Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Chris Slade blows away AC/DC fans, Udine September 20th, 2013

Slade, the former drummer of one of the world’s all-time great bands, AC/DC, took the band’s many fans down memory lane in a 90-minute show packed with old memorable AC/DC songs which included flying dollar bills and canons firing off.  Slade is a 66 year-old Welsh rock drummer.  He is best known as the drummer for Tom Jones, Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, Asia and AC/DC for their epic “The Razors Edge” album (in 1967 he had also been approached by the “King” himself, Elvis, to play drums for him!).   Chris unquestionably was one of AC/DC’s all-time great drummers (along with Phil Rudd and Simon Wright of “Who Made Who Fame”).  Slade also worked with Gary Newman, Olivia Newton-John and Uriah Heep. He played with Manfred Mann’s Earth Band from 1972-1978 and also played with Paul Rodgers (former lead singer of Free, Bad Company and also Queen), Jimmy Page and David Gilmour of Pink Floyd fame. 

Slade received his highest exposure in November 1989 when he was asked to join AC/DC after their then-drummer Simon Wright (who came after Phil Rudd) had departed.   The Young brothers (Angus and Malcolm) initially hired Slade only temporarily through management, then asked him during the recording of the only album he made with them, to join the band. Slade played on “The Razors Edge” album in 1990 and the accompanying world tour as well as the "Big Gun" single released in 1993 (which also features former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger dressed up as Angus Young on guitar!).   Slade and AC/DC had also once played in Moscow in front of a record 1 million people.   Perhaps the band’s greatest live video is their 1991 “Live at Donington” which features Slade on drums for that world tour.  That particular concert starts with “Thunderstruck” and Slade’s hard and potent drumming.  The Young brothers asked Slade to leave after nearly five years with the group and reinstated former drummer Rudd.   


Apparently, somewhat shocked by the episode, Slade did not pick up his drumsticks for the next 3 years after those five great years he had spent rocking the world together with the Australian/Scottish band.  Slade now fronts an AC/DC tribute band called “Chris Slade Steel Circle”, and is touring with “The Chris Slade Timeline” - a band formed to celebrate 50 years as a rock drummer. The band takes music from all aspects of his lengthy career.  Thanks to the folks over at Euritmica and “Udine Rock Nights”, Slade’s AC/DC repertoire included hits such as  “Thunderstruck”, “MoneyTalks”, “Riff Raff” (a great old Bon Scott tune), “Fire Your Guns”, Whole Lotta Rosie”, “Are You Ready”, everyone’s favorite AC/DC song “Highway To Hell” and naturally “For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)”. Slade’s band in Udine was made up of a local AC/DC cover band.  The boys tried as best as possible to keep up with Slade who would absolutely not quit on drums and put on one terrific show for AC/DC fans of all ages who were present at the show.  A lesson or two from this great drummer for all those aspiring Chris Slades out there.

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