Noddy Holder – circa 1973

 “You got a sweet tongue, you sing a love song, can’t you learn to spell? / ‘Take Me Bak ‘Ome’, you got it all wrong, ‘cos we sing that as well” – ‘Skweeze Me, Pleeze Me’ (Noddy Holder, Jimmy Lea)

One of the most distinctive things about the British glam rock band Slade is the (purposefully) misspelled titles of many of their songs.  Legend has it that this gimmick is born from manager Chas Chandler getting hold of a letter written by Slade’s Noddy Holder to the vocalist’s mother.  This letter allegedly is rife with such spelling errors.  Drummer Don Powell suggests it is more of a cultural thing.  “Back home in the Midlands, that’s like a phonetic way of spelling [i.e. spelling words as they sound].”  Noddy Holder claims that, “The lyric sheet is actually written in that phonetic spelling…in the dialect…and that became the trademark.”  The misspellings have an important additional function: They identify Slade as a working class band of yobs.

The origins of Slade are in the Black Country.  This is an area in the west Midlands of England.  It is roughly north and west of Birmingham and south and east of Wolverhampton.  It takes in the boroughs of Dudley, Sandwell and Walsall and the southern parts of the city of Wolverhampton.  The region has been known as the Black Country since the 1840s.  The name is due to the black soot from the area’s heavy industries: coal mines, iron foundries and steel mills.  The term ‘argy bargy’ (an argument or fight) originates in the Black Country and hints at the sometimes fearsome reputation of the locals.

Noddy Holder is born Neville John Holder on 15 June 1946 in the Caldmore area near Walsall, Staffordshire, England.  He is the only child of Jack and Leah Holder.  Noddy’s father is a window cleaner.  The family moves to Beecham Estate in the north of town during the early 1950s.  While attending the Blue Coat School, young Neville Holder is nicknamed Noddy by a fellow student, John Robbins, in 1954.  The name stays with him.

Dave Hill is born David John Hill on 4 April 1946 in Hobleton, Devon, England.  Dave is the only member of Slade not born in the Black Country.  However, his family moves to Penn, Wolverhampton, when Dave is only 1 year old.  Dave’s father is a mechanic.  After attending Springdale Junior School and Highfields Secondary School, Dave Hill works in an office for Tarmac Limited for two years.

Don Powell is born Donald George Powell on 10 September 1946 in Bliston, Wolverhampton, Staffordshire, England.  After leaving Etheridge Secondary Modern School, Don Powell studies metallurgy at Wednesbury Technical College.  Don works as a metallurgist at a small foundry before deciding to become a professional musician.

Dave Hill and Don Powell form a band called The Vendors in 1964.  This becomes The ‘N Betweens on 8 November 1964.  The line-up is: John Howells (vocals), Dave Hill (guitar), Mick Marson (guitar), Dave ‘Cass’ Jones (guitar) and Don Powell (drums).  The boys turn professional on 8 March 1965.

Meantime, Noddy Holder has also become involved in the local music scene.  Leaving school at 17, he passes through The Phantoms and The Memphis Cut-Outs to be in Steve Brett And The Mavericks.  In 1965 Noddy meets The ‘N Betweens.  He agrees to work with Dave Hill and Don Powell in a revised version of the group.  The final piece falls into place with the addition of Jimmy Lea.

Jimmy Lea is born James Whild Lea on 14 June 1949 in Wolverhampton, West Midlands, England.  He first plays the violin.  In fact, when he applies to join The ‘N Betweens, he offers his services as a violin player.  This is not an instrument that generally has much application in a rock band.  Perhaps the most musically adept of the quartet, Jimmy Lea becomes the bass player but is multi-skilled enough to also provide violin and piano on some songs.

The new ‘N Betweens line-up is: Noddy Holder (vocals, guitar), Dave Hill (guitar), Jimmy Lea (bass, piano, violin) and Don Powell (drums).  This is the same foursome that will eventually become Slade.  “I don’t know what the magic was,” says Don Powell, “but there was something special there.”  “I think the first gig was Walsall Town Hall, April the first, 1966 – April Fool’s Day – and we were playin’ the fool from then on,” adds Noddy Holder with a cackle.

