite a contrast to the Montreal rave review and a perfect example of the effect Slade had throughout America. Rarely were the reviews bland, Slade occupied both ends of the spectrum but not the middle, love them or hate them but nobody ignored them.

The London Knights were unable to deliver a championship while resident at the old London Gardens.
The Rolling Stones played the arena on April 26, 1965, but due to rioting in the audience, the show was shut down by police after only 15 minutes. Mick Jagger promised the disappointed crowd the group would return to London for a make-up show, but they never have. The arena's most famous moment came in February 1968, when singer Johnny Cash proposed onstage to his longtime partner, June Carter Cash, shortly after his attempted suicide and spiritual epiphany.

24th April, The Capitol Theatre, Montreal, Quebec

Designed by Thomas Lamb’s Toronto office, built by Nathan Louis Nathanson (first general manager of Famous Players Canadian Corp.) and opened April 2, 1921 with the film “Forbidden Fruit”. The Capitol Theatre "Canada’s Greatest Playhouse" at 890 Rue Sainte Catherine in Montreal, Quebec. It was a grand venue in Montreal and The Gazette announced that Slade would be playing two weeks before the gig with this small mention.

DKD plans shows at the Capitol
"Add to the Forum, the University of Montreal and Paul Suave Arena, the name of the Capitol Theatre as a venue for rock shows.
Impressario Donald K. Donald (Don Tariton) announced yesterday he has reached an agreement with United Theatre to rent the historic at Ste. Catherine and McGill on a twice-a-month basis for his productions. 
First show in the 2300 seat theatre is the most popular rock band in England right now, Slade, scheduled for April 24th...."
Bill Mann: Montreal Gazzette, 10th April 1973
The venue has stood for 50 years as a cinema and DKD has decided to put Slade on as their first rock show. A few days later the Gazette followed up with an album review.

Slayed? Slade, Polydor 2383-163
"Donald K. Donald said his switchboard was jammed when The Gazette reported last week that England's top band in the charts would be at the Capitol Theatre April 24. Now this will be a show. I was beginning to think we might miss Slade, since the band is playing in Toronto with Johnny Winter, and Winter is coming here with King Crimson May 5.
The Wackers' Bob Segarani, who often has a way with words, was listening to Slade not long ago, and he remarked, "That's the band I want MY kids to grow up on." 
Mine too Bob. It's too bad that the jocks at CHOM don't feel fit to play a lot more of Slade, and deservedly. 
Slade makes no pretensions of being a group of great musicians. And they don't play 20 minute jam sessions or get introspective on stage. 
Slade comes out and WORKS. It's pure, utterly unadulterated rock 'n' roll; rock in the raw, if you will. 
Slade isn't out to prove anything, except perhaps that at least one band hasn't forgotten rock 'n' roll. 
There's no finesse and no pretension. When Noddy Holder screams out, 'Mama Weer All Crazee Now' you know he means it. The cuts here are short and to the point, the point being that if rock don't get you off, what will? 
Every single the group puts out hits No. 1 in England within two weeks these days. Gudbuy T'Jane and The Whole World's Goin' Crazee are other strong cuts. 
Don't say you weren't tipped off - Slade on April 24 is the show to see in Montreal this spring. When Slade is done with the place, there'll be a parking lot there the next day. (The record gets a B plus, incidentally)."
Bill Mann: Motreal Gazette, 14th April 1973
Sorry, they haven't actually played yet, that was an album review. Understandable mistake though, on the same page (46) Bill makes another Slade reference...

"...Speaking of Slade, it's interesting to see rock bands up on billboards instead of ads for sunflights to Haiti and plugs for the '73 Belchfire. I found five Slade billboards around Montreal and, sure enough, that's how many Polydor says they've bought. So let's try a game in perception: first 10 people to send me the correct location of the five Slade billboards have won both Slade albums and a Slade T-shirt..."

The Gazette included a listing in the "What's doing in Montreal" section on the 20th. April and on 24th  Slade played to a small but enthusiastic audience at the Capitol Theatre. An effervescent Bill Mann was, true to his word, present to witness the event.

