Chris Slade, born October 30, 1946, in Pontypridd, Wales, is a rock drummer who has enjoyed a long and varied career. His musical journey can be traced back to 1963; Chris came from the same villge as fellow Welshman Tom Jones and played drums in the singer’s backing band, The Squires, for seven years. His first real success came in 1965 when ‘It’s Not Unusual’ was recorded. Chris subsequently toured with Tom Jones all over the world before quitting in 1969 to join a group called “Toomorrow” whose vocal attraction was an Australian blonde called Olivia Newton-John.
Returning to session work, Chris recorded albums with Tony Hazzard and Tom Paxton in 1970, before becoming a founding member of Manfred Mann’s Earth Band in January of 1971. He was to spend seven years with the band, recording eight albums and achieving three UK Top Ten singles in the process: ”Joybringer’ (No. 9, October 1973), ‘Blinded By The Light’ (No. 6, September 1976 & #1 USA) and ‘Davy’s On The Road Again’ (No.6, June 1978). Chris, along with some other former Earth Band members, also headed up a short-lived off-shoot of the band that Chris had named “Terra Nova” in 1978, producing one recording and a few live shows.
After the Earth Band era, Chris recorded two albums in 1979, first with Frankie Miller, and next with Kai Olsson, before joining Uriah Heep in time to play on their ‘Conquest’ album in 1980 + 2 years in the band. After that, Slade teamed up with Gary Numan to make the I Assasin album & touring, playing with Pino Palladino on Bass. Bad Company guitarist Mick Ralphs included Slade in The Mick Ralphs Band – that same line-up also toured as the band for Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour on his About Face Tour all through 1984. After the close of that tour he teamed up with Jimmy Page, Paul Rodgers and bassist Tony Franklin to form “The Firm” at the end of 1984. The Firm, produced two excellent albums for Atlantic in 1985 and 1986 that gave them a few radio hits including “Radioactive” and “Satisfaction Guaranteed.”
Then Chris joined up with Gary Moore on a temporary basis, taking over from Cozy Powell just four days before the start of the 1989 ‘After The War’ tour. It was at one of Gary Moore’s gigs in The UK that Malcolm Young saw Chris Slade play. After the tour it was Chris’s intention to put together a band with ex-Aerosmith guitarist Rick Dufay. But the call from AC/DC scuppered those plans as he was destined to tour and record with them over the course of the next five years, playing on their acclaimed “Razors Edge” Album, and giving a killer performance on their concert DVD “Live from Donington”.
After his stint with AC/DC Chris joined up with 80’s prog-rock band “Asia”, who (even with the many personnel changes over the years) had still been managing to churn out some excellent music. Chris recorded with them on their 2000-2004 studio recordings, “Aura” and “Silent Nation”, and put forth his “trademark” energy-filled live performances on all the subsequent tours that ensued.
More info & Tickets: Spirit of 66