Tuesday, February 21, 2006
It's Slade is a 50 minutes documentary made by BBC1 in 1999. It's actually one of the best documentaries I've ever seen on the guys as it gets into all aspects of the band and their career. The documentary features solo interviews with all of the four original band members as well as Ozzy Osbourne, Suzi Quatro, Noel Gallagher, Toyah Wilcox, Parfitt & Rossi from Status Quo, Chris Charlesworth, Graham (Swin) Swinnerton, Frank Lea, Keith Altham and Dylan White.
There are loads of clips from TV-performances and live concerts, from Flame and a bit from back stage at the K.B.-Hallen in Copenhagen 1974. The clips are edited a bit strange, though, so the back stage footage from Copenhagen illustrates Slade's USA concerts as well as their concert in the London Palladium. In much the same way Lochem footage is shown when the guys are talking about Reading.
Never mind, the clips are great, anyway! Especially the ones from Slade's skinhead days. I remember Don telling me about that footage last September, and his comment was, "There is some old footage of us, we haven't got hair any of us, playing on some TV-shows without any hair and Jim on violin, it seemed so…ABSTRACT!" I sure see what he meant, especially as the guys were doing "Martha My Dear"!
But back to the documentary. The guys are really high spirited in the interviews and very, very frank and detailed. There are some funny stories about Dave looking at maps and of Don buying Dave a parrot when he broke his leg. Touching moments as well regarding Don's accident. Mostly the interviews are on the fun side though, loaded with anecdotes and "behind the scene"-stories. For instance Jim telling about his audition in 1966, "Don said, so I see you play the violin. Do you play any other instrument? I said, I had a go at cello but I didn't really get on too well with that. He said, Oh, did the spike keep sticking in your neck?"
It's not only their career that the Slade-members talk about. They also give you their comments on looks & females, Black Country-roots, clothes, Dave's former house next to a girl school, his wedding car business and Reeves & Mortimer's parodies. All accompanied with great clips.
Only once the documentary gets unintentionally funny and that's when the narrator (Mark Radcliffe) says that the song writing of Noddy and Jim would prove to be the foundation of Slade, while on the visual side you see the single "Look Wot You Dun" - penned by Jim and Don!
Anyway, this is a great documentary and I'm really happy that I got to see it.
Saturday, February 11, 2006
The Slade-gig on February 4th, 2006
The gig in Næstved, February 4th, I just had to attend, as it was my 1-year anniversary with the "new" Slade. One year ago on February 4th in the town of Rødovre I saw my first Slade-concert since 1978 so this just had to be celebrated.
I took off from Odense at 2 p.m. and although I had to take two trains it was a smooth ride of only 90 minutes. When I got off the train in Næstved I accidentally ran into John in the street and he directed me to the hotel. In the reception I then bumped into Dave as well.
I got the key to my hotel room and went up to unpack, get something to eat and change clothes. Don and Hanne had to go straight to the venue for the sound check so instead I met up with Dave, John, Mal and some of the Danish friends in the hotel bar and we drove to the venue at 7.45 p.m. It was freezingly cold, but luckily it wasn't a long drive.
It was good seeing Don backstage and I had to have a couple of hugs and kisses to get warm again. Then I went out front to say hello to Hanne who was in the merchandise booth. You can now buy a lot of Slade-merchandise here in Denmark such as CDs, T-shirts, keyrings, mouse pads and string bags.
I spent the next hour backstage talking to Don about current events, old days and everything 'n between and then it was time for the band to go on stage. I went out front to meet up with Slade-fans Per and Kirsten and the concert started. The set list was the same as last Saturday, but there was no violin on Run Runaway this time. Instead Dave slipped on the floor and almost fell down from the stage, hurting his arm. It looked rather scary, but Dave just joked about it from stage.
When the band got to Gudbuy T'Jane Mal had a new go at girls wanting to be boys and vice versa, and he asked if there were any boys in the audience secretly called Jane. It didn't seem to be the case. Instead a bunch of middle aged women rushed to the stage to touch Dave's shoes. There seems to be a shoe fetishism developing around the band these days. God knows why!!??!!
The stage was very high up, and as I'm not very tall, most of the time I couldn't see much except the shoes anyway! I even had to borrow some of Per's pics of Don for this blog as I couldn't get a decent shot of Don on stage because of it being so high up. Hanne suggested that I went up into the auditorium, which was empty as everybody was down on the floor. What a great idea! I got a really good view of the whole stage from up there. I also went backstage from time to time, only to find the place totally deserted as everybody was out watching Slade.
Well, it was a really great concert with 1,400 tickets sold and afterwards I went to the merchandise booth with Don and Hanne. All during the following Sweet concert we pushed Slade merchandise which Don then signed for the buyers. It was very successful so after a couple of hours we were almost sold out. At one point Hanne went backstage to get our things, and Don and I agreed that we weren't the right pair to leave selling merchandise as none of us liked to attract the attention of the passers-by but I guess we did alright after all.
When the concert venue closed there was a real rush at the booth and afterwards I drove with Don and Hanne back to the hotel.
In the hotel bar we met up with John, Mal, the Danish friends and most of Sweet so we had a delightful time. As usual I ended up next to Don and as usual we had one of our good talks. What a great way to celebrate my anniversary!
The guys had to start their trip to Russia early next morning, so we didn't get much sleep that night. When finally I got up at 9.30 a.m. they were already on their way. Have a safe trip, you guys!
I met up with Per and Kirsten at the railway station at 11 a.m. so we could make the trip back together. I was glad that we could go together because I'm afraid I would have fallen asleep had I been on my own!
As usual it was a nice Slade-experience and a big thank you to you all for making my anniversary a good one. Too bad that it takes another 3 months before the band plays Denmark again!!
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Slade hits on the Danish Top 20 1971-1991
Lately I've tried to figure out how many Top 20 hits Slade had in Denmark and how many of those made it to No. 1. Unfortunately the radio station that used to air the weekly Top 20 hits haven't kept a record of it, so I've mainly had to rely on my memory and on the info that I've had from "old" Danish Slade-fans. Below you'll see a list of what I have come up with. The songs marked with a star are the ones that made it to No.1. The ones in italics are the ones I still need to have confirmed. If anyone out there has some info on those or on other songs that I've left out, please leave a comment or mail me. Thanks!
Get Down and Get With It
'Coz I Luv You *
Look Wot You Dun *
Take Me Bak 'Ome *
Mama Weer All Crazee Now *
Gudbuy T'Jane *
Cum On Feel The Noize *
Skweeze Me Pleeze Me *
My Friend Stan *
Merry Xmas Everybody *
The Bangin' Man
Far Far Away *
How Does It Feel?
Thanks For The Memory *
Let's Call It Quits *
In For A Penny *
Burning In The Heat Of Love
When I'm Dancin' I Ain't Fightin'
We'll Bring The House Down
Lock Up Your Daughters
C'est La Vie
My Oh My
All Join Hands
Radio Wall Of Sound
Monday, February 06, 2006
He's "far, far away"
This is the headline of a feature about Don in the Danish paper "Midtjyllands Avis" from October 8, 2005. That Don spends a lot of time in Denmark has not been very well known among Danes until features like this started to pop up in the papers late last year, and this feature is actually very, very good. It sports a full-page photo of him on the front page of the weekend section as well as an interview running 2 whole pages. The interview is spiced with many new photos of Don at his favourite haunts in the town of Silkeborg, where he lives. I've just added the best ones here. The top one is the one from the front-page where it was accompanied by the caption "Don Powell came to town". All photos are © press photographer Jens Anker Tvedebrink.
The interview takes the readers from Don's childhood and up until today. It deals with his upbringing, how he got to play the drums, the founding of what became Slade, the meeting with Kim Fowley and later with Chas Chandler, the hits, the tours, Don's accident, and of course how he met Hanne. There are many funny stories in the interview, one of my favourites being about the break-in in Don's car. Don tells that in Slade's heydays somebody broke into his car because they wanted souvenirs. Don notices that Slade's popularity has declined a bit since then. A couple of years ago somebody broke into his car again. This time they stole a CD-player that contained 10 CDs. They only nicked 8 of the CDs, though, and left 2 behind. Those two were both with Slade…
All in all the interview is a very good read with only minor mistakes, due to insufficient research. The article thus claims that Don and Dave met both Nod and Jim on the ferry going to Germany in the sixties, that it was their fans who suggested the names Ambrose Slade and Slade, and that Chas Chandler was the manager of The Animals, but that's it, basically.
For those of you who read Danish a copy of the paper can be ordered at www.midtjyllandsavis.dk. Click on the "kontakt"-button for e-mail addresses.