Slade's music is hard as rock 
Just the name says a lot. 
The band plays what its name suggests - basic rock.
When you go to a Slade concert, you don't go to see fancy guitar work. You don't go to see apocalyptic lyrics set to a beat.
If you're looking for any of that, you're making a mistake. And there wasn't any of it last night when the Capitol opened its doors to rock.
No, you go to see Slade, you go to GET Slayed. And, of course, you go to boogie.
And the 500 people - why weren't there more? - there last night did just that.
The acoustics in the Capitol weren't designed for high-powered rock music and the high sounds especially bounced around like bullets last night.
But through the sparsely populated theatre about 30 minutes into the show there surged an energy that made you forget everything else. It was the raw, nervous energy of distillate rock 'n' roll, something not often seen any more.
Slade was honking. Mama Weer All Crazee Now really got things flying after a somewhat slow start. That song, a No. 1 single in England earlier this year, is the group's most effective song, a powerful rock number with all the right ingredients and no frills, a song that speaks in the imperative: "On your feet!"
The people who WERE there showed more sheer exhilerance than at any rock show I've seen here in a long time, and most people were dancing, no mean feat.
This is the tour that should break Slade in North America. The groups latest single, Cum On Feel The Noise, was the first 45 since the Beatles to hit the number 1 spot in the English charts on the first day of its release.
Not only is Slade the most popular band in England, they're gaining a hard core of followers everywhere now. Tonight's Johnny Winter show in Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens is just about sold out because of Slade.
Slade is managed by the same man who discovered and managed Jimi Hendrix, Chas Chandler (who used to be with The Animals). Chandler spotted this bar band in the gritty working-class town of Wolverhampton a few years back and the group went on to dismantle England in short shrift.
This is a young band (average age: 22) and it has made it to the top in England quickly. And, since its the only major band around right now on the international scene playing pure rock, chances are good Slade's going to be known for a long time: rock is a proven sustainer.
Seeing Slade on stage was a constant reminder to me of that initial exhuberance and rush of energy that many felt in 1956 when rock was being born. Slade captures that feeling better than any band I've seen in a long time.
Vocalist Noddy Holder is the heart of Slade. His caterwauls send shivers up your spine. After a while, something else hits you - Holder sounds remarkably like the late Janis Joplin did. He certainly seems to work as hard on stage.
And Slade DO work, from the moment they hit the stage. It took lead guitarist Dave Hill 30 minutes to cool off after the show last night."
Bill Mann: The Gazette, 25th April 1973
Bill Mann's prophecy also came true. The Capitol Theatre, despite being in it's original condition and still showing films, was demolished six months later in October 1973. It wasn't replaced with a car park though, it was an office block.

The West Coast: May 1973

The reception in Seattle, Washington, was akin to a reasonable night in Wolverhampton but elsewhere the West Coast remained indifferent. 800 miles down the coastline in San Francisco the reception was erratic to say the least.

"Slade did not become very popular out here on the West Coast, (that's the San Francisco area and also the Los Angeles area, where they probably were a bit more popular). San Francisco in those days was the center of the Hippie culture and bands like The Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane were huge. Glitter Rock didn't catch on and David Bowie's first concert here was attended by only 200 people. So, there was very little coverage on Slade and bands like them out here. The best source for us was Rolling Stone, the largest music magazine in the US."
David Miller: Brit Rock By The Bay

For Jim Lea the early American tours were far from happy,
"We might as well have been touring the moon:' he says, "The send off from Gatwick was a bad move and when we got there, The Eagles and The Allman Brothers were the big bands... hardly our cup of tea, What with Dave and his clothes, we might as well have been Martians as far as American audiences were concerned!
Not in New York Jim, 3000 miles across the continent, the small print in the Village Voice Academy ad and the banner across the poster says it all.

Clearly, the West Coast was less inviting, maybe they didn't identify so readily with the bands working class roots although the Oxnard Press Courier ("serving Ventura County") wrote a good article on them.

It was filed away next to 'Keeping Pets Healthy' I hasten to add,  but it's fair, accurate, in-depth and interesting.

