NIGHT DREAMS ~ "Dreams, Fantasy and Illusions" NBC Television August 1975

Slade, during their self imposed exile to the United States of America beginning in 1975 took every available opportunity to them to project their image and music onto the population of the country. They toured relentlessly and criss crossed the country many times over in their effort to gain the wide raging acceptance that would equate to record sales and chart success in the hardest market of them all.
The band had enjoyed some minor national chart success on their early US tours and indeed had pockets of fans and even strongholds in New York and some parts of the mid west, but national success had, and was to continue to elude them for almost another decade.

They were given the opportunity for national exposure by NBC Television who had commissioned two 90 minute TV 'spectaculars' under the title 'Night Dreams'  and a bizarre and somewhat off the wall premis they seemed to be, I say seemed to be because no footage is known to exist of either of the two shows that were made and I only know about the shows and Slade's appearance on the second of the two, because long time Floridian fan and long time friend of Slade In England, Jen Mandli not only told me about it, but sent me a taped 'from the TV' audio recording of what she was able to record onto her tape recorder by holding the microphone in front of the TV speaker in the middle of the night!

The second show, which featured Slade, entitled Night Dreams "Dreams, Fantasy and Illusions" was broadcast by NBC on channel 2 directly following on from their top rated  Tonight show starring Johnny Carson. on 8th August but at 1am which would not have helped the viewing figures! The show starred Rex Reed, a hammy US film critic who linked the various acts throughout. 

Rex Reed, a Mike Reid lookalike US film critic who hosted the show from a large ornate wicker chair presented the various acts which included sketches, magic tricks/illusions and bizarre dream sequences set to poetry and 'experimental music'.

The show was commissioned by NBC to replace long running late night music show 'Midnight Special' and those in power at NBC clearly thought they were on to a winner when they announced the show and promised a musical extravaganza featuring top talent from around the world.

That talent  in this show consisted of  Slade, Freddy Fender; Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds, a tribute to the Lone Ranger, magician Carl Ballantine, Tony Greco, Pepi Hernandez; Don Novello, the improvisational Groundlings, illusionist Lee Edwards; and a "Rock Dreams" sequence.

Rod Stewart gets a mention in the actual intro to the show that was broadcast, but no mention of him or what he performed appears in any TV listing or press release.

Musical numbers that would feature were  "Coming Down Your Way," "Kite Man," "You Can Leave Your Hat On" and "Til the World Ends." 
All performed by US veterans Three Dog Night  just before 'musical differences' split them up.

Little Richard, a hero of Holders, would appear and perform "I Saw Her Standing There," "Lovesick Blues," and "I Saw What You Did," 

Slade chipped in with three tracks that they were promoting at the time from their newly released 'In Flame' LP, those being "Them Kinda Monkeys Can't Swing," " Far Far Away" and "How Does It Feel." 

Freddy Fender, Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds contributed with "Before the Next Teardrop Falls."  and "Falling in Love" and "Don't Pull Your Love." respectively!

In addition to the three tracks that the band played (live) they also appeared in a strange dream sequence dressed it would appear as extras from Mary Poppins singing 'I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts (rolla bolla bolla penny a pinch)...yes....that one!

This brings me on to Jen Mandli, who sneaked to the TV set in the middle of the night to watch Noddy, Don, Jim and Dave on American TV, she decided that it would be a good idea to try to tape the show, and she managed to catch for posterity both Far Far Away and a reprise of How Does It well as coconuts, unfortunately  'Them Kinda Monkeys Can't Swing' didn't survive the years and is lost.

Jen was one of the first US fans that contacted me via the newly posted Slade In England web site in 1997 and we quickly became firm friends and I was delighted to receive from her a battered old cassette tape from which I was able to rescue and enhance those decades old recordings which now reside in the Slade In england archives!

One never knows what gems of television remain to be unearthed and brought to light, and despite my searching in various archives it seems that 'Night Dreams' featuring Slade is only mentioned in archive US newspaper TV listings, I was able to find the photographs that accompany this article for sale on a well known photo archive site, but the press release photo of Rex Reed and accompanying blurb, those TV listings, and the SIE archive audio recording is all that now remains of a long forgotten US TV spectacular!!

David Graham
Slade In England.

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My thanks to Chris 'The Historian' Selby for his relentless research. It is said, in certain circles, that Walsall Archives have a seat reserved specifically for him and that Wolverhampton archives consult him when searching the Express & Star