I’ve been going through a really serious Slade obsession recently.
It happens every once in a while. It’s one of those bands that if you’ve become a fan, you don’t grow tired of them, you just take an occasional pause from them, then suddenly one of their songs pop into your head, and you’re back on the Slade-worshiping wagon.
It’s a band that genuinely understood what rock ‘n roll songwriting is basically about: to let your brain take a break, and let your penis do the talking.
The last couple of months, I’ve been listening to “I Won’t Let it ‘Appen Agen” and “Gudbye Gudbye” so much, I’m getting worried they’ll remain on the top of my “50 most played” playlist on iTunes forever. They also have one of the best Christmas songs ever written It’s not really Christmas until I hear Noddy Holder scream “IT’S CHRISTMAAAAS!!!”
I didn’t always get Slade. As a kid I used to rummage through my late uncle’s enormous record collection, discovering and listening to new bands, but I always skipped listening to the Slade records. The photos of the band put me off. They were too damn weird, and too damn 70s. As a kid born in 1982, the 70s was something foreign and murky to me. And 70s glam was something from another planet altogether. What were these people thinking, looking like that? Luckily, I entered my teens, got a bit smarter, and eventually discovered what I’d been missing out on.
But Jim has already written a great article about the brilliance of Slade’s music. Let’s look on the aspect about Slade that I found most off-putting as a kid, but I genuinely adore now: the visual weirdness of their bucktoothed guitar player Dave Hill.
Anyone who raves about how edgy and bizarre that boring twat Lady Gaga is should take a look at Dave Hill. His face alone outweirds any meat dress in existence.
I’ve got a theory that Dave Hill is the most perfect human being ever born to this planet. Within and on the outside, that one splendid man from Wolverhampton represents the eternal principles of the universe, He’s both hideous and beautiful. Yin and Yang. Animus and Anima. Satan and Jesus. Chaos and order. Destruction and creation.
Looking at Dave Hill, I sense a primal and mystic force contained inside him, that he’s a vessel for sacred and vital powers we as humans should explore more.
The only thing I get from Lady Gaga is the feeling that her menstrual blood probably smells a bit like onion soup.
Here’s some of Hill’s different looks throughout the years, conveniently skipping Slade’s brief skinhead era.
Born with the face of a satanic squirrel from space, Dave Hill could’ve easily sunken into a state of self-loathing and misery. Instead, he seemed to go a completely different way by making himself look even weirder than he already was. His trademark haircut, a bizarre hybrid between an extreme bowl cut and a 70s proto-mullet, made his face go from just weird to so weird it’s actually beautiful.
A spaceman image was a regular thing among 70s glam bands, but no one looked more the part than Hill.
At one time, Hill did a Britney and shaved off his hair, almost making the universe implode out of sheer weirdness.
You don’t always know what Hill was thinking with his outfits, but it works anyway because he’s Dave fucking Hill.
The infamous Metal Nun outfit. Even Noddy Holder’s legendary top hat with mirrors looks tame in comparison.
Dave Hill is the proof that if you’re a rock star, you’ll get plenty of pussy. Even if you’ve got the face of a Russian dock worker’s ass.
The album Slayed? has one of the coolest cover photos in history. It also shows a rather butch side of Dave Hill.
Pulling off a sort of Bee Gees/Jedi knight thing can be tricky, but Dave Hill can do it.
Even without flamboyant clothing, Hill outweirds the rest of his band.
These days, Dave Hill is still busy playing music, despite suffering a stroke on stage in Germany some years ago. He looks a bit like Neil Young now, if Neil Young suffered from a Peter Pan complex. Still cool, though.
And still weirder than anyone.
And a bonus: Slade performing “Take Me Bak ‘Ome” with each band member accompanied by a hot chick dressed and moving like Slade. This is cool. Admit it.
—LASSE HOLMBERG JOSEPHSEN