Oxnard Press-Courier: California: 13th May 1973
"Slade is a British hard rock 'n' roll group, from the working classes, so popular on it's home ground that its last single and LP both ENTERED England's best-selling charts at No. 1. 
Bass player Jimmy Lea says, "That's the first time that's happened since the Beatles." 
The group is in America through May, trying to make that kind of popularity happen here. Lea says, "It's a strange feeling, coming from England and the continent and plunging to rock bottom in the states. 
"We've been up to about 50 in the US. In England we've had seven single hits, five going to No. 1." Those, in the phonetic spelling Slade enjoys, were 'Get Down and Get With It,' 'Cos I Luv You,' 'Take Me Bak Ome,' 'Mama Weer All Crazee Now' and 'Gudbuy T'Jane.' 
THE LATEST, which hit No. 1 at its release early this year, 'Cum On Feel The Noize,' has just been released in America to coincide with the tour.
 The two LP's on Polydor, 'Slade Alive' and 'Slayed?', are the only two that interest the group. Before that, they say, they were in a formative period, getting their style organised. 'Slayed' was No. 54 on the US best-selling chart of April 28.
The style is hard rock 'n' roll, power rock, with a feeling for melody as well as power, good time music that gets the audience up on its feet and dancing in the aisles. 
Lead guitarist Dave Hill says, "We're giving them good-time music, letting them get excitement out of themselves without preaching to them. There are no political views with Slade; we're not interested in politics. People want a break from the stuff they're getting everyday." 
"THERE MUST be a lot of good kids who want basic entertainment. There's no drug influence. We won't say we haven't tried it. But we don't want to see kids drunk out of their heads. We want to see smiling faces. If we can give excitement without them being high, it is simple and wholesome."
"We don't want to be so freaky that some bloke says, 'I couldn't possibly be like that.' Each of us dresses like a certain part of the public. I wear the most outrageous - silver clothes and silver down the side of me hair, for effect. You can recognise me; I'm not distorting my features. Noddy Holder, the singer, wears more of a worker's look."
"It is show business and we're presenting music and excitement and fun. It's like having a good party." 
"Kid's leave the hall and they're probably not going to go out and beat up the local copper." 
"IT IS A WORKING class thing in England. It is a teenage thing in America. I can't see what group here is catering to teenagers." 
"Nod's father is a window cleaner, drummer Don Powell's dad works in a foundry, my father's a mechanic and Jimmy's dad's an engineer. We have the feeling of a working class band in England; we follow the life style, getting our kicks coming home, going out to a pub drinking and singing around a piano." 
"There is nothing I hate more than a group with hair over their faces and heads down and playing heavy and cool music and making albums with three tracks, which is one number repeating itself." 
"We make 10 or 12 songs on an album. We figure every one could be a hit record for us. Everybody likes to have a happy mood. Happy music is the most acceptable." 
LEA WRITES music and Holder writes lyrics for Slade songs. Lea says, "We have a domineering beat sound. It becomes irresistible, almost hypnotic in a way. We never let up off it." 
Slade started five years ago as Ambrose Slade, a skinhead band. Hill says he'd just as soon forget those days, since they had a bad press then. Lea says that people were afraid that the skinhead gangs who came to see them would cause trouble. "They wouldn't let us on TV. Instead of obscurity, we started off with hate." 
"Then we worked our way out, to breaking records all over the country and earning money from our stage presentations and hit records and getting through to a much younger market. We had our first hit in July 1971." 
Hill says, "We'd like an album or single someday to sell something like 'White Christmas' sells, a phenomenal record." 
"THE ONLY THING we want now is to keep getting hit records. We don't want to sit back and say; 'We've done it.' We want to keep touring." 
"In England we mix with our fans. We're not into the hiding-in-the-dressing-room scene. People feel we're an extension of them. That is what we've got in England and on the continent. It is going good now and we need America to bring it all together." 
"How popular you are can be judged if the kids want it at home. They go to hear David Cassidy in England but his records don't sell so well. The girl following gets an aura of being where he is."
Mary Campbell: Discs & Tapes

3rd May 1973, Civic Center, Santa Monica

"Slade is headlining the bill at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. The scene backstage is mildly amusing to everyone, as always. A girl named Jane, from Wolverhampton, comes up to Dave and they chat about the old hometown. Jimmy is humming "Let's Go To The Hop" as he carefully hangs up his red lurex jacket. The "hipppest photographer in L.A." is strutting around in his red yellow platform shoes and newly shortened denims ... just like Noddy....
They put on the stage clothes - Noddy in plaid, with his mirrored hat, Dave in his gold blue 'Super Yob' costume specially designed for this tour (an important American music magazine called it Super Hob and everyone gets a good laugh out of that), Don’s in silver brown vest and pants, and Jimmy's got the red lurex f1ashing. Dave's applied all "me glitter" ... and they're ready.  
"WE WANNA HEER Y'ALL MOOOVING, RIGHT FROM THE START!!!!!" shrieks out that incredible voice. "GET UP YER ASSES AND MOOOVE!"  
And, of course, they did. Who could possibly ignore Noddy's voice?? The audience was like a party; they're dancing and tossing the maribou boas around and Noddy's voice is so lusty, so intense, I would have loved to have heard this boy do a duet with Janis Joplin ... can you imagine?  
Power Cut 
"Darlin' Be Home Soon" is followed by a rousing "'Sweet Little Rock-n-Roller" and Dave and Jimmy are up on the amps when the power is suddenly cut. That sound just stops -and Chas is immediately in the wings telling them to get off. "Just relax," he calmly tells them. "There's nothing you can do when the power is cut except wait for them to fix it."
Slade's own P.A. system got lost in the airplane somewhere, so they weren't using their own. It was a bit of a drag. But after some fiddling around with the equipment, they're back on stage and building it up all over again. Of course, they do it - they pull and scream and reach until they've got that audience, they never let go."
Lisa Robinson: DISC May 19th, 1973

