Walsall, October 9th 2011
"I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration of love for the history of our band.
Two score and five years ago, four members of a great band, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, joined together in ear’holy catastrophe. This momentous union came as a great beacon of hope to millions of fun loving rockers. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of dreary anticipation.
But forty five years later, the Slade fan still is not acknowledged. Forty five years later, the life of the Slade fan is still sadly crippled by the manacles of copyright and the chains of corporate oppression. Forty five years later, the Slade fan lives on a lonely island of obscurity in the midst of a vast ocean of commercial prosperity. Forty five years later, the Slade fan still languishes in the corner of the Pop music society and finds himself an exile in his own world. And so we've come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
In a sense we've come to our institution to cash a cheque. Be it Inspiration, Innovation, Outstanding Contribution or even Living Legend. It is obvious today, insofar as bands of colour are concerned, that Rock & Roll has defaulted on this promissory note. Instead of honouring this sacred obligation, Rock & Roll has given the Slade fan a bad cheque, a cheque which has come back marked "insufficient funds."
But we refuse to believe that the Bank of Rock & Roll is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this institution. And so, we've come to cash this cheque, a cheque that will give us upon demand, the riches of video and the security of acknowledgement.
We have also come to this hallowed forum to remind Rock & Roll of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of complacency or to take the tranquillising drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of induction. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of ridicule to the sunlit path of international recognition. Now is the time to lift our institution from the quicksand’s of apathy to the solid rock of unity. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of Rock Music's brethren.
It would be fatal for the institution to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Slade fan's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of recognition and equality. Two Thousand and Eleven is not an end, but a beginning. And those who think that the Slade fan needs to blow off steam and will now be content, will have a rude awakening if the institution returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor respite in Rock & Roll until the Slade fan is granted his honorary rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our institution until the bright day of homage emerges.
But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold that leads into the Hall of Fame: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for recognition by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into verbal abuse. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting negativity with perseverance.
The marvellous new militancy which has engulfed the Slade fan community must not lead us to a distrust of all corporate people, for many of our corporate brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their recognition is inextricably bound to our recognition.
We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back.
There are those who are asking the devotees of Slade, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Slade fan is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of apathy and ridicule. We can never be satisfied as long as our band, laden with a vast catalogue of music, are remembered for just two songs. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Slade fan's basic novelty is moved from amusing sartorial elegance to a seasonal refrain.
We can never be satisfied as long as our band are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity because of mistakes made by the spin-doctors. We cannot be satisfied as long as our group are sullied by the media for the length of their hair or the cut of their clothes.
No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until the world acknowledges, “Slade are for life NOT just for Xmas.”
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here today out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come from areas where your quest – a quest for recognition that left you battered by the storms of legal persecution. You have been the veterans of creative suffering.
Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Wolverhampton, go back to Birmingham, go back to Essex, go back to the archives and libraries of our Midland cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.
Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.
And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the Rock & Roll dream.
I have a dream that one day this institution will rise up and live out the true meaning of its criteria. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all groups are created equal.
I have a dream that, one day in the hallowed pages of Classic Rock magazine, the members of former inductees and the members of Slade will be able to sit down together at the table in agreement.
I have a dream that one day even the continent of America, a country basking in the glow of apathy, sweltering with the heat of cynicism, will be transformed into an oasis of recognition and acknowledgement.
I have a dream that our four band members will one day live in a institution where they will not be judged by the colour of their clothes but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day, down in Ohio, with its vacuous record company heads, with its vice-chairman having his head spinning with the words of "nomination" and "evaluation" -- one day right there in Cleveland glitter rock victims and glam rock veterans will be able to join hands with conformists and corporate suits as brothers.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day, Noddy Holder, Dave Hill, Jim Lea & Don Powell will be exalted, the glitter wiped away, the music appreciated, the faux pas’ forgotten and the glory of the band shall be revealed and all men shall see it together.
This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go to the Midlands with.
With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our institution into a beautiful symphony of agreement. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to play together, to struggle together, to stand up for recognition together, knowing that we will be acknowledged one day.
And this will be the day -- this will be the day when all of Slade's fans will be able to sing with new meaning:
See us here
See us there
Pick us out anywhere
Take a look
So what makes you
Stop and stare
And if Rock & Roll is to be a great institution, this must become true.
And so, let recognition ring from the all the bands that were influenced by them.
Let recognition ring from New York’s Twisted Sister.
Let recognition ring from Detroit’s Alice Cooper.
Let recognition ring from Gene Simmons and Kiss.
Let recognition ring from Black Sabbath & Ozzy Osbourne.
But not only that:
Let recognition ring from Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant.
Let recognition ring from Roger Daltrey, Paul McCartney and Bob Geldof.
Let recognition ring from Europe and Asia and Australia.
From every nation, let recognition ring.
And when this happens, when there is recognition, when we let it ring from every village and every city, from every country and every continent, we will be able to speed up that day when all of Rock's devotee’s, old men and young men, musicians, fans and critics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Slade fan spiritual:
Well all right everybody!
Let your hair down...."
9th October 1969 was the first reported incidence of 'Slade' in the Wolverhampton Express & Star.
To help Slade get the recognition they deserve click here
The latest release from the Salvo remastered catalogue is Sladest
Click here to read The Slade Story
With greatest respect to Dr. Martin Luther King and his 'men of colour' that stood fast to cast shame on 'segregation' and prick the conscience of an American society. I don't believe anybody out there is unaware that I have plagiarized this wonderful piece of history but, just in case, credit is due to Martin Luther King jr. who's inspirational speech has been altered to suit our cause. This is not meant to detract from the importance of the original speech in anyway.