Whatever Happened To Slade

UK, London, March 21st, 1977 - LP

"It was always reported at the time that the title was taken from Putney bridge which had it emblazoned on one side. 'Whatever Happened To Slade' was certainly daubed on the wall of the Oval"
Dave Graham: Slade In England
At the beginning of chapter 10 in Holders book, he states quite categorically.
"While we were away in the states, someone had written Whatever Happened To Slade in huge letters across one of the sides of a Thames bridge, it was a famous piece of graffiti, it was there for years, we went to see it, we loved it...we had recorded a second album in New York and was due for release, we wanted to call it  Whatever Happened To Slade and use a shot of the bridge on the sleeve. The record company liked the title, but not the cover idea..."

"It was oft reported that Chandler had named the bands 1977 LP after seeing graffiti on a bridge in Londinium, and that the graffiti was in some way connected to fans of the band... now that may or may not be true, it's a good story but the reference to the band is completely wrong. The first recorded grafitti with the subject matter was an act of vandalism perpetrated against that most August of English Establishment iconography the Wall of the Kensington Oval Cricket Ground. This was in common usage as a pre cursor to drop in front of anything in those days and it all stemmed from the name of a popular TV comedy show 'Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads'."

"There was an argument put forward that the six foot high graffiti on the walls of the Oval were in actual fact a reference made to a court case and legal battle being presided over by lord Chief Justice Sir Christopher Slade, a court case that was threatening to tear the game of cricket apart as Australian business man Kerry Packer set about reinventing the game and started offering Big big money for professional players, England players at that, to go off to Play Australian Cricket, The ECCB (English County Cricket Board) decided that this was an outrageous proposition and banned any of it's members from playing for Kerry Packer. Justice Slade by and large came down on the side of Packer and his rebel test matches, stating that "A professional cricketer needs to make his living as much as any other professional man.". This was widely seen as heresy by the Cricketing establishment, and brought into question the motives and otherwise impeccable credentials of Justice Slade, with mutterings and murmerings that he had somehow been bought by Packer, hence the sarcasm laden question 'Whatever Happened To Slade' which was hand painted in six foot high letters on the perimeter wall of the arena opposite the junction with Clayton Street. This graffiti also appeared in other places around London at the same time and remember that in the mid 70's graffiti protests had become fashionable after the 'George Davis is innocent' graffiti campaign where that particular graffiti was also carved out of Lords Test Cricket wicket."
"That story was perpetuated on a number of Slade related sites some years ago, and the internet being what it is, it soon became bandied around as a fact, especially on a certain Belgian based bored. It was all too easy to read up on the findings of Lord Chief Justice Sir Christopher Slade's ruling which actually took place in 1978. The legal case began in late september of 1977 and indeed WHTS was daubed on the Oval walls and made the press as ruffled retired colonels from Surrey wrote letters of complaint to the Times. However, as WHTS was released in Mar/Apr of 77, a full six months before Justice Slade started the case it would make the postulation complete and utter cobblers, which it was. WHTS was being daubed around London probably by the same fan a good two years before the events of the cricketing summer of 1977. This was of course before their re emergence on the UK tour circuit in 1977."
Barn Records - 2314 103

The seventh Studio Album by the band and the first on their own label, Barn, but it did not enter any national album chart, so "Whatever Happened" indeed?

Europe, 2007
Salvo - SALVOCD006

The 2007 Salvo Remastered CD Reissue contained a whole batch of Bonus Tracks!

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

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