5th & 6th May, Winterland Arena

Slade were not seen the same way in America, they didn't seem to be able to connect in the same way that they had at home, across Europe and even in Australia. It seems that even the different areas of America had different perceptions too. Here are the thoughts and memories of Slade in San Francisco:
"I have fond memories of seeing Slade perform in 1973, at Winterland in San Francisco. Being English by birth (my family moved from the UK to the USA when I was young), I had a strong interest in all forms of British rock from The Beatles onward, and I had followed the progress of Slade in the copies of the Melody Maker that my grandmother sent to me every week from England. I knew that Slade had become quite famous in the UK, and I was eagerly looking forward to seeing them on stage." 
"Having Slade open for Humble Pie, a British band whose music was hard and bluesy, was a good match. Humble Pie was a major band in the USA at the time, and their fans generally were the sort of people who liked to have a good time. Although Slade probably was not known to most of the audience at Winterland (in spite of being superstars in the UK), they bounded onto the stage with good cheer and gave their all throughout their performance. They clearly were determined to make a strong impression on the crowd."
"The music of Slade was regarded as glam rock, mostly because of their flashy attire on stage, but they came across quite differently from Marc Bolan, David Bowie, The Sweet, etc. (Although I also enjoyed all of those performers.) Slade seemed much more down-to-earth, and much less fey. Even Dave Hill, under all his glitter and finery, could be seen as a "regular guy." (In other words, heterosexual.) Young men in America always have tended to be uncertain in their masculinity, and therefore are excessively leery of anything that is not clearly "male." (In San Francisco, where The Grateful Dead and their ilk still reigned in 1973, T-shirts and blue jeans represented the favored style of apparel.) When David Bowie performed as Ziggy Stardust at Winterland in October of 1972, most of those in the small audience (apart from my friends and myself) appeared to be gay men. In the case of Slade, however, their unaffected manner put American audiences, particularly young men, at ease." 
"In May of 1973, when Slade first performed at Winterland, the crowd was slightly taken aback at the beginning of their set, but quickly warmed to them. Slade played loud and fast, making no concessions in their musical approach. Dave Hill, with his outlandish outfit, had everyone in a state of open-mouthed wonder, and Noddy Holder was able to stir up a great deal of excitement with his powerful voice and his spirited personality."
Michael Collins Morton: Brit Rock By The Bay 2011
 "I saw Slade twice at Winterland in 1973, on May 5 and October 20. They were very hot in England at the time, with the release of their album, Slayed?, the year before. It included their hits, "Gudbuy T' Jane" and "Mama Weer All Crazee Now."