For the next few years, The ‘N Betweens tour the U.K. playing ‘Tamla Motown, psychedelic [U.S.] west coast rock, rhythm and blues, Brill Building pop, Chuck Berry’ as well as songs by The Beatles.  It’s an eclectic mix of 1950s and 1960s rock and pop music.  Their first single as The ‘N Betweens is a cover version of the 1966 song, ‘You Better Run’, by U.S. white rhythm and blues act The Young Rascals.  This disc is issued on Columbia Records on 2 December 1966.  Dave Hill recalls their vain efforts to get it into the pop charts.  “I seem to remember we tried to get the local store to stock five hundred copies…It didn’t work.”  It is only popular in the Wolverhampton area.

The group changes its name to Ambrose Slade at the start of 1969.  This coincides with the band securing a recording contract with Fontana Records.  It is Jack Baverstock of Fontana who gives them the new name.  Jimmy Lea advises that, “The name was a product of Jack’s secretary christening her various possessions with names.  Her handbag was Ambrose and her bag was Slade so Jack took the two names and created the new group.”

In February 1969 Ambrose Slade play a gig at Rasputin’s Club in Bond Street, London.  In the audience is Chas Chandler.  Bass player in Newcastle rock band The Animals from 1962 to 1966, Chas Chandler has a history on the U.K. scene.  After quitting The Animals, Chandler gets into management.  He brings American guitarist Jimi Hendrix to the U.K. in 1966 and makes him a star.  However, in 1969 Chandler and Hendrix come to a parting of the ways.  Chandler takes a shine to Ambrose Slade and begins to take steps to become the group’s manager.

In search of a gimmick for his new clients, Chas Chandler decides they should shear off their mod haircuts to emulate the U.K.’s burgeoning skinhead movement.  The group are not utterly shaven-headed, but certainly sport rather severe new hairstyles.  “People would back away from us…They thought we’d smack them in the mouth,” notes Dave Hill ruefully.  Used to the rough Black Country audiences, the members of Ambrose Slade find the curious true skinheads who turn up to see them are not as menacing as imagined.  Still, since the skinheads are into bluebeat, it’s not a good fit for the band.  The ‘bovver boots’ (Doc Martens) and braces that go with the look will stay with the group a bit longer than the hairstyles.

‘Beginnings’ (1969), released in May, is credited to Ambrose Slade and is issued by Fontana.  The album is co-produced by the band and Roger Wake.  In the United States, the album is given the alternate title ‘Ballzy’.  This set includes the single ‘Genesis’ and an oddball cover version of The Beatles’ 1968 song ‘Martha My Dear’.

Chas Chandler decides to abbreviate the group’s name from Ambrose Slade to Slade.  Shifting them to Polydor Records, he also takes on production duties.  ‘Wild Winds Are Blowing’, a 1969 single, is the first issued under the name of Slade.

‘Play It Loud’ (1970), released in November, is credited to Slade and issued by Polydor.  This, and the group’s next five albums, are all on Polydor and produced by Chas Chandler.  This set includes the singles ‘Shape Of Things To Come’ and ‘Know Who You Are’.  Although ‘Play It Loud’ includes quite a few original compositions, Slade are still feeling their way and trying to determine their sound.

Slade’s first hit single is released in May 1971.  ‘Get Down And Get With It’ (UK no. 16, AUS no. 78) is written by Bobby Marchan and was first recorded by 1950s rock pioneer Little Richard in 1966.  “We had this song at the end of the [live] show,” explains Jimmy Lea.  Its most distinctive element is the percussive sound of stomping boots.  Dave Hill expands on this: “If you think about the bovver boots developing into bigger [platform-soled] boots and you think about us having this audience who’re all going (stamping noise),” the origins become clear.  “It was atmosphere,” he concludes.  “Once we had the foot in the door with the first hit…from then on we just went ballistic!” exclaims Noddy Holder.

