European Tour 1974

( Ralle's Story )

Germany, 15th August, 1974

Summer 1974. We (my parents, myself, one of my uncles and aunts and my two cousins) were on our holidays at the West German Baltic Sea.

It was a cold and rainy summer, so trips to the beach were rare.  Anyway, I remember Abba being high in the charts with "Honey Honey".  Well, we made the best of it, as we used to live in a rented old Landhouse with a huge garden, etc.  During these holidays, we were joined for the weekend by a befriended couple of my parents and relatives and this couple was about 8 years younger, (my parents were in their early thirties, so this guy was around 25 and his girl 20 - 22 or so).....BUT, - he was a SLADE Fan!
I was 11 and a half and to visit a Slade Show was my then biggest wish.  My parents would never allow me to go to see one in another city and would never take me, so on one of the better evenings, we were having a barbeque and chatting and this guy came up and said, "You know what? - Let me know the next time Slade are playing a Gig nearby and I'll take you there!"
I was instantly totally off the tree, yelling, "Can I, Mom?, Can I, Dad?"  And, for sure, I was allowed, - I couldn't believe my luck!
After the Holidays were over, I told the news to my then best mate (and Slade fan too) and guess what?  He said, "Can I go with him, Mom?, Can I go with him, Dad?" And, sure, they allowed him, too!  So we were sooo excited!
It was August/September by now, when I bought a Mag. that included a Slade story, probably about Flame, and I noticed:- "German Tour dates", and WOW!, one was nearby, - Dortmund, just half an hour by train!  I was flipping!  And so was my mate the next day at school, when I told him.
So Mom made the arrangements with their friend, - he was getting us the tickets, and on Dec. 2nd. we were travelling on the train to see SLADE!!!!  Yippeeee!
It was kinda cold, not freezing and not cold "enuff" so that I couldn't wear my whole Carnival Slade Outfit, (I needed to wear boots and a parka over them, though), but of course, I couldn't forget my self-made Top hat with Mirrors!
When we got there we could already hear some music, - a female voice, and my mate said, "Is that Suzi Quatro???"  Could be.  Hell, we were thinking, if she's the opener.....but it turned out to be an unknown band, ("Bunny", to be exact).
Anyway, we entered the hall and I remember to this day that I was blasted by the huge P.A. Boxes everwhere I looked!  We were quite lucky that loads of Slade fans weren't interested in the opening act, so we could take our place near the FOH, (best Sound).
Then, I remember the announcement:- "Slade are coming! Slade are coming!" (several times).....then, all of a sudden, "SLADE!  Clap yer hands and Stomp yer feet!", and on they came, with an unheard song, ("Them Kinda Monkeys Can't Swing", to be exact, - but my "Flame" Album was locked away till X - Mas). WOW!, it was so loud, so great, so.....I couldn't believe it, I mean, me and my mate seem to be the youngest of the whole audience.....

We were singing, always guided and protected by my parents' friend (I will never forget what he did for me, NEVER!)  He later lifted us on his shoulders in turn, by "Cum On Feel The Noize", I threw my Top hat as high in the air as possible, (hoping Nod would take notice, lol)!
Well, even this night had to come to an end.  We were absolutely high.  We had seen our BAND!!!  On the way outside I aroused the attention of some guys, cos of the Top hat, and they said, "Hey!  Look, Little Noddy! - He just needs some side-whiskers!"
Years and years later, a Bootleg of this Tour appeared, dated Dec. 16th, 1974 - Olympia, Paris.  We used to discuss this on S.I.E., as in Paris they wore the white suits, whereas in Dortmund, they wore the usual Slade robes for 1974:- Nod: Blue/Grey Tartan Outfit, Jim: light blue outfit/boots, Don: ???, Dave: his white satin outfit, Dollar Boots, and the huge silver-striped red collar, tho' he already had his pageboy haircut, and, of course, he played the Super-Yob, as well as Dad's Gibson!
So, it seems in the middle of the Tour, they switched to the WHITE Image? Glad I was fortunate enough to see 'em in the crazee stuff!
So, concerning the Bootleg, the Setlist may've been:-

Them Kinda Monkeys Can't Swing ;
The Bangin' Man ;
Gudbuy T' Jane ;
Just A Little Bit ;
Far Far Away ;
Everyday ;
We're Really Gonna Raise The Roof ;
Take Me Bak 'Ome ;
Cum On Feel The Noize ;
Get Down And Get With it ;
Mama Weer All Crazee Now ;
Keep On Rockin' .

Outside the hall, I remember looking at the Tour Posters.  I had no idea how to get one, but - nearly thirty years later, in the mid 2ks, I was able to buy a template of it, - a poster without the letters, saying, "Slade Alive, etc., etc.".....It was simply fantastic!

Ralle: 2012

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