"The first time I saw them was with Humble Pie and Steely Dan. I remember not liking Steely Dan. My friends and I even sat down with our backs to the stage during their performance. We jumped up when Slade hit the stage. They were the flashiest band that I had ever seen. Dave Hill had glitter glued to has face and hands, and wore a glittery jumpsuit with the words, "SUPER YOB," on his chest. Noddy Holder announced each song and bounced the spotlight off his mirrored top hat, so the light would hit the audience in the face. I thought that was a good effect. I remember getting hit in the eyes with the light a couple of times. They dressed in bright clothes and stomped around in giant platform boots. I could tell that they were enjoying themselves as much as we were enjoying them."
"The glitter look seemed trendy to me. I had heard about it being popular in England, but I had my doubts about how well it would be received in the States. David Bowie had experienced a poor turnout in San Francisco the year before. His music, and the music of other glam stars like Marc Bolan, was not popular here at that time. I felt that San Francisco was behind the times when it came to flashy rock bands. The Bay Area was the home of The Grateful Dead and other bands who dressed in old jeans. Slade did go over well with the crowd, mainly due to the hard rock sound that they had perfected playing in clubs all over England."
"We waited outside to get autographs after the show. Since Slade were not the last act, I wasn't sure that they would still be around after Humble Pie's performance. I was surprised when the stage door opened and all four popped out, and started down the street toward their hotel. I remember running after them to get their autographs. They were very friendly and seemed to be regular guys off stage."
David Miller: Brit Rock By The Bay 2011
"Slade was LOUD. I am trying to remember the glam rock fad... Slade, Gary Glitter, David Bowie, T. Rex, maybe Elton John for a moment, early Roxy Music, The Sweet, maybe Queen (maybe not). Were there more? Roy Wood was putting glitter in his hair and his beard, but he wasn't making music for kids. Did someone mention Jobriath? It seemed that the glam rock fad was aimed at the pre-teen crowd.

Slade was a great band, and more than a fad. They had an interactive act and could really rock. They also were a real funny band. Noddy Holder had his stovepipe hat with mirrors that reflected the spotlights back into the crowd, giving him a tool that he used to mess with people. (Dan's autograph from him, with a drawing of a dog pissing, is a classic.) Dave Hill had a custom made, glittering gold uniform with "SUPER YOB" on it. Noddy Holder and Dave Hill were the front men. Jim Lea seemed to be the most serious musician of the bunch, but even he jumped around and wore a glittery jacket. He and Don Powell, the drummer, mostly remained in the background, churning out a solid barrage of support for the two front men."
"Dave Hill played a mean, stinging lead guitar, and Noddy Holder (in John Lennon style) churned out chunky riffs that were real catchy. Slade really pushed for sing-along audience participation. "Mama Weer All Crazee Now" and "Cum on Feel the Noize" were strong rock anthems, like Queen wrote in the later days. Slade had lots of action and jokes, very loose (though tight musically) and fun. And they were LOUD."
Gary Hodges: Brit Rock By The Bay 2011

"The opening act for this show was Steely Dan, who at the time were just starting out. Slade was the second act, preceding Humble Pie. I was pretty excited to see Slade, as I had their album, Slayed?, and really liked their song, "Mama Weer All Crazee Now." I can remember them hitting the stage. Their stage presence was pretty electrifying, with Dave Hill dressed in a blue/gold spacesuit with winged sleeves and "SUPER YOB" across his chest. He had glitter on his face, and his very short bangs gave him a distinct look. Noddy Holder had a top hat with mirrors on it, which reflected the spotlight all over the place. He was very 70s glam rock, with plaid pants and suspenders."

"They all took the stage like madmen, with Dave Hill jumping off a pedestal, and Jim Lea rocking around the stage. I remember them playing some of the songs from Slayed?, such as "Gudbuy T' Jane" and "Mama Weer All Crazee Now," with a lot of enthusiasm. They were great to photograph, and one of the more entertaining bands that I saw. I got some good shots of the band, and the memory of that show will definitely be with me for a long time."
Dan Cuny: Brit Rock By The Bay 2011
Dan Cuny sure did get some good shots of the show and he was also kind enough to let me use them here. Yes, you're looking at Dan's photo's on this page. If they look familiar then you have probably seen them at Brit Rock By The Bay.

9th May, Rainbow Ballroom, Fresno
"SLADE - England's latest candidate for super group status in pop music. Wednesday at 8pm, Rainbow Ballroom, tickets $3.50 in advance at Sound Stage, Discount Records, Sun-Stereo, Kaleidoscope, $4.50 at door."Fresno Bee: 6th May 1973
The group played Fresno a few days after Winterland. The gig at the Rainbow Ballroom is described by Holder as a festival. 

"During the tour we played at our first American festival. It was in Fresno. It was one of the only places on the West Coast where we built up a following. The festival was to be headlined by Sly & The Family Stone. They were a pretty weird act for us to play with but I was a huge fan and looking forward to seeing them. They were notorious for turning up late.... we were on right before them and at the end of our set they hadn't turned up. The promoter was waving us on. We'd already done an hour so we had to play a lot of old songs we'd not performed for years. The crowd must have wondered if we were ever going to finish.  