“The first time we did [British television show] ‘Top of the Pops’ [in October 1971] there were acts on it like [one-hit wonders] Middle Of The Road and Edison Lighthouse,” Jimmy Lea recalls.  “I remember thinking that we could rule this situation.”  Noddy Holder exults, “When you’re on ’Top of the Pops’, it’s the best feelin’ in the world.”  It is one to which Slade will soon become accustomed.

Slade are a glam rock band.  ‘Glam’ (short for ‘glamour’) is a style popular in the U.K. in the early 1970s.  Its practitioners are fond of gaudy outfits and make-up, hence the glamour tag.  Although Slade pretty much stay away from the make-up box, they do indulge in some glitzy apparel.  Despite now having the shoulder-length hair common in the early 1970s for young men, the braces and boots of their skinhead phase are still present.  Dave Hill probably deserves the award for the most eccentric clothing, but the whole band look like carnival performers.  Noddy Holder is clearly the ringmaster of this circus.  He wears a flat cap at first, but exchanges this for a mirrored top-hat.  “I used to stand in the middle of the stage and these beams of light would come out of the [mirrored] hat,” he says.  Tartan and checks are commonplace.  Slade has some of the loudest clothing around.

The only thing that may be louder than Slade’s garb is the band itself.  They have their guitar amplifiers cranked up to the threshold of pain.  Although loud guitars are a common feature in glam rock, Slade take it to an extreme that makes them heirs to 1960s British rock champions, The Who.  It’s also worth remembering that Chas Chandler’s former client, Jimi Hendrix, was no stranger to extreme volume.  It’s not just the guitars though; every part of a Slade recording seems loud.  Comparisons are drawn to the ‘wall of sound’ pioneered in the hit singles created by U.S. record producer Phil Spector in the late 1950s – early 1960s.  However, Spector used an orchestra regularly to beef up proceedings and Slade generally avoid such trappings.  Noddy Holder has to adopt a coarse carnival barker tone just to make himself heard over the din.  The biggest influence may be the sound of crowds at football stadiums.  A roar of testosterone-fuelled male voices and stomping rhythm beneath it are common both to sporting matches and Slade shows.  Such touches reinforce Slade’s working-class roots.  Glam rock acts like David Bowie or Roxy Music may have artistic pretensions, but this is where Slade part company with their peers.  Their purposefully misspelled song titles underline their image as rough lads.  “We always kept our roots, the Black Country,” says Noddy proudly.  “We were still the Wolverhampton lads.”  Dave Hill’s guitar carries the tag ‘superyob.’

The songs of Slade are mostly composed by the team of Noddy Holder and Jimmy Lea.  Noddy puts together the words of his jovial, winking, sermons to the faithful while Jimmy, more studiously, finds a melody for the song.  In songwriting, Slade combine the bruising, bare-knuckles rock ferocity of The Who with The Beatles’ gift for catchy pop tunes.  Their music is hard, but sweet.

The song that really starts Slade’s ascendency is ‘Coz I Luv You’ (UK no. 1, AUS no. 9) which tops the British singles chart on 6 November 1971.  The song’s authors, Noddy Holder and Jimmy Lea, explain its origins.  “I got this idea for this rhythm,” recalls Jimmy.  “Nod and I were into [violin players] Django Rhinehart and Stefan Grapelli.  My violin and I went over and knocked on Nod’s door.”  Noddy takes up the tale: “It was the first time me and Jim had sat down to write a song properly together, gauged as a hit single.”  Lea points out, “And it was no. 1 like that,” with a click of his fingers.  “The whole record came alive.  It was a good song to start with but [the clapping] gave it the icing on the cake,” concludes Noddy Holder.  Over Jimmy Lea’s gypsy violin, Noddy sings, “I can turn my back on the things you lack / Coz I luv you.”  A staccato guitar keeps time, the bass plunges for notes, and resounding claps echo like the imperious call of a flamenco dancer.

