Slade – Where Are They Now?
Written by Editorial Team on 03/02/2020
Where are they now… Seventies chart-toppers Slade?
LEAD guitarist Dave Hill is one of the two original members of ’70s glam rock group Slade, whose 17 top-20 hits include the ever-popular Merry Xmas Everybody, Mama Weer All Crazee Now and Cum On Feel The Noize.
Devon-born Dave, an English musician and his wife Jan have three children and four grandchildren and live in Wolverhampton, West Midlands who was the lead guitarist and backing vocalist in the English band Slade. Hill was known for his flamboyant stage clothes and hairstyle.
“I wasn’t great at school but I loved music, so I bought a cheap guitar and started playing in bands until I met our drummer Don Powell, and we formed Slade in 1966. We wanted to be a group of four singers and musicians like The Beatles, so Noddy Holder and Jim Lea joined us.
After playing together for several years, we were spotted doing a gig at a London club by Jimi Hendrix’s manager, Chas Chandler, and he said those magical words, ‘I want to sign you.’
It went on from there, with top-20 hits beginning with Get Down And Get With It, then our first number one, ‘Coz I Love You‘ in 1971, and five more number ones, including ‘Take Me Bak Ome‘ and ‘Cum On Feel The Noize‘.
We all had input on how we appeared. I’m known for the large black hat and pageboy fringe with long hair on the sides. Millions listened to our songs on Radio 1 and watched us on Top of the Pops – in colour, which gave us a glamorous look against a backdrop of mirrors and showed us off to great effect and of course, the song everyone knows is ‘Merry Xmas Everybody‘ from 1973.
We recorded it in the summer and it was a rock Christmas song rather than Jingle Bells. But it was a period of discontent, with strikes in Britain and people feeling low and I think it gave them a lift.
That year was special for me because Jan and I got married. We met in 1969 in Wolverhampton when her best friend was going out with Noddy … Jan and I just ‘clicked’.
When the original band broke up in the early ’90s, I was at a bit of a loss. Being on stage first without Noddy and then Jim was so difficult so I told Don that I wanted to reform Slade. We found two new band members, John Berry and Mal McNulty, and a few months later we were playing to thousands in Germany.
It was on stage in Germany in 2006 when I suffered a stroke where I had to rest for three months, but I’m fine now, the music and the audience have been my saving grace.
Jan is my bedrock and home life is very important to me …
And being a granddad of five is both enjoyable and poignant because having grandparents is something I didn’t really experience.
We’ll tour again next year in 2020, so we’ll be playing gigs across Britain and Europe. I don’t wear the clothes and boots I used to, but elements of them, like the hat.
When people see me at Christmas, they say, ‘This is your time of the year, Dave!’ If I’m in a shopping mall and our Christmas song is playing, shoppers look at me and say, ‘Hang on a minute – it’s him!’ And when I visit anyone’s house at this special time, they say, ‘Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without that song, Dave.’
The Book :
You can read all about Dave Hill’s musical journey in his book “So Here It Is“, packed with photos from his personal collection, plus a brand new chapter.
Tour Dates :
You can visit Slade.UK.Com for the upcoming 2020 Tour Dates!