LA Feels The Noize!

DISC May 19th, 1973 page 7

'Slades party piece'
continuing story of an American tour 

LA feels the noize!

SLADE came into LA, greeted by what appeared to be the makings of a real following. The best way to observe just how popular a group is going to be is to watch how many people try to jump into their limousines.


Slade's limousines were besieged by 14-year-old groupies with names like Sable and Queenie and Lori, who wore gargantuan platform heels and frizzed - out bleached blonde hair and micro-minis and 'black tights with red garter-belts and maribou feathered boas. They've all made somewhat of a name for themselves by dancing in Rodney Bingenheimer's English Disco and appearing in the now-folded trashy, glossy "Star" magazine. "Star" was an amazing magazine while it lasted, including articles like "How Foxy Are You," "How Far-Out Are -You," "Do Anything You Want and Get Away With It" and pix of all visiting British bands with the Local talent. 

Old Ladies 
"I couldn't stand it," said Joanne, who is 20 years old, and describes herself as one of the "Old ladies of L.A." "I mean, what are my musician friends going ta think when they see my photo in that sleazy magazine with those slaggy girls? And my mother wasn't smiling either! The last thing I need is crash course groupies hanging around, that magazine had things in it like telling the girls when their favourite band came to town to tell their mothers that they were staying at a girlfriend's house, .. I'm glad it folded!".

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. 

Noddy sits quietly, sipping a drink, and smiling. Groupies try to get in the door with little success. Dave talks about the young girls who are hanging around in L.A. "I mean 14 is 14," he laughs. "I really feel a responsibility to a certain age group. You know... it's amazing, you'll be lying in your bed in the hotel and you'll hear a knock on the door and there'll be some 14-year-old girl there and it's just absurd. I mean, they can put you away for nine years! I feel very strongly about all, of that, especially with regard to younger kids." 

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. 

The party for Slade is being held right in the Santa Monica Civic in a large room decorated mainly with Slade posters on the walls. There are a lot of white satin jackets, David Bowie haircuts, blue lastex bathing suits. One girl is licking her blood red lips so they'll shine for the photographers and smoothing down her lurexed pedal pushers and adjusting her ankle straps on the larger than life platform shoes and I'm told she's John Philips' daughter. 

My God! Iggy Stooge is there, in a leopard fur jacket and a leather hat that he says belonged to Jim Morrison. Sable and Lori pose with Dave Hill for the cameras, and Chas takes a picture with Eric Burdon. Sparks is there, so is Sylvester. 

People are tearing down Slade posters from the walls and there are plastic cups and wine littering the floor. A photographer comes over to me and says: 

"You know, this is 'A' party for L.A. It's really one of the better ones." 

AT the pool of the Beverley Wiltshire Hotel the next cay, I laugh with Slade about the night before. They are so unaffected by all of the hoohaa that it's marvellous. I ask them if they feel that they've perhaps, in a way, started any of this. "Well, we did in a way," says Dave. "You know, being flash and all. But it's fun, we like it. We really want to get the kids though, we want to perform to younger audiences maybe do afternoon shows."