Timeline - year by year chronology


Slade wants to conquer

America with new image




slades Noddy Holder Two years ago an English rock group named Slade came to Louisville during their American tour, playing small halls like Louisville Gardens, so their high decibel could be fully appreciated, in hopes of spreading "Slademania" to America.

Last night, the four member group again played the Louisville Gardens, but this time they played second bill to American group, J Geils Band.

In 1973, Slade's record company held a cocktail party for the Louisville press to introduce the group, which may very well have been the hottest group in England, but was little known in America.

This time in Louisville, two members of the group discussed their new approach of winning American attention by exposure, not promotion - which has meant second billing to groups such as ZZ Top, Black Sabbath and Aerosmith they said.

Bass guitarist Jimmy Lea, 24, and singer Noddy Holder, 25, discussed their role as an 'established' rock group in England and Europe, and the challenge to conquer American audiences. They did so yesterday afternoon in quiet, soft spoken English accents - a contrast to the voices that would be heard over the loud rock and roll music later that night.

They expressed dissatisfaction with the image promoted in 1973 - an image that Jimmy Lea said prompted American audiences to "sit back and say, oh, impress me."

Holder said the group was not aware of the promotional plans until they got here and "Didn't necessarily agree with it. There was a big ruckus with the record company," he said.

"We've gone about it in a different way this time," Lea siad. "We have been second bill, guests, which has been great......we've appeared before huge audiences." and those audiences, he said have been "great." It has been a challenge to win over a crowd who had come to see the headliner group." he said.


slades Noddy Holder The group, they said is trying to dispel the "glitter" image that called for flashy outfits. Holder pointed out the groups single, "Hoe Does It Feel," is "very melodious" as a change from some of their other music. He said it's their first single to be aired on American AM radio stations. The song comes from the group's latest album, "Flame," which is a soundtrack to their movie of the same title.

"We built our reputation as a live band," Holder said. "In England, it was the same - the criticism of us being formula."

Formula music or not, last night the group aroused what seemed to be an initially lukewarm audience to one asking for more.

They still had some of the glitter - Dave Hill, guitarist, dressed in rhinestone studded, striped overalls and tails covered with mirrors; Holder wearing a top hat with mirrors reflecting beams of light across the darkened hall during his spotlighted solos.

By contrast, Lea and Don Powell, the drummer, dressed in white without the glitter.

And their reputation of being a loud, metallic band could not be doubted last night. But as Holder said, the group, which was formed in the industrial area of Wolverhampton, England, in 1966, first gained popularity with the working youth as a live band. Their approach to conquer America this time perhaps is "The way it should have been done in the beginning." as Holder siad yesterday afternoon.



From the archive of Chris Selby

Transposed by David Graham

Photograph Slade In England




Slade in England © 2015










Free Dreamweaver Templates