When they eventually arrived, their show was a huge disappointment. They looked great but they were stoned and their music was a shambles.... We met up for a drink after but they were so out of it... they made no sense at all..."
Who's Crazee Now? page 168

Quite a small ad for a festival and no mention of Sly & The Family Stone.

Oriental Theater, Milwaulkee, 23rd May 1973

The Milwaukee Journal: 23rd May 1973, page 13

Slade's Thunder Rocks Old Theater
"Nobody can accuse Slade of being subtle.
Four screeching and wailing rock musicians from England. Slade rolled into the Oriental Theater Tuesday night on a wave of frenzied bedlam that must have had the ceramic Buddhas that line the walls of the old theater yawning with exhaustion.

Slade is the hottest rock act in England at this moment, with three songs in the top 10. The group hasn't made it as big in the US yet, but if it does, thousands of American ears are sure to suffer permanent damage.

Slade's speciality in whipping it's audiences into something approaching a catatonic frenzy. It succeeded with a vengeance Tuesday.

A hard driving pulsating simple rock and roll is Slade's musical fare, but the act doesn't stop there. Continual exhortations to the 2,000 young persons who attended the concert to sing, scream, clap and stamp along with the performers had the crowd on it's feet and clustered around the stage before the first song was over.

At one point, lead singer Noddy Holder, the resident ugly of the group, asked the audience if it was crazy. It answered affirmatively en masse. He then had them chant, "All of us are crazy." Truer words have never been spoken.

Slade's performance was a slick and professional production. Holder was rather quaint and equipped with a foghorn for a voice. Lead guitarist Dave Hill acted slightly demented.

He wore glitter on his forehead and in his hair, along with a continual silly grin. Guitarist Jim Lea's speciality was jumping on and off speakers and amplifiers and gesturing wildly to the audience.

Drummer Don Powell barechested for most of the act, behaved almost normally.

The music was played well. If unsophisticated rock performed at the pain level of amplification suits your tastes, then Slade is for you.

Slade was preceded by Ivory, a fine five piece rock group from Chicago. The groups biggest failing was that it didn't permit singer Frieda Williams to cut loose enough. Miss Williams has a fantastic voice that should be used more."
Damien Jaques of The Journal Staff

ABC Telivision, 23rd May 1973
'In Concert' went out late on a Friday night. ABC TV music series during 1972 - 73. It was produced by Dick Clark Productions and featured select performances from several concerts each week showing footage of top R'n'B, Folk and Rock acts of the day. In most viewing areas it competed with NBC's 'Midnight Special' and viewers would have to choose which channel they were going to watch, home video being a dream for tomorrows world. 

Slade are said to have featured alongside Miles Davis, Albert King, Dr. John & Dan Hicks on the 23 May 1973 (Episode #1.11). Slade's 3rd May performance at Santa Monica was used and the tracks broadcast were Cum On Feel The Noize, Move Over and Get Down & Get With It. Gary Jordan is confident that Historic Films have the footage archived but it has not been made available to date. 


This video is currently not available for online viewing.

Year: 1973
Back in the UK, the Wolverhampton Express & Star excitedly reported on the endeavours of their local talent.

Express & Star: Thursday 31st May 1973

"Another highlight was a live concert also featuring Beck Bogart and Appice, Doctor John and Miles Davis, which was televised throughout the country."
Clearly, there is some confusion here. Billboard reported this in their 26th May edition.:
White directs 2 'In Concert'
"New York - Joshua White, originator of the Joshua Light Show at the Filmore East and more recently creator of Joshua Television here, has directed two forthcoming editions of 'In Concert,' ABC-TV's network music show, for which White is associate producer.
Beck Bogart & Appice headline Friday's (25) show, which also features Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks, Dr John, Albert King and the Grass Roots. The June 8 program, also directed by White, features John Kay, T Rex, Johnny Nash, Miles Davis and Slade."
Billboard: 26th May 1973, p 17

Capitol Theater, Passaic, New Jersey 25th May 1973

Disc-July 28~ 1973 
Slade in States a fan replies  
I've just been reading many conflicting articles and reviews of Slade's Amercan tour. As usual, the U.s. critics have screwed up. (One once said that Rod Stewart was dangerous in that he incites riots! He's number one as far as I'm concerned when it comes to great performer's).  
Critics here are on enormous ego trips and they fancy themmselves playing God, The "I-can-make-'em-or-break-'em" synndrome. Case in point-Slade, Their tour was fantastic. I only saw them in NY. but I can't imagine their other concerts being any different. Critics here are sceptics, believing that you've not proved yourselves as performers unless you have a successful tour of the States. Bullshit!  
Slade proved themselves long ago in Britain if they had to prove themselves to anyone at all! Their appearrances on "In Concert' and "Midnight Special" were fantastic.  
Most groups come over televii~ion ~rcelb as mediocre, but Slade surpassed television's obvious boundaries. I was stomping around the room,  
I have great respect for Slade in regards to their reactlons to unfavourable reviews. They saw all of the audiences and they know best.  
It's a shame that their records aren't pushed very hard over here. Scott Muni of WNEW-FM Radio in NY does an "English Hour" every Friday and he's been instrumental in exposing many faithhful listeners to Slade.  
Maybe if the critIcs heard more of their songs they'd know what they're talking about. They would realise that it's refreshing to hear good ol' Rock 'n' Roll after so many concept and "arty" albums.  
Slade can count me as one more NY fan who'll be at their concert on September 5 in Central Park (I can just imagine Slade blasting the the night air of Manhattan with. out the walls of a concert hall to restrict their sound). And I'll be at any other concerts in the NY area. US critics will get down and get with it one of these days. - 
Jo Connor, Elmhurst, New York,
United States of America

America was eventful, successful to a degree, and of great importance to the global development of Rock & Roll in general but for Slade it was simply frustrating.
"We were in America when they were getting over Vietnam and they weren't ready for what we were bringing. We were being hailed as the new Beatles which was not good in America. We weren't, we were the first Slade but the record company thought Well, we were massive everywhere else, we were doing well in Japan. America was the obvious next step.  
But it wasn't like the Beatles days, this was different times. There was Vietnam and everybody was smoking dope. All the music was dope based, long dragged out guitar solos. We played wqith the Grateful Dead, there was so much dope, you didn't need to smoke it, you got stoned just watching. I thought 'What's this all about?' but after a while you're thinking 'Hey, this is pretty good.' which I guess it was in that environment. 
It was nothing like us though, we were like something buzzing around a lightbulb in comparison, you know, we were playing three and a half minute songs. It was all happening and suprcharged....  
It just wasn't the right time there... they weren't quite ready for what we were offering, platforms and all that..."Dave Hill: PMT Interview 25th April 2012

Much is owed to Martin Cummings, Harry Canyon for their anecdotes, Paula for her patience, David Miller, Michael Morton and Dan Cuny of Brit Rock By The Bay and Gary Jordan for the extra info. Winterland photos by Dan 

2nd US Tour: Spring 1973 (known dates)
20/04/1973 Academy Of Music, New York x2 

(Black Oak Arkansas & Grin)

22/04/1973 Foxy Lady, Akron, Ohio.
23/04/1973 London Gardens, London, Ontario, Canada

(Johnny Winter Band)
24/04/1973 Capitol Theatre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
25/04/1973 Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Canada

(Johnny Winter Band)
26/04/1973 Augarius Theatre, Boston.
28/04/1973 Kinetic Playground, Chicago
29/04/1973 Agora, Toledo, Ohio
30/04/1973 Agora, Cleveland, Ohio.
01/05/1973 Agora, Detroit
02/05/1973 Masonic Auditorium, Detroit
03/05/1973 Civic Center, Santa Monica, California
04/05/1973 California State, San Jose.
05/05/1973 Winterland Arena, San Francisco
(Humble Pie & Steely Dan)
06/05/1973 Winterland Arena, San Francisco
(Humble Pie & Steely Dan)
08/05/1973 Hollywood Palladium, Los Angeles.
09/05/1973 Rainbow Ballroom, Fresno, California
10/05/1973 Vancouver, Canada
11/05/1973 Paramount Theatre, Seattle, Washington
(Sons Of Champlin)
12/05/1973 Portland, Oregon
17/05/1973 Armadillo Theatre, Austin Texas
18/05/1973 Santa Rosa Theatre, Houston Texas
19/05/1973 Majestic Theatre, Dallas

22/05/1973 Oriental Theater, Milwaulkee
25/05/1973 Capitol Theater, Passaic, New Jersey
27/05/1973 Spectrum Arena, Philadelphia, WFIL-FM Charity Concert
(Dr Hook, O'Jays, Billy Preston, Raspberries & Harry Chapin)
(Lou Reed, The Eagles, Stevie Wonder & Jim Croce played 26th May)

??/??/1973 Seattle (Anybody got a date, a week will help?)