If l could blame something as to why l got into being a musician, l would have to point my finger at the band Slade, because of their album Sladest, in fact it was the back sleeve that opened my eyes to wanting to become musically minded. The back sleeve contains a picture of the band performing in a club venue. lt was the most exiciting photograph l had ever set my eyes on, it just set a light in my head and wham bang here l am years later playing in bands, l also remember going to the house of my school- friend Stephen Goodwin on the way to primary school and hearing' My Friend Stan on the radio which in my mindset makes this seemed linked, what l don't remember is how the record came to being in my house l reckon my Dad must have sent it to me from America as my copy was an import mystery almost solved, nice one Slade, nice one Dad or maybe my mother had a thing for Slade. So here l am having a gander through Don Powell's 'Look Wot l Dun' book which, details the journey of Don Powells escapades, drumming in Slade. From being 'Sticks Powell from The Vendors to ending up in Slade the biggest Glam/Rock band of the seventies in the UK, well they did have lots of hits didnt they, and they wore platform boots that were so high that Slade had to put mirrors on their top hats to reflect warning flashes to low flying aircraft. Don Powell is a very funny chap in fact it's his humour that gets him through all sorts of stressful situations, for example to help ease the talanted very young Jim Lea (bassist and main songwriter of Slade) Don asks Jim at his Slade audition is there any other instruments he plays other than the Bass guitar, Violin and piano, to which Jim replies he once played the Cello but gave it up. Oh what went wrong says Don did the spike on the cello keep getting stuck on your neck. The humour had to take president in the Bahamas, which you have to read to find out what l'm talking about, its a good story and l'm not going to spoil it. Things were not always funny on Don such as the horrendous car crash where he suffers life long amnesia and he lost his girlfriend, it must have been a terrible thing to come to terms with. The seventies were a mental time to grow up in, l was so confused by everything. lt was such a nutty time, like l was done in by Angus Young from AC/DC l really thought he was part of The Krankies just because of the school uniform, but that was a bit later on, than when Slade ruled the UK charts. Poor Don suffered such memory loss he had to keep a diary which came useful when writing his book. Whats good about this book, is it tells what happened after Slade split up, as Noddy Holder ( singer and guitar player) retired from playing live, at the grand old age of forty six (l know of people who start out playing at this age, times have indeed changed). Dave Hill( Guitar player and man of many eccentric costumes and a trendy haircut that singer Boyonce Knowles now has)) and Don had to continue playing live as it was their only means to making a living out of touring as Jim Lea and Noddy wrote the bulk of the hits they continue to get songwriting revenue every year from the regular money spinning hit Merry Xmas Everybody which you hear on radios and TVs every Christmas. So Don and Dave carry the torch of Slade through the venues of Russia, and all over Europe to this very day check em out. Chris McDougall


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