IRONY CAN BE A BITCH ~ GEOFF GINSBERG
BAND: Noddy, Jim, Dave, Don
Irony can be a bitch. In this case it is because this is the BEST show I have uploaded, and also the WORST recording - by far.
The other shows I recorded with the Aiwa deck it basically did ok. It adjusted levels itself, which is a terrible thing for a recorder to do, but I didn't know jack back then. Unfortunately Slade was also the LOUDEST band I have ever seen and they completely overwhelmed the recorder. It couldn't handle the overdrive. When they were not at full tilt it sounds ok, but when they hit the gas it sounds like Noddy singing over a vacuum cleaner. Even in the lean years Slade always traveled with their own (monster) PA system. The sound was so clear at this show, but you wouldn't know it from the recording. If you don't have Slade On Stage, stop reading now, go buy it, and thank me later for turning you on to one of the most savage live rock and roll recordings ever. If you do have that, then this may be of interest. I have to say, as poor as this sounds, I have heard worse.
I got to Birmingham (after a cancelled show in Nottingham) with a single minded purpose. I had long ago realized that if I was ever gonna see Slade again...well, let's just say they weren't coming to me. The week I got there My Oh My hit #2 on the charts. Of all the times to be in England seeing Slade - perfect. So yeah, I get to Birmingham and had a cab take me to a cheap motel on the outskirts of town. When I got in the cab to go to the show I said, "Take me to the Birmingham Polytechnic." Cab driver looks at me with a concerned face and says that there are more than one. Must be the big one, I said. To make a long story longer, he drives me to one deserted campus after another.
I was getting scared and the cab fare was getting astronomical. Finally after about five wrong stops he gets on the radio and asks the dispatcher, "Do you remember the band Sliiiiiide - were are they playing." Oh, that one. So he takes me to a girls music college in the middle of nowhere - a dark country road. I got the cab company's card to call after the show. Every other show I have ever been to in the UK was over by 11 so everyone could get home. So I got there at 7 or 7:30.
First band didn't hit till after 11. And it was PACKED, mostly with young girls. And it was hot - by the end of the show I had completely sweated through my winter coat. Anyway, Slade delivered one of the greatest rock and roll shows I have ever seen, period. Top ten of all time, no doubt. The show sticks pretty closely to the aformentioned Slade On Stage, with a couple of additions. The first three songs were so raging, tapped into such deep nostalgia (even though two of them were relatively new), and were so emotionally draining that I thought I might not be able to take another song. Thankfully they'd been at this a while and were aware that more than three Slade rockers in a row is too much, thus My Oh My gave me a chance to catch me breath. That is also the rarest song of the show as it was only played live a dozen or so times. Unfortunately, during MOM I was totally crushed and my tape recorder stopped recording, but kept playing. So there is about one minute missing from the middle. I edited it out and there are still about five minutes of the song - a nice long version. Anyway, by the time Slade got done, I was done.
I went to call a cab. Picked up the phone...couldn't tell if there was a dial tone. I was DEAF. I put money in, waited a second and dialed. Nothing. "Hello, hello! Can anybody hear me!?" I couldn't tell if anyone was there. I started to panic. I was on an old country road in the middle of nowhere, deaf, in the winter with a drenched coat. It was not a good situation. Then, about 100 yards away I saw some people getting into a taxi - the only one in sight.
My winter coat, now soaked, weighed about 50 pounds, but I hauled ass over there and before they drove away I yelled, "Let me in your cab! I'm a stupid American and I have no idea where I am!!" They not only let me in, they took me right back to my room and were very impressed because Philly is near New Jersey - where Bruce Springsteen is from. Whatever, I was glad to get back to my room in one piece.
02. rock and roll preacher
03. when i'm dancin' i ain' fightin'
04. take me bak ome
05. my oh my
07. night to remember (inc. jim & don; keep it rollin)
08. hot love (tease)
09. lock up your daughters
10. gudbuy t' jane
11. we'll bring the house down
12. get down get with it
13. you'll never walk alone (b'ham choir)
14. mama weer all crazee now
15. b'ham choir sings merry x-mas during encore break
16. merry x-mas everybody
Recollection by Geoff Ginsberg, photos courtesy of Tom Rennox