An American In London

London, June 17th, 1986

American SLADE FAN Matt Shaughnessy managed to grab a quick interview with Noddy Holder in mid 1986.

"....I visited London in June, 1986. Met Nod at Keith Altham's agency and went next door to the pub for the formal Q & A and then had a nice walk with him back to the parking lot. It is a day I will always look upon with fond memories."

"I did the interview on spec for a monthly music magazine in the Chicago area called The Illinois Entertainer. I made the interview fairly vanilla (about 3/4 of which Malc put in Percy) for a market not very familiar with the boyz. Off the record, so to speak, I asked more direct questions about things I was personally interested in like Whatever Happened To Slade period, thoughts on Standing On The Corner as a single (he said he was in favor but was outvoted) etc." 
It was published in the July - September 1992 edition of Percy, the Slade Fan Club magazine,.

How has Slade lasted so long together?
"It's a long time, that's for sure, but we sorted things out in the first few years. Any differences we had, we took care of early on. As for 20, now 21 years together, we never thought that it would go on this long. One thing that has helpedis that we don't live in each other's back pockets anymore. We've realised that there is a life outside of Slade, so when we do get back together to write, record or perform, there's a lot of excitement."
How did the band originate?
"We came together in 1966 as the 'N Betweens and after Chas Chandler (ex Animals bassist and Jim Hendrix manager) began managing us, we changed to Slade."
What was it like for the band in the early 70's?
"It was fantastic. For a time we could do no wrong, what with the 6 number ones, we couldn't ask for much more. Of course we knew it would come to an end sooner or later, but we enjoyed it while we could."
Of course, what followed in the late seventies was your 'duff period'. How did Slade handle that?
"It was a very difficult time for us. We had pretty much saturated the UK and European markets, and for the life of us, we couldn't crack the American scene. This left us in a precarious position of having been huge for too long and from 1976 - 1980, we couldn't shake the apathy the British record buying public had toward us. Same with the radio stations - we couldn't get any airplay. It was a frustrating time and by early 1980, we came close to packing it in."
Bands such as Kiss, Twisted Sister, Billy Squier, U2 and Iron Maiden, to name a few, have acknowledged that Slade have had a profound influence on their music. Any thoughts on this?
"It came as a surprise to us. Since we were never a major factor in America our first time around, I guess we never 
realised what a seed we'd sown over there. We quite like the idea that Quiet Riot went to number one with 'Cum on 

feel the noize'. It shows that Slade's songs have stood the test of time. We really appreciate knowing we've helped 

influence other bands. You know, we finally met up with Gene Simmons and he told us that 'Rock and Roll All Nite' 
was Kiss' 'Mama Weer All Crazee Now'. We thought that was great. 
Any special plans for your anniversary?
"We don't have any special plans, other than the new album. We've finally got it finished and feel we have some of the best songs we've ever written."
Speaking of songwriting, Slade has had 23 top 40 hits in the UK, second only to The Beatles. Who does the writing?
"Well, Jim writes the music and I write the lyrics. It's worked that way from the outset, and we used to kid within the band that me and Jim wrote 'em and Don and Dave sold 'em!"
Do you think Slade will be around in 2006?
"Bloody 'ell! I hope not! Like I said, I never thought it'd last this long. All I can say is that as long as we're having fun and people want to hear us we'll keep doing it!"

This issue of Percy ironically had the first actual mentions of Dave and Don carrying on (without Nod and Jim) under the Slade name, with an advert for a large gig in Germany. There was no announcement or anything that 'that was it'. Which makes the last question - even though it was from a few years before - just that little bit more poignant.
"What a thrill and pleasure it was to meet and chat with Nod. He was very accomodating, interesting, and generous. A great day and one I'm grateful to have had."
Matt Shaughnessy: The Slade Archive 2010
Download the Rock 'n' Reel - Noddy Holder pdf here.

Many thanks to Matt 'MDS' Shaughnessy of the Slade Archive forum and for sharing his photos taken by Dave Kessler.

Next Page