Slade For Download? Forget It, Says Jim Lea
Anyone hoping that Slade will mark the 30th anniversary of their landmark appearance at the Monsters Of Rock Festival by appearing at Download this year can forget it.
Talking exclusively to Classic Rock, bassist/vocalist Jim Lea says: “Let’s leave it in the past. Why would we want to get back together to do it? This could never live up to what we did back then. To me, there’s nothing to be gained. We can’t do those songs justice in the way that we used to.
“If people want nostalgia, then they’ve got the DVDs, the CDs and there’s also loads of footage on Youtube. Sorry, but if you’re waiting for a Slade reunion, then the wait will be in vain.”
Slade split up in 1991, when frontman Noddy Holder decided he no longer wanted to tour. Although guitarist Dave Hill and drummer Don Powell continued with Slade II, Lea felt he no longer wanted to be part of anything to do with Slade playing live.
However, he does recall the band’s celebrated performance at Donington in 1981 with great pride.
“It actually started the year before, when we replaced Ozzy Osbourne on the bill for the Reading Festival (August 24). We were really all over at that point and were about to split up. I remember Tommy Vance coming into our dressing room beforehand, and saying, ‘I know what you can do. You know what you can do. So do it’. We went out there, and no word of a lie we stole the whole festival. It was incredible. Afterwards so many musicians wanted to slap us on the back and buy us drinks. It was amazing.
“I know Def Leppard followed us and had a really hard time. They got jeered and bottled, which was a little unfair.
“Anyway, Maurice Jones, who used to manage us and promoted Monsters Of Rock, was there that day. He offered us the chance to play at Donington the next year (August 22), and we had another great day. I recall that half the PA didn’t work when we were on, but I really don’t think (headliners) AC/DC sabotaged us. Why would they? At the time they were the biggest rock band in the world.
“Despite all of that, we went down really well again. But would we want to commemorate that day by doing a 30th anniversary set at Donington? No way.”
Lea is currently working on a one-man orchestral album, which he hopes to have completed and released later this year.
Find out more at http://www.jimleamusic.com/