If ‘Look Wot You Dun’ (UK no. 4, AUS no. 43) in February 1972 is not as successful as its predecessor, its very creditable performance proves Slade are not destined to become one-hit wonders.  The chorus may be simple – “Hey, hey, hey, hey wot you doin’ to me? / Hey, hey, hey, look wot you dun” – but the sombre piano and shark-like guitar gives this song a menacing tone that is virtually unique in the Slade canon.

The concert recording ‘Slade Alive’ (1972) (UK no. 2, US no. 158, AUS no. 1), released in April, was recorded the same night as their 1971 ‘Top of the Pops’ appearance.  It is one of the first live albums to do big business.  It also adds a new dimension to the group’s success, proving they can cut it on stage, not just on the pop charts.  Backing this up is a triumphant appearance at the Great Western Express – Lincoln Festival on 28 May 1972.

Slade’s second chart-topper cements their credentials.  ‘Take Me Bak ‘Ome’ (UK no. 1, US no. 97, AUS no. 9) tops the British chart on 1 July 1972.  “You said I could call you Cindy,” Noddy Holder notes, licking his lips over a barroom beauty.  “So won’t you take me bak ‘ome / Take me bak ‘ome / We could find plenty to do / And that would be all right,” he adds conspiratorially.  Although this lusty narrative is ingratiating, what really sinks in the (platform) boot is the sound.  The guitar riff assumes heroic proportions and the booming handclaps are positively gargantuan.

In 1972 Jimmy Lea marries Louise Ganner, a seamstress.  He has known her since they were 16.  They will have two children: Kristian and Bonny.

On 9 September 1972 Slade top the charts all over again with ‘Mama Weer All Crazee Now’ (UK no. 1, US no. 76, AUS no. 3).  Noddy Holder explains that, “The title to ‘Mama Weer All Crazee Now’…came from the Lincoln Festival, ‘cos I was shouting to ‘em [the audience], ‘We’re all crazy!’”  Jimmy Lea says with some frustration, “We were actually singing ‘my, my’ but [producer and manager] Chas Chandler thought it was ‘mama’.”  In this grinding, feelgood anthem, Noddy insists, “I don’t want to drink my whiskey like you do / I don’t want to spend my money but still do.”

‘Slayed?’ (1972) (UK no. 1, US no. 69, AUS no. 1), released in November, is the group’s best individual disc.  Including ‘Mama Weer All Crazee Now’ and their next hit, ‘Gudbuy T’Jane’, it captures Slade at the height of their powers.  ‘’Slade Alive’ and ‘Slayed?’ are considered to be some of the finest albums of the glam era.’

November 1972’s ‘Gudbuy T’Jane’ (UK no. 2, US no. 68, AUS no. 11) is ‘easily their best’ song.  What sets it apart?  Well, for all that its bruising metal is the equal of any other Slade track, this possesses a stronger pop hook and a certain emotional élan.  When Noddy Holder sings of Jane, he says, “She’s a dark horse, see if she can” and “She’s a queen, can’t you see what I mean?”  Cindy, the girl from ‘Take Me Bak ‘Ome’, may have been a good time, but Jane assumes a different role.  She is a woman of mystery, someone to be admired, yet perhaps always just out of reach.  The reason for this may be in the chorus, filled with addictive shaker percussion: “I say you’re so young, you’re so young.”  Is Noddy’s narrator bidding farewell to Jane because she’s underage?  Or is she just youthful and lovely and after their love is over he bids her an adoring adieu with this ode to her charms?  It’s impossible to know, and it is this tantalising air of uncertainty that repays multiple listens and confirms the status of ‘Gudbuy T’Jane’ as Slade’s greatest song.

From 23 January to 4 February 1973 Slade tour Australasia in the company of Status Quo, Caravan and Lindisfarne.  “It was our first taste of screaming girl fans,” says Noddy Holder.  “God knows why we got screamers.  We weren’t the prettiest band going by any stretch of the imagination.”

On 10 March 1973 Slade score another British no. 1 single.  The anthemic ‘Cum On Feel The Noize’ (UK no. 1, US no. 98, AUS no. 18) has a huge chorus that sounds like the harmonies were provided by a horde of scarf-waving football hooligans.  Noddy Holder, still admirably down-to-earth, bellows, “So you think my singing’s out of time? / Well, it makes me money / And I don’t know why…”

‘Skweeze Me, Pleeze Me’ (UK no. 1, AUS no. 25) assumes the almost-customary position atop the charts on 30 June 1973.  This song achieves the unusual double of being adorably lovable and brutally metallic at the same time.  This is the last of Slade’s misspelled song titles.

On 4 July 1973 Slade’s drummer, Don Powell, is involved in a car accident at Wolverhampton.  His 20 year old fiancée, Angela Morris, dies in the collision.  Powell loses his senses of smell and taste and suffers permanent short-term memory loss.

The October 1973 single ‘My Friend Stan’ (UK no. 2, AUS no. 39) varies Slade’s formula a bit by having Jimmy Lea’s thumpin’ piano featured more prominently.  The almost nursery rhyme sing-song lyric says, “My friend Stan’s got a funny old man / He makes him work all night till he can’t do it right.”

Dave Hill marries Janice Parton, a hairdresser, in 1973.  The ceremony takes place in Mexico City.  The couple go on to have three children: Jade, Bibi and Sam.

Slade see the year out with another no. 1, ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ (UK no. 1, AUS no. 55), on 15 December 1973.  This rockin’ modern carol is trotted out for radio airplay seemingly every subsequent yuletide.  The lyrics contain one of Noddy Holder’s wittiest bits of wordplay: “Do you ride on down the hillside in a buggy you have made? / When you land upon your head, then you feel sleighed (or slayed? Or Slade?)”

‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ turns out to be Slade’s last no. 1 single.  Pause a moment to consider this: In just over two years, Slade chalked up six no. 1 singles!  In the same period, they achieved another three top five singles!

‘Old, New, Borrowed And Blue’ (1974) (UK no. 1, AUS no. 1) in February includes ‘My Friend Stan’ and Slade’s next single, April’s ‘Everyday’ (UK no. 3, AUS no. 13).  A change of pace, this is a sweet and slow song of longing: “Everyday when I’m away I’m thinking of you / Everyone can carry on except for we two.”  (Note: ‘Old, New, Borrowed And Blue’ is retitled ‘Stomp Your Hands, Clap Your Feet’ (sic) (US no. 168) in the U.S.A.)

The July 1974 single, ‘Bangin’ Man’ (UK no. 3, AUS no. 48), is a comical account of a hangover with added slide guitar.  “A small reminder of the state you were in are all the tattered clothes across the floor,” chides Noddy Holder in the lyric.

Slade spend most of 1974 working on their motion picture debut, ‘Flame’ (1975).  The movie documents a fictitious group, Flame (played by Slade), whose members are Stoker (Noddy Holder), Barry (Dave Hill), Paul (Jimmy Lea) and Charlie (Don Powell).  Slade’s fan club act as extras, playing Flame’s devoted followers.  Tom Conti and Alan Lake also star in the film.  The band makes ‘creditable acting debuts’ and Noddy Holder suggests, “We got away with it.”  However, the movie ‘fails to catch the imagination of the public.’  This may be because it is ‘too downbeat and depressing’ since it chronicles the downward spiral of the career of the fictitious group.  This is at odds with the ‘happy-go-lucky’ image of Slade.  The intent may have been to use ‘Flame’ to consolidate Slade’s career the way ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ (1964) served The Beatles but, in that respect, it falls short.  The soundtrack album, ‘Slade In Flame’ (1974) (UK no. 6, US no. 93, AUS no. 31), in November precedes the movie’s release.  The disc includes the globe-trotting ‘Far Far Away’ (UK no. 2, AUS no. 17), whose swaying rhythms name check the Mississippi, Alaska, Paris and Rome.  ‘How Does It Feel’ (UK no. 15) builds from a delicate piano introduction to a big, brassy chorus.

A sense of an era ending colours Slade’s next works.  The May 1975 single ‘Thanks For The Memory (Wham Bam Thank You Mam)’ (UK no. 7) is brawny, clockwork funk.  It sports funny lyrics like “Eat an apple every day / An onion keeps everyone away.”  Another 1975 single is ‘In For A Penny’ (UK no. 11).  The February 1976 single is ominously titled ‘Let’s Call It Quits’ (UK no. 11).  Its jovially bumping rhythm frames lines like, “You’ve got the why, I’ve got the wherefore / You’ve got me trapped hook, line and sinker and so therefore…”  ‘Let’s Call It Quits’ is included on the album ‘Nobody’s Fools’ (1976) (UK no. 14) in March.

In 1976 Noddy Holder marries Leandra Russell.  They go on to have two daughters, Jessica and Charisse.

Glam rock, the movement that brought Slade to prominence, is over by the mid-1970s.  The group seem exhausted by their repeated attempts to conquer America.  Despite massive U.K. success, America remains resistant to Slade’s charms.  ‘Nobody’s Fools’ is the group’s last album for Polydor.  Punk rock begins its rise and ‘Slade fall out of favour with the masses.’

‘Whatever Happened To Slade?’ (1977) is the appropriate title of their debut on the Barn label.  ‘Slade Alive Vol. 2’ (1978) attempts to kick-start their career in the same way as the original ‘Slade Alive’ in 1972…but with less success.  This is followed by ‘Return To Base’ (1979), their last album on Barn.  Slade release two live EPs in 1980, ‘Live At Reading’ (UK no. 44) and ‘Xmas Ear Bender’ (UK no. 70).  The group’s only outing on the Cheapskate label, ‘We’ll Bring The House Down’ (1981) (UK no. 25), recycles most of ‘Return To Base’ but includes the single ‘We’ll Bring The House Down’ (UK no. 10).  Slade sever their relationship with manager and producer Chas Chandler.

A move to RCA Records results in ‘Till Deaf Do Us Part’ (1981) (UK no. 68), which includes the single ‘Lock Up Your Daughters’ (UK no. 29).  Slade produce ‘Till Deaf Do Us Part’ themselves.  Although punk had not embraced Slade, a boom in heavy metal sees them win over some fans of that genre.  Another live album, ‘Slade On Stage’ (1982) (UK no. 58), follows.

In October 1983 American heavy metal band Quiet Riot has a hit with a cover version of Slade’s 1973 song ‘Cum On Feel The Noize’.  They follow this in 1984 with a cover of 1972’s ‘Mama Weer All Crazee Now’.  Although it seems a bit like America playing catch up, Slade don’t mind taking advantage of their new notoriety.

‘The Amazing Kamikaze Syndrome’ (1983) (UK no. 49, AUS no. 50) in December is revised as ‘Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply’ (1984) (US no. 33) for the U.S. market.  The album is co-produced by Jimmy Lea and John Planter.  This album holds Slade’s biggest latter day hits, ‘My Oh My’ and ‘Run Runaway’.  ‘My Oh My’ (UK no. 2, US no. 37, AUS no. 65) has a stately piano and is a big ballad with an almost Celtic folk feel.  The thunderous ‘Run Runaway’ (UK no. 7, US no. 20, AUS no. 17) is a sort of heavy metal Scottish knees-up with Jimmy Lea’s violin doing a very convincing impression of skirling bagpipes.  “See chameleon / Lying there in the sun / All things to everyone / Run runaway,” sings Noddy Holder in this populist appeal.  This brief resurgence proves all too short lived.

Noddy Holder’s marriage to his wife Leandra Russell comes to an end in 1984.

‘Rogue’s Gallery’ (1985) (UK no. 60, US no. 132) in March is co-produced by Jimmy Lea and John Planter.

In 1985 Don Powell marries Joan Komlosy, a BBC reporter and antiques dealer.

‘Crackers – The Christmas Party Album’ (1985) (UK no. 34) in November is a compilation with some new songs and cover versions added.  Released on the Telstar label, it is co-produced by Jimmy Lea and John Planter.

The compilation album, ‘Wall Of Hits’ (1991) (UK no. 34) includes two new songs: ‘Radio Wall Of Sound’ (UK no. 21) and ‘Universe’.  Both are written by Jimmy Lea alone.  He handles the lead vocals for the verses of ‘Radio Wall Of Sound’.

Don Powell’s six year marriage to Joan Komlosy comes to an end in 1991.

Slade folds in 1992…sort of.  Noddy Holder and Jimmy Lea resign, but Dave Hill and Don Powell reactivate the act later in 1992 under the name Slade II.  The new line-up is: Steve Whalley (vocals, guitar), Dave Hill (guitar), Steve Makin (guitar), Craig Fenney (bass) and Don Powell (drums).  In 1994 Trevor Holliday replaces Craig Fenney on bass.  In 1996 Steve Makin leaves and the group reduces to a quartet.  Bass player changes follow in 2000 as Dave Glover steps in, only to be replaced in turn by John Berry in 2003.  From 2005 Mal McNulty becomes the new frontman, providing vocals and guitar, as Steve Whalley exits.

Slade II is a touring entity only, not releasing any recordings.  ‘Live At The BBC’ (2009) is a set of radio appearances from 1969 to 1974 featuring the classic Slade line-up.

Don Powell marries again in 1997.  His second wife is named Diane.  In April 2001 he moves on to a Danish schoolteacher named Hanne.  He subsequently marries her and lives with Hanne and her three children in Denmark.

Noddy Holder has a son, Django (born 1995), with Suzan Price, who works in the television production industry.  Jessica and Charisse, his daughters from his first marriage, also work in the television production industry.  Noddy Holder receives an MBE (Member of the order of the British Empire) in 2000.  On 7 April 2004 Noddy Holder marries Suzan Price.

Jimmy Lea observed that, “Slade have always had that thing – that indefinable thing – that makes people happy.”  A string of popular singles and albums supports that claim.  Although Slade came to prominence with glam rock (and remain one of the key acts of that era), what distinguished them was their common touch.  They never really purported to be any more than Black Country lads.  This earthiness made their recordings unpretentious gems…misspelled song titles and all.  Slade’s hits were characterised by ‘Noddy Holder’s extrovert but always good humoured stage personality…masses of booming echo…and, most crucially, the…percussion backdrop of drums, hand-claps and foot-stomping.’  ‘No other band could supply the same gut energy and dynamic enthusiasm.’


  1. ‘Friday On My Mind’ by Ed Nimmervoll (Five Mile Press, 2004) p. 72, 92
  2. ‘It’s Slade’ documentary (U.K. television program, BBC One) (1999)
  3. as at 10 February 2014
  4. as at 29 March 2014
  5. by Lise Lyng Falkenberg as at 29 March 2014
  6. ‘Wall Of Hits’ – Sleeve notes by Chis Charlesworth (Polydor Ltd. (U.K.), 1991) p. 2, 3
  7. ‘The Illustrated New Musical Express Encyclopedia of Rock’ by Nick Logan, Bob Woffinden (Salamander Books, 1978) p. 108, 211, 212
  8. via (2009)
  9. ‘The Illustrated Rock Handbook’ edited by Roxanne Streeter, Ray Bonds (Salamander Books, 1983) p. 12
  10. ‘Rolling Stone Rock Almanac’ by the Editors of ‘Rolling Stone’ magazine (Papermac, 1984) p. 192, 202, 204, 212, 215, 221, 359
  11., ‘Slade’ by Greg Prato as at 17 March 2014
  12. as at 29 March 2014
  13. Internet movie database as at 29 March 2014
  14. as at 27 March 2014
  15. ‘The Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal’ by Daniel Bukszpan (Sterling Publishing Co. Inc. 2003) p. 229
  16. ‘The Birmingham Mail’ (Birmingham, U.K., newspaper) – ‘Slade drummer Don Powell: “My Wild Drinking with Ozzy – and the Wrath of Sharon” – by Steve Bradley (1 October 2013) (reproduced on

Song lyrics copyright Warner Chappell Music

Last revised 19 